Power failure has cused my 400g external USB Drive to lose partiton information as well as the MBR and MFT. I have software to recover my files from it, but would like to reformat the drive once recovered, I cannot find it in disk management but do find it in my computer but won't let me access it without the recover software. All I want is to reformat the drive and get it to work again, weithout spending $200 to have it recovered.
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Your only option is to reformat. This happens when the MFT is damaged. MFT (Master File Table). Once you format the drive, download, install and run Recura and do "Deep Scan". You should be able to recover your files.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to reformat a drive and not lose the data that is stored on it.
I would suggest formatting the drive as NTFS if you are using Windows or HFS if you are using a Mac and then use the software that was included on the drive to backup your computer.
Be sure to copy the software that came ON the external drive to your computer before reformatting. If you are unable to find the software on the drive, you will have to buy the software from Memeo or contact Western Digital for assistance: http://www.memeo.com/choose_backup.php
Get a recovery disc for your computer (OS or a partitioning/utlity tool). You need to find out if you lost the MBR (the where is the OS information), the partition, or if the hard disc failed.
It's very likely that any repair attempt may reformat your hard disc. So consider a Live CD rescue tool and backing up if you haven't been consistently doing so. (Attach a USB hard drive or external optical drive for the backup data.)
Good luck and I hope this helps.
Cindy Wells (who has a computer smart relative who reformatted the computer without salvaging the data to find out the hard drive was failing and that was why it lost the MBR the first time.)
Unfortunately, Windows isn't the most efficient operating system when it comes to it's "Plug 'n Play" abilities. In my experience, external hard drives can be particularly sensitive when it comes to unplugging the data cable while navigating the drive. I've had two external drives lose all data because of that flaw in the NTFS file system. The MFT exists on every drive with NTFS storage method. If that becomes corrupt, it can render the drive useless.
The drive may have power, but that quiet beeping you hear is an indication that the reader head is stuck to the platter and may be grinding into it. There is a myth (may or may not be true) that says if you put the drive in your freezer for a few minutes, take it out, drop it from 6 inches onto a hard surface, it may knock the head loose and make the drive work again.
I tried that method, and it made the situation worse for me, but it may work for you. I would resort to that option only if nothing else fixes it.
What has happened is that your file system on the hard drive became corrupt becasue windows had not updated the MFT on the drive. THe MFT is a table of contents regarding whats on your drive.
What happened is similar to someone cutting out a few pages of the table of contents in a book that has a lot of pages.
Windows tried to fix this stupid programming method by asking people to always use the "safely remove hardware" button in the taskbar to force it to update the MFT. In this case yur a victim of the Hard Discs MFT not updating properly probably because software was accessing the drive when it was disconnected from the machine.
You need to run chkdsk to have it rebuild your MFT.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265 <-- How to perform Check disk *NOTE: Remember to use the drive letter that the USB External is on.. Not just type CHKDSK. It will default to drive C to scan for errors. ex: c:\chkdsk g: (where g is the drive your external usb is) If you get an error like "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.. see my notes below. Beware that it will take a LONG TIME to perform this procedure.
If this doesn't fix it.. contact a data recovery specialist.. It's worth the cost. There are two types. Simple and Advanced. Simple= recovering files your deleted with the delete button (fairly easy with the right software) Advanced = recovering files from a hard disk crash or file system corruption. (Not easy and very time consuming)
I've had this same problem, and the solution for me was in the USB cord, not the cheap one that came with it I had to buy a more expensive USB cord, one with brass or gold colored ends on it afterwards I was able to retrieve all my photos, music, etc. I hope this helps
You may want to try:
1. HP Utility Software (actually intended for flashdrives but I have tried it and it worked with my external USB drive)http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/serveroptions/us/download/23839.html
2. Partition Magic http://www.soft32.com/download_151.html
(have used this likewise with no problems just don't forget to set in preferences your main drive as read only)
Hope this be of some help and give you ideas. Pls post again how things turn. Good luck and kind regards.