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external hard drive unallocated


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#1 boilermaker27

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 07:52 PM

I am using an Asus computer with an external hard drive that was once used in my Sony Computer.  When the computer went out about five years ago I removed the hard drive and bought a case for it, formatted it and stored many pictures and other information on the drive.  It has worked fine for the last five years but today when I turned it on it failed to show up in My Computer.  By the way, I am using Windows 10, which I might ad was a gigantic mistake taking the free upgrade, so my main intent after I get this drive to work is to save everything and restore this computer back to factory and Windows 7.  After turning it on it failed to show up in my computer, the drive shows up as working properly in my device manager, however, going deeper into the problem I was able to find it in Disc Management and it shows as "unallocated", and there is no drive letter.  I would like to save the information on the drive and find that there are several means of obtaining a drive letter without formatting and losing all of my information.  However, I am unsure of exactly what to do and don't want to accidentally lose the data. 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 08:31 PM

Does the drive show as not initialized in disk management? 

 

Download Testdisk for Windows. Do not download the 64bit version even if you have 64bit Windows.

 

Unzip the folder to the desktop and double click the Testdisk for Windows exe file. Follow this step by step and do a Quick Search. If it finds any partition highlight it and press the "P" key. If you see your files you can select any directory by highlighting and pressing the ":" key followed by upper case "C" to copy. The default location for recovery will be the unzipped Testdisk folder on your desktop. Do not write anything as you are more concerned with recovering data. Once the data is recovered then you can attempt to repair the partition table. If no partitions are found using Quick Search you will need to do a Deeper Search which can take a long time on a large drive. If no partitions are found using the Deeper Search the drive may be failing or the enclosure itself. 

 

Edit: If Testdisk cannot find any partitions then I would recommend you first scan the disk with Gsmartcontrol. Do the short and long tests. If it passes then you have a chance of recovering your data using a tool like Minitools Data Recovery or Easeus Data Recovery. Both let you recover a small amount of data to determine if the recovered files are not corrupted. A serial is needed to be purchased to recover over 1 or 2GB depending on the program. The Testdisk folder has a recovery program called PhotoRec but all recovered files have generic names so you would need to rename any file accordingly. The files should always be recovered to a different drive then the one you are trying to recover files from.


Edited by JohnC_21, 14 January 2017 - 08:41 PM.


#3 boilermaker27

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 09:54 PM

in the process of a quick search right now, fingers crossed.



#4 boilermaker27

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 12:19 PM

neither the quick nor the deep search were able to find anything.  I am using Photo Rec right now and it has been working since last night.  So far Photo Rec has found 65043 files about two hours ago and right now two more files have been added.  Don't know when this procedure will get done, one time it will say three more hours, next time 25 minutes, then later maybe 2 hours+, so don't know whether I should hit the stop or just let it continue?



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 12:49 PM

I am afraid this is indicative of a failing drive. PhotoRec recovers files in real time to the folder you unzipped Testdisk to or to the recovery drive you selected. You need to make sure your free space on the recovery drive is larger than the data you are recovering. Open a few of the files it has recovered if possible.

 

PhotoRec recovers everything it finds. It may be best to stop the recovery and use the File Options selection to recover only the file extensions you want.

 

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step

 

  • File Opt to modify the list of file types recovered by PhotoRec.

 

PhotoRec_files.png



#6 boilermaker27

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:18 PM

thanks for the help.






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