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200 GB Seagate External Drive, Drive Not Formatted

I have a Seagate 200 GB External hard drive. I am running Windows XP on my PC. The drive is full of my documents, pictures, music, and movies. I needed to bring it to a friends house to edit some video footage I had shot. We were using his Mac to do the editing and compilation.

Upon inserting my USB cable into his Mac, the Mac recognized the existence of a device, but we could not access the files.

I brought home the HD and when I plugged it into my PC, my computer recognizes the drive but says "The disk is not formatted, would you like to format it now".

I have not formatted it for fear that I will lose everything from the past seven years. I am currently in a difficult financial situation and do not have the money to pay for a data recovery service.

I am fairly computer literate but would appreciate it if someone could give me step by step help with this problem. I am really nervous that I may have lost everything. Can anyone help me? I need the data ASAP as it contains my job resume and I have a job opportunity which expires within the next two weeks. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help.

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Hi,
Sometimes this kind of problem happens with internal hard disks and other removable medias like pen drive too. Your external hard disk's partition table got corrupted and that's why your system prompts you to format it. Don't ever attempt to format it as thinks will get more complicated to recover the files back from your external drive. You can recover the files from your disk using any ofo the data recovery softwares. Download any of the data recovery software from download.com and run it. Before that learn the software user guide to know about how to use it to recover the files. Usually scanning process to recover files in such softwares will take long time. Let the software to run and at last it may show you the list of all recovered files. safely transfer them to any other external drives/ pen drives. Dont attempt to store the recovered files to the same external drive as it may replace the existing data and makes it not possible to recover files strored on to that particualr location. Be careful in the whole process. and use any of the good reputed recovery softwares. All the best
I hope this is helpful to you

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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If you format it, you will probably lose some things. As you know when something is deleted, it isnt really deleted but rather, its flags are turned off alerting the device that the space is available for writing.

I think Id be looking for a freeware disk recovery utility from Comodo or from the folks that write CClean. Im not certain they have what you need but that is where I would look first.

I dont know that the MAC wrote something to your drive but that cannot be completely discounted.

You might look to Apple for a answer on that.

After you get whole again, I would suggest you use CCLEAN and Defraggler from the same peole on your drive then exercise the prime directive ... back up early and often!

That is a lot of info to trust to one device

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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I hope that the information below may be of use to you

I devised these simple steps that tend to remedy quite a few issues with most USB portable / external hard drives and devices (though not always)

A few things to check but assumes USB and Windows for other interfaces / operating systems (mac/ Linux) similar steps may be adapted to suit.

1. Ensure it is connected directly to the computer to a USB 2.0 port not a USB 1.0 port as this can have effects on performance and reliability

2. Use only the cables that came with it NOT one that fits that may have been lying around or is longer. Not all USB cables are equal even though they should be)

3. Do not connect through an external USB HUB unless that hub is USB 2.0 AND has its own power supply.

4. Use ONLY the power supply that came with it if it has an external power supply Don’t use any other unless you know it has both the same voltage and current rating e.g. 12V 500mA anything rated below that would not work properly.

5. Always use the same port for connecting your devices. Some devices do not like being switched about. If switched they may want to install software / drivers again. This can be especially true if you move a HUB to another port

If you checked and fixed anything there and still have issues then check your hardware from CONTROL PANEL / SYSTEM / HARDWARE.
Any exclamation marks by hardware need fixing before you investigate any further

USB flash drives can fail for no apparent reason.
Sandisk Cruzers are especially bad for this.

USB hard drives should be treated with extreme care.
This is a real hard drive ! and knocks and bumps can quite literally kill them.

Sometimes it is possible to remove the drive from the case and install it direct into a computer to double check that the drive is OK
This depends on the interface eg SATA or IDE

If the drive is clicking / pinging then this is the worst noise you could hear from a hard drive as it is usually the "Click of death"

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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