Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 33
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,537
    Thanks
    2,304
    Thanked 2,121 Times in 870 Posts

    HELP DESPERATELY NEEDED: Problems with External Hard Drive

    Hi,

    I have an external hard drive which holds the majority of my files. ALL OF MY ARTWORK, MUSIC, AND OTHER IMPORTANT FILES ARE ON THIS DRIVE.
    My computer recently updated and ever since my external hard drive has been non-accessible. When I click on it, it says that the disc must format. In normal mode, when I click OK for that option, it loads infinitely and I cancel it each time.
    When I tried the same thing in safe mode, a sign appeared saying "WARNING: Formatting the disc will set the drive back to it's original setting, deleting all of it's contents!" Obviously, I do not want to delete my files so I cannot format the disc.

    Can you please help me so that I can use my drive WITHOUT DELETING MY FILES?

    No, they are not backed up (stupid of me, I know) and I do not know of another computer that has enough memory to hold all of the files so I can't simply transport the contents to my computer then put it back when I'm finished formatting the drive.

    More info: I'm using Windows Vista Home Edition (which is the only OS this drive has ever been used with), and there are no viruses on my machine.

    I've been fighting with this for about a week and a half now and I'm becoming fairly stressed about. I honestly no not what I can do.

    PLEASE HELP ME!

    Jake


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    458
    Thanks
    235
    Thanked 135 Times in 78 Posts
    what do you exactly by "my computer recently updated?" - software or have you bought a new one?
    i personaly never encountered such a problem with my external drivers, though i had others... what i can recommend you is first of all to be patiant and give time to the ex. hard drive to load, even if it takes some time. you could also check the company's site whether you need updates for the external hard drive, and you should probably contact them with this question to tech-support...
    in any case, i think the safest thing to do is to get another ex. hard drive or a friend's computer, so you could temporarily back-up your stuff, and then if you still need to format the ex. hard drive, no important material will be lost...
    truely hope this helps a bit, and good luck!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,169
    Thanks
    733
    Thanked 591 Times in 314 Posts
    Does the drive work on computers running different OS's? If not, (and worst case scenario) you'll likely have to take it in to professionals that can retrieve data from corrupted drives.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    801
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 428 Times in 168 Posts
    If this is a "I can't lose this data period" then you should be going to a professional.

    If you want to dick around and try to it yourself then pop it out of its enclosure and plug it in a real SATA slot. If you have a bad head or sector you can't really do much, but I would try that first.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    649
    Thanks
    518
    Thanked 301 Times in 164 Posts
    might be formatted to ntfs and pc is assuming its on FAT? either way something like partition magic might help you sort that out..if its totally gone there are a few good free data recovery programs that helped me out in the past..you should be able to get most data back by yourself just by running these. becareful not to write ANYTHING on that partition or you'll overwrite on stuff.
    BLOG
    [/B][/URL]



    __________________

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    4,193
    Thanks
    5,154
    Thanked 2,053 Times in 1,109 Posts
    Last May I was in this exact situation. The problem may not be the updating, but an accidental damage to the hard drive. Hold up your harddrive to your ear and rattle it very gently. If you hear anything rattle in there, it's probably the arm that reads the disc, out of place.

    If not, then it should still be good. Hook it up to another computer and retrieve your data.

    If that doesn't work, or if it rattles, there's good news. All your data is still safe on that disk. Just wrap it in non-static plastic and send it to a professional who can retrieve it all for you. It'll be expensive. It cost me 560 EU, although I also got a new external harddrive out of it.

    Try and keep all your files on your computer as well as the external, and buy more than one, so this doesn't happen again.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    325
    Thanks
    250
    Thanked 42 Times in 29 Posts
    hey jake,
    i know how you feel, "OMG I LOOSE ALL MY FILES"-fear is awful.

    one question first: have you actually clicked "ok" when asked if you want your drive to be formatted?

    you could do this in this order:

    - plug the drive into another usb port

    - try the drive on another computer

    - if the drive worked on another computer or you don't have access to one try a different os on your pc. just get a linux boot cd from the internet and boot with that and check your drive again. if it works, you windows is corrupt.

