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80 GB external drive failed

My drive was working fine and then when I tried to look at a file it now says "disc is not formatted". In properties it shows "0" space available. Have I lost all the data on the drive?? It is running and the green power light is on and the USB cable is plugged in. I am running Windows XP pro on a Dell Dimension 8400 computer.

Posted by Harry Reid on

  • Harry Reid Jul 03, 2007

    Thanks Noggin,
    I tried the Windows troubleshooter- no avail. Then downloaded Drive Sitter- which would not see the drive at all. Then Downloaded Active@ Recovery Demo mode- It seems to see most of the files so will have to purchase the real version to attempt recovery.
    Thanks for the advice- will re-post if the Active@ works.

  • Harry Reid Jul 16, 2007

    Thanks again for the help Noggin! I tried all the "free" options to no avail and as indicated I purchased Active@ Recovery software online. It was slowwww and a tad cumbersome but I managed to successfully recover about 85% of the files on the failed disc. Suspect it was slow in part due to the fact that the disc is badly corrupted- many bad sectors.
    All in all I'm happy with Active@ as it was a relatively cheap solution - $30 - compared to other software and data recovery by vendors. I got back pretty well everything I needed.


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Try selecting the properites of the drive, security tab, and you may notice that no one owns the drive. Allocate yourself, or everyone, as the owner and you will be able to see the drive and its data once again.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009


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Have you tried the windows troubleshooter on the drive yet? (from properties select the hardware tab and the troubleshooter is there). if no luck, but the troubleshooter gives you some info, please let us know. Also see if windows will let you defragment the drive. Run a virus check on the drive if you haven't recently and it lets you. If you have access to another computer, check the drive on that to see if you get anything different. (the OS version of the other machine shouldn't matter) If you open the unit up and remove the actual hard drive, then install it as an internal drive on a PC, you will bypass any possibility of the external drive extra bits being the problem. Run a disk diagnostics utility on the drive, if you need one, try (there are many more also); http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Disk_Analysis_Utilities/DriveSitter.html or use the built in windows one "chkdsk" which you can find in the folder C:\WINDOWS\system32. Just double click on the chkdsk.exe icon. If none of this gets you anywhere, chances are the drive has developed a fault in the location where the File allocation table is stored (this is usually the part most accessed). Formatting the drive again will probably solve this by saving the FAT elsewhere, but you would lose your data. For valuable data, there are data recovery companies that usually charge a fortune, but ask if you need this and we can try and source one near you for a quote. Ask again if you need more help or have more info from trying stuff out Hope this helps :)

Posted on Jul 02, 2007

  • Anonymous Jul 03, 2007

    try chkdsk before paying for anything - many of the ones you pay for just use it anyway, except with a nicer user interface.

    If anything can see the files at all then the data should be software recoverable.

    Appreciate any feedback on active@ - new one to me

    Thanks :)

  • Anonymous Jul 16, 2007

    Thanks for the feedback - did the drive format ok after you recovered the data, or was the damage physical rather than software based?

    glad to hear you got there :)


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