Hard Drive help

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Cartman372, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    Long story short, was trying to use one of my externals in a Windows 2000 virtual machine in VirtualBox and I removed it from VirtualBox without safely removing from Windows 2000.

    Now when I try to use the drive on my Windows 7 machine it tells me that I need to format the drive before I can use it.

    No files were moved/transferred and the drive was only in use on VirtualBox for less than a minute.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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    USB connected? With some external drives it may be USB glitches, ie, poor connectivity or glitchy drivers (esp USB3) and may tell you it needs formatting but in actuality doesnt. Happened a couple times to me with a USB3 drive. Have you tried it in other ports, ie, USB2? Do you have another PC or laptop to plug into to see if you get the same formatting message?
     
  3. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Is it USB drive? They have a tendency to do that and there's not much you can do..... Windows will tell you it was unable to complete the format even if you try.

    What sort of drive is it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  4. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    It's USB 2. I'll try a different computer and see what happens.

    Yeah it's USB, also has Firewire and eSATA ports I can use if that makes a difference. It's a Western Digital 1TB My Book.

    This drive has a lot of important data on it, stuff that needs to be recovered.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013

  5. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    for the data inside the WD no worries.it is still there.
    acces it from a computer running live GNU/Linux like Parted Magic ,execute TestDisk choose your drive say yes press P : there is your data.
    Now,to make it work again you can use some tools or some tricks,but as is remeber there is a nifty tool from Hiren Boot who will check the drive/partition and fix whatever issues it has.
    good luck and keep us informed!
     
  6. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Try eSATA.
    I'm surprised you're using USB connection if the drive and your board both have eSATA....
     
  7. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    I didn't even think of using Hirens Boot CDs, I'll try that and see what happens.

    I had issues years back with boot times while using eSATA so I just resorted back to using USB. Guess after I fix the partition on the drive I'll give eSATA a try again.
     
  8. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    OK, I take it your specs are out of date since I'm quite sure the M3A doesn't have eSATA :p

    If it's something simple like a corrupt boot record recovering the data should be pretty straight forward.

    If Hiren's doesn't do the job there's also UBCD which has some really good low level format/partition recovery tools. Just in case Windows can't access the drive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  9. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    I haven't even started messing with the hard drive as I had a research paper to do, but this board does indeed have eSATA, albeit only one.

    Now that I'm done with the paper I can try to get the hard drive back.
     
  10. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    That's handy, must have been a decent board in it's day to have eSATA.
    It's much faster than USB2 for hard drives....
     

  11. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    I'm pretty sure it was the best AM2+ board available at the time.

    If I can find my eSATA cables I'll try it again and see what happens.
     
  12. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    Alright, connected with eSATA and windows ran checkdisk by itself and repaired the format. Windows now recognizes the drive as NTFS and I can sort of access it.

    Here's the error message I get when I try to open the drive to view my files.

    [​IMG]

    I tried changing the security/permissions on the drive, and while it appeared to change the permissions, I still have no access to it.
     
  13. chinobino

    chinobino Master Guru

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    It looks like the MBR (Master Boot record) and/or partition structure may have been damaged.

    When I have had this problem I used testdisk to fix it.

    I would strongly suggest that you clone the drive in its damaged state before you attempt to fix it.

    Another option is to do a sector-by-sector raw read of the data on your drive using a program such as Active Partition Recovery or Recuva to retrieve the files you want and then attempt to format the drive.

    I have heard horror stories about trying to retrieve data from WD My Book Essesntials due to the hardware encryption - not sure which version you have but I would contact WD support directly for help.

    You may also want to read this thread on the WD Community forums.
     
  14. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    Well I definitely cannot clone the drive as I have nowhere near the space needed for that.

    What are the chances of the data disappearing and being unrecoverable?

    EDIT: What's the chance of losing data through TestDisk?

    EDIT2: Nevermind, I'm running Recuva and it sees all my files, recovering it all now.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  15. chinobino

    chinobino Master Guru

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    Anytime you modify the disk in any way you are risking losing your data.

    If testdisk finds an older or incomplete backup of the MBR (and/or MFT if formatted with NTFS) it may only partially restore the partition and the files - it depends on what specifically went wrong in the first place.

    Glad to hear - this is probably your best chance to get everything back, as long as you have room to store your files somewhere.

    Once you have recovered everything you need from the drive (and are 100% sure you have everything) then I would plug the drive in using the USB port and try to format it.

    If it refuses to format you may have a damaged USB bridge card (converts from USB to SATA) - hopefully this is not the case.
     

  16. Cartman372

    Cartman372 Maha Guru

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    After two attempts at recovery, managed to get everything recovered. Hard drive formatted successfully, now its a matter of moving everything back.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  17. chinobino

    chinobino Master Guru

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    Good job!

    Glad to hear you had a positive outcome and you didn't have to pay outrageous prices for a technician to do it for you, it can be really expensive.
     

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