    - disassemble the external drive and install the drive inside your computer. if it works, your external case is damaged. if this doesn't work you might wanna try it in another pc to be sure. if nothing works, your actual harddrive is damaged. and you should ask for professional help.

    good luck with you data!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    In my own thoughts.
    Posts
    1,359
    Thanks
    434
    Thanked 561 Times in 256 Posts
    1) Put it on an XP machine, see if it works there.
    2) http://www.google.be/#hl=nl&q=vista+...8322f9be75f1f4
    3) If you still don't find anything, visit a pro.
    4) Install XP.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,537
    Thanks
    111
    Thanked 1,860 Times in 604 Posts
    If it's recognising your disk - and if it's not an ancient HD - you could try downloading a SMART analysis tool. Active Hard Disk Monitor and HD Sentinel both have free versions. If your HD is detectable and partially working then they will give you complete information on any problems your drive has. Of course if the drive is completely bolloxed, or it's an old drive that doesn't support SMART then they're of no use but it only takes 30 seconds to download and check.

    http://www.hdsentinel.com/

    I use the full version of HD Sentinel on my home PC - tells you everything from HD temperature to read and write errors, data throughput, estimated lifespan, more info than you could ever use. £15 is a cheap price to pay to ensure your disks don't fail and take your data with them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    653
    Thanks
    124
    Thanked 230 Times in 117 Posts
    Like Shard said, it might be a mixup between the NTFS or FAT32 file systems. Altough it seems unlikely. If you used Windows before and Mac now and cannot access it now it might be because Mac can only read FAT and not NTFS (might be wrong here, a friend had this trouble in the past with one of the Macs at school).

    I have a HD based MP3 player, and it once kept getting stuck on startup. Turns out the firmware got corrupt (don't ask how). So I did a firmware upgrade and it worked again.

    Another option is that the drive is simply damaged, tough it's likely that in this case the vast majority of data can still be retrieved by a professional.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Belgium, Antwerp
    Posts
    952
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 36 Times in 20 Posts
    Yeah i know the feeling - climax of frustration.

    Try different OS also unplug the disk for a couple of days and try again.
    I have had a pocket size disk that didn't want to boot. After a week it worked again for a day.
    Then i had to repeat the cycle.
    It worked just long enough to recover all the data.


    Once I lost a lot of data with a failing SATA raid setup...
    now i have duplicates and sometimes triple copies of everything, spread over different external disks.
    Last edited by Uziel; August 19th, 2009 at 10:52 AM.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    1,318
    Thanks
    1,081
    Thanked 1,440 Times in 427 Posts
    Had this happen 2 times... all the above are reasonable suggestions
    - try a different computer, different OS (lots of drives will not go between Mac and PC depending on how you initially formatted it)
    - see if it rattles, could be a hardware and not a software failure
    - check the manufacturer's site for driver updates
    - try it on a different cord connection (a different USB or firewire cable)
    - does it need an external power source?
    - failing that, see a pro

    And be SURE to back up data in more than one location. Those myBook backup systems are really inexpensive these days, and these little drives take so much abuse being carted around, their failure rate is kinda high. Good luck!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Algonquin Land
    Posts
    92
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 29 Times in 11 Posts
    Like said, try using another OS, A live cd like knoppix could be an avenue.
    You boot up with the cd and the os load without installing

    There is some recovery software that exists also.

    When I buy a new bigger disk for my computer, I keep the old one as a backup in the plastic wrapper. usb-ide adapters are very cheap.

    Tarc

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3,430
    Thanks
    643
    Thanked 1,484 Times in 719 Posts
    Thirding the "try it with a live linux disk" idea. Fedora or Ubuntu are two of the more familiar looking ones for Windows users.

    Good luck with it, I experienced "Dead Hard Drive Funtimes" a few months back, got 80% of it back but it was still no fun..
    Last edited by Flake; August 19th, 2009 at 12:18 PM.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    London
    Posts
    398
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 110 Times in 61 Posts
    Not sure why people are talking about NTFS and FAT32. Jake already mentioned his pc runs vista, so automatically you know fat32 is not involved. It would be better to not say anything at all instead of giving dodgy advice which could cause more harm than good.

