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WD My Passport - needs to be formatted - file recovery


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#1 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

I have this external drive with important files. The problem started when I was trying to copy files from this drive to another location to create backup. I got some errors on specific files (which I selected to skip), then the copy process just froze for hours, and at this point when I connect this HD to my laptop I'm getting this: Microsoft Windows: you need to format the disk in drive E: before you can  use it. Do you want to format it? I would like to recover the files there. I know there are some tools out there that can look into formatted drives to try and recover pre-formatted files, but not sure what to do at this point. Any recommendations? This WD My Passport external drive is now connected to my Windows 7 laptop. Thanks!


Edited by hamluis, 22 February 2017 - 12:35 PM.
Moved from External Hardware to Disk Management - Hamluis.


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#2 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:42 PM

I saw in another post that you recommended to run SeaTools for diagnostics. I downloaded and scanned but it only detected my PC HD and not this WD external drive. Formatting is inevitable? Do you think my chances to take it to a professional file recovery lab will be better, or if I format it and try to do it myself with a recovery tool I still have a good chance to recover most or all of these files?



#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:06 PM

With the drive attached how is it designated in Disk Management? Is it shown as RAW? Or does it say not initialized. If RAW then they may be a chance of recovery using Testdisk.

 

If your data is important to you then take it to a professional data recovery service but it is not inexpensive. It can cost from $800 and up. One of the better services is DriveSavers.


Edited by JohnC_21, 22 February 2017 - 01:07 PM.


#4 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:12 PM

In Disk Management it shows RAW but it also shows that 100% is free which should not be the case. Shall I try Testdisk? Any specific instructions?



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:27 PM

Download Testdisk for Windows. Do not download the 64bit version. Unzip the file to a folder on the desktop and double click the testdisk exe file.

 

See this step by step guide. Select Analyze > when it offers a drive do not select the device if it is offered as a drive letter. You want to select the linux designation. For the external it would probably sdb or sdc. Do a Quick Search. Highlight any partition found and press the "P" key. If your files are found then select files/folders with the ":" key. Press the upper case "C" key to copy. The default location for copy will be the folder you unzipped testdisk to so press C to confirm. You should more free space on the recovery drive than what files you are recovering. 

 

If a Quick Search does not find your partition(s) then do a deeper search will take some time to complete. If a Quick Search or Deeper Search fails to find any partitions then you would need to scan the disk with a program like Easeus Data Recovery or Minitools Data Recovery. Both programs allow you to recover 1 to 2GB for free to see if a recovery is possible. There is a program that is part of testdisk called PhotoRec that scans for recoverable files but any file found has a generic name with the proper extension requiring you to rename the recovered files. Also recovery is in real time so you would need enough free space on the recovery drive. If you have another external drive with enough free space you can unzip the folder to the external recovery drive and start testdisk from it. The recovered files would then be saved to the external recovery drive and not your internal. PhotoRec has the option to select what file extension you wish to recover as it will recover any file extension in it's default list if you do not select which files you want recovered.

 

When doing the scan testdisk may say that recovery is not found because of a corrupt or missing boot sector. If you get this message post back.



#6 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:32 PM

Before the analyze step, I do need to select a drive. The disk is assigned as E:. Shall I not select E but instead go with /dev/sda?



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:39 PM

sda is your internal drive. Do you see a sdb or sdc that is offered? If not then go ahead and use E:



#8 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:46 PM

Ok going with E: How do you know what is the partition table type? I want to think it would be Intel because this HD was used with a PC before but not sure?



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:49 PM

Testdisk should offer intel for a partition type. If not then I would go with intel. 



#10 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:33 PM

I called WD and they told me it is GPT. I run Analyze and it found no partition. I also tried Intel and no partitions found. In both cases there was "Quick Search" option that I selected and now it's scanning the sectors very slowly and finding read errors. Do I want to keep scanning here or stop and try the other tools you mentioned?



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:54 PM

If you are getting read errors then stop the scan. Your only other option is to use the scanning programs I mentioned which could put more stress on the drive or use a professional recovery service. If the drive is over 2TB then the drive would be GPT otherwise I would think it would be MBR. 



#12 RolandJS

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:54 PM

Did this WD Passport Ultra use Drive Unlock during the times it was working aok?  I believe this HD has on-board/circuit-level encryption, whether or not a password is used within Drive Unlock.  If you totally bypassed and never used DriveUnlock -- I was told TestDisk's PhotoRec is one of many very good free-version utilities available.

 

JohnC, I see we posted at the same time.  If DriveUnlock was involved earlier, what could be done next?


Edited by RolandJS, 22 February 2017 - 02:56 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)

"I heard Spock finally got colander!"  "I believe the word is Kolinahr."  "Oh."


#13 yhelfman

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:59 PM

I'm scanning the drive with EaseUS ... so far it shows 0 space used and 0 files found doing deep scan on bad sectors :-(



#14 RolandJS

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:02 PM

below snippit from: http://ccm.net/forum/affich-68012-external-hd-wants-to-format-can-t-access

"...However, after reading everything here, and nothing worked, I decided to try a partition restoration software. It is called Active Partition Recovery out of Canada. I bought the $40 version after spending hours trying other things to scan it, etc. I could see the files. I simply right clicked on the drive to restore the boot sector and everything reappeared."

"...So I've downloaded the software you suggested Active Partition Recovery and after clicking on "fix boot sector" it recovered my external HDD!!! (had to do it a couple of times... somehow didn't get it first time - not sure why) "

the above snippits fsrom: http://ccm.net/forum/affich-68012-external-hd-wants-to-format-can-t-access

 

**This is not a commercial for the above-mentioned product!  I'm simply quoting an Idea that just might work.

    Addendum:  The forum belongs to ccm.net, I found it via Google.**


Edited by RolandJS, 22 February 2017 - 03:55 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)

"I heard Spock finally got colander!"  "I believe the word is Kolinahr."  "Oh."


#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:09 PM

I'm afraid if you are going to get any info off that drive it would have to be done by using a professional data recovery service. 






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