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Toshiba Canvio 1.0TB Basics Portable external hard drive not working

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#1 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:39 PM

I have a Toshiba Canvio 1.0 TB USB 3.0 Basics Portable Hard Drive which is connected via a USB port to my Dell Inspiron 15634 laptop using Windows 10. Yesterday, 9/14/2017, there was an accident and an object fell on to the keyboard and apparently depressed several keys simultaneously, but the external drive was not hit. The laptop software was changed but I was later able to restore it to its original state.


However, the external drive is now not working. It originally held about 500GB of data of
its 1TB capacity (i.e about half full).


Windows File Explorer recognizes the drive but it sees only a partition ESP (E:)  which contains 496MB of system information and my data is gone and. Then I tried scanning the drive with chdsk but it shows no errors.


  1. I first explored Device Manager-Disk Drives-TOSHIBA External USB 3.0 USB Device.

Under the General tab, I found:

            This device is working properly..


Under the Events tab, I found:


9/2/2017 11:38:50 AM Device migrated

9/2/2017 11:38:50 AM Device Configured (Disk.inf)

9/2/2017 11:38:50 AM Device Started (Disk)


The following information was displayed in the information pane:



010479&0 was migrated.


Last Device Instance Id: USBSTOR


  1. I then explored Device Manager-System devices-Universal Serial Bus Controller-USB Root Hub (USB 3.0) and right-clicked on Properties and selected the tab ‘Events’.

The following information was displayed under the ‘Events’ tab:


7/14/2017 11:01:29 PM Device migrated

7/14/2017 11:01:29 PM Device Configured (usbhub 3.inf)

7/14/2017 11:01:29 PM Device Started (USBHUB3)        



The following information was displayed in the information pane:


Device USB\ROOT_HUB30\4&1cd05f45&0&0 was started.


Driver Name: usbhub3.inf

Class Guid: {36FC9E60-C465-11CF-8056-444553540000}

Service: USBHUB3

Lower Filters:

Upper Filters:


  1. I then opened Disk Management and found a volume named ESP (E:) with capacity 496MB with 446MB (90%) free.

It also shows a Disk 1 with 931.51 GB with a partition ESP (E:) of 500MB

and 931.02GB unallocated.


It is possible that the during the confusion after the accident that the USB connector was withdrawn without first unmounting the drive.

My questions are

  1. Will it be possible to recover my data, and
  2. If not, will it be possible to recover the use of the drive,
     e.g. by reinstalling the Toshiba external hard drive?

Any help will be much appreciated.

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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:57 PM

This is a strange problem. A ESP partition is actually an EFI system partition for booting on UEFI computers and requires the disk have a GPT partition table which isn't required on a 1TB external drive.


Download Testdisk for Windows. Unzip the file to a folder on your desktop and run it. Do a Quick Search. Highlight any partitions found and press the "P" key. Do you see your missing data. If a Quick Search does not find your partitions then do a Deeper Search which will take awhile on a 1TB drive.





#3 DataMedic


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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:16 PM

This may be a simple enough recovery.  First off, if the data is important and especially if it contains things like pictures that can't be rebuilt, you should get a sector by sector clone of the entire HDD.  Yes, this may mean that you have to drop $65 on another HDD but this step may very well end up saving your data in the end.  Working in professional data recovery the most common cause of permanent data loss is usually botched recovery attempts when a clone wasn't made.


It could be a case of bad sectors, possibly caused by the vibration of the impact.  It takes very little movement to damage a HDD in reality.  So you might want to start by doing a S.M.A.R.T. check.  There are free utilities like Crystal Disk Info that can check this for you.  Or, even a demo of a data recovery program like R-Studio will allow you to see the S.M.A.R.T. status.


If the S.M.A.R.T. doesn't show a lot of reallocated or pending sectors, then it's probably just a logical problem, not a hardware one.  In that case a scan with the program TestDisk (preferably after you clone it) which may be able to find the lost partition and restore it to the partition table.  If that doesn't work, then you'll have to use data recovery software to recover it.


Also, keep in mind that professional recovery probably isn't that expensive at this point.  From what you describe, our price would likely only be $300-450 to handle everything.  But, if you try too many things and end up further complicating the matter, that number can rise quickly.


If you let me know where you're located I can probably recommend a qualified company with fair prices.

#4 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:38 PM

Thank you, John_C21 and DataMedic.


I installed TestDisk and ran the program. A quick Scan displayed the partitions and drives and I was able to rewrite the partition table. I completely recovered the use of the drive and all the lost data.


I still do not understand the ESP (E:) partition. I certainly did not create it myself. Perhaps it was there when I bought the drive, possible to make it bootable.

At any rate, I was happily surprised that I was able to fix the problem and in such little time.


Once again, thank you both for your help which I greatly appreciate.




Thoughtful Skeptic

#5 JohnC_21


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Posted 22 December 2017 - 11:33 AM

Glad you got your data back. Thanks for the update.

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