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Old 01. Jan 2010, 11:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unable to access external hard drive.

Hello
recently i have been unable to access my external hard drive, i accidental unplugged the usb from my computer while it was restarting. When my computer started up and i tried to open up my external hard drive an error message appeared then asked to format disk. I did not format the disk for fear of losing my files. I tried plugging my external hard drive to my lap top to make sure it wasn't my computer's usb port but again the error message appeared.

I was reading on-line about Partition Wizard Home Edition so i downloaded and ran the program -took me quiet a while, i waited until the scan finish- it found my deleted partition. I can right click on the selected drive and see all my data is still on there. The only problem is when i try to open the drive via my computer, it does not open. "Location is not available - The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" error message >.< any advice would be greatly appreciated.

http://i47.tinypic.com/11a90ds.jpg

Last edited by aotk; 01. Jan 2010 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01. Jan 2010, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you try running the partition recovery feature in Partition Wizard Home Edition after the scan?

Alternatively you could try repairing the partition table and/or MFT using TestDisk.

Before performing any type of repair like this you should really create a backup image of the disk. I notice in your case it appears that you have 831GB of data stored on that disk which is obviously going to make things difficult unless you have a similar size disk lying around empty!

Good luck with it.

Last edited by Sope; 01. Jan 2010 at 03:12 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 01. Jan 2010, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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TestDisk suggested by Sope might work.

Similar problem had been discussed earlier, and TestDisk had solved the problem. If you need any help, please PM Jojoyee, to ask how he did it. If Jojoyee sees this thread, he will post the steps here. Here is the thread :

http://www.techsupportalert.com/free...partition.html
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Old 01. Jan 2010, 08:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Would it be safe to run TestDisk on Windows 7?
I'm running the partition recovery feature in Partition Wizard Home Edition at the moment, it;s taking a while because the quick search didn't do anything so i'm trying the full disk search.
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Old 02. Jan 2010, 12:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aotk View Post
Would it be safe to run TestDisk on Windows 7?
I've seen mention of it's use under Windows 7 in numerous places (e.g. sevenforums) but unfortunately I've no personal experience.
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Old 02. Jan 2010, 01:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi aotk

Welcome to the forum. Your decision not to format the disk is probably a right step.

I had the same experience when the Windows hanged. Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete had no response. Nothing else could I do other than switching off the power. After a restart, my partition C disappeared.

I used TestDisk, which is a console application, to recover the lost partition and make good the partition table. It detects all my partitions, the lost partition alongside the bootable partitions for Windows XP, 7 and Ubuntu Linux.

The latest stable version 6.11 of TestDisk officially supports upto Windows Vista. I have it tested to work well on Windows 7, though I can't give you a guarantee.

For those who are interested, these steps might be helpful for recovering the lost partition by using TestDisk:
  1. Select 'Create' to have a new log file.
  2. Select a media (e.g. choose Disk /dev/sdf for an external harddisk), and Proceed
  3. Select a partition table type (e.g. Intel/PC partition, by auto-detect)
  4. Select Analyse to search for lost partitions
  5. Select Quick Search
  6. Type Y to answer yes to "Should TestDeisk search for partition created under Vista"
  7. Select Write to overwrite the partition table and press Y to confirm.
  8. Reboot the PC for the change to take effect.

See also TestDisk Step By Step in more details with screenshots.
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Last edited by Jojoyee; 02. Jan 2010 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 02. Jan 2010, 04:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Jojoyee, I followed your instructions for the TestDisk with the exception of selecting a deeper search after the quick search. I rebooted my computer but still no luck. I took a couple of screenshots to make sure i did it correctly:
http://i47.tinypic.com/nvt6op.jpg

I wonder what the feasiblity of actually getting this drive to work is? is the only thing left to do is format it and try to recover what ever i can using recuva?
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Old 02. Jan 2010, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aotk View Post
is the only thing left to do is format it and try to recover what ever i can using recuva?
I would advise against formatting the disk. You should try restoring the partition table, or the partition, since you can see it. There must be a way to get it back. Formatting the disk would make things difficult, and would lower the chances of getting the data back.

You can also search on Google for recovering partition by CDs based on Linux. That can work too.

Thanks Jojoyee for your detailed steps, they will surely help everyone who want to use TestDisk to recover a lost partition.
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Old 02. Jan 2010, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aotk View Post
Jojoyee, I followed your instructions for the TestDisk with the exception of selecting a deeper search after the quick search. I rebooted my computer but still no luck. I took a couple of screenshots to make sure i did it correctly:
I think a deeper search might help since a quick search has not found it. It will search for NTFS backup boot superblock to detect more partitions.

Steps are available here.

Another option is to try Partition Find and Mount. If you are able to find a lost partition, you can mount it and copy the data over to another good partition, when this program is running. The free version will limit the speed of transferring the data though.

Agreed with Anupam that formating is the last resort.
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Last edited by Jojoyee; 02. Jan 2010 at 11:44 AM. Reason: addition.
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