    For Jake, there's a few scenarios here:
    1. Physical problem with external drive.
    2. Loss/corruption of data.
    3. Corruption of MFT.

    If it's option 1 then there's not much you can unless you spend serious money. However if option 2 or 3 then file recovery tools are available to recover the data where ever possible. Try following Baron's advice but if you're having trouble or if it doesn't work try taking it to a pc repair person who should have more powerful tools.

    Also, if you do manage to recovery the data I would get another drive to put the data on. This will provide a second back up as you can now never really trust the drive you have not to act up again.
    Last edited by aefx; August 19th, 2009 at 01:27 PM.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,537
    Thanks
    2,304
    Thanked 2,121 Times in 870 Posts
    OK, so I tried a number of things. Firstly, I connected it to another computer with that runs on Windows XP and I am getting the same thing (when I try to access the drive it states the the disc must be formatted, etc.) . I tried shaking the drive and I heard no rattling which means that there is no physical problem with the drive (semi-relieving I suppose). I also tried Error Checking it, but the drive cannot be accessed without formatting so that, of course, did not work.

    I doubt that the data retrieving programs will work on this because the drive is seemingly entirely resistant to access without being formatted.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    4,193
    Thanks
    5,154
    Thanked 2,053 Times in 1,109 Posts
    Dude, unless you format, it's all still there, and retrievable. Take it to a professional. That's what I did, and I got everything back. And I tried everything you're doing first.

    If it turns out they can't retrieve anything, they probably won't charge you. Ask. You can go online for a company near you in data retrieval. Or you could ask at someone at the Geek Squad if they do it, or know a company that can. Ask around. Any friends in the industry might know a good company nearby, having had the same problem.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Start Computer Management (right click on My PC --> Manage) and then Disk Management.

    Does it see the external drive? (Which is turned on and connected of course).
    Here you can try to activate the volume. To my shame i must admit I can't remember exactly how I did it, but I had the same problem a long time ago.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    325
    Thanks
    250
    Thanked 42 Times in 29 Posts
    it sounds like a damaged boot sector to me. not like there is some physical damage to drive or case. but stop shaking the drive . s.m.a.r.t. won't help you.

    windows can't access corrupt drives and thinks they need to be formated. a program speficiallly designed to recover partition tables and bad sectors might very well work. if you don't want to go to an expert and spend lots of money try it yourself! it's not that hard. going to an expert should be your last resort. (unless money isn't an issue of course)

    this is open-source and free (and can recover damaged boot sectors):
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk (read the doc!)

    keep us updated and good luck
    Last edited by janni; August 20th, 2009 at 02:48 AM.

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to janni For This Useful Post:


  22. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,537
    Thanks
    2,304
    Thanked 2,121 Times in 870 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by janni View Post
    it sounds like a damaged boot sector to me. not like there is some physical damage to drive or case. but stop shaking the drive . s.m.a.r.t. won't help you.

    windows can't access corrupt drives and thinks they need to be formated. a program speficiallly designed to recover partition tables and bad sectors might very well work. if you don't want to go to an expert and spend lots of money try it yourself! it's not that hard. going to an expert should be your last resort. (unless money isn't an issue of course)

    this is open-source and free (and can recover damaged boot sectors):
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk (read the doc!)

    keep us updated and good luck
    I ran that program and files are already being recovered from my drive! I believe this will work! Thank you so much!

  23. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    325
    Thanks
    250
    Thanked 42 Times in 29 Posts


    glad i could help. realy hope it works!

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to janni For This Useful Post:


  25. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,537
    Thanks
    2,304
    Thanked 2,121 Times in 870 Posts
    So I've now run entirely out of space on my computer's hard drive. Like I said my hard drive was very full (about 300 GB) and my computer only holds about 60 GBs total. I don't entirely know what to do. I was thinking about buying a new ex hard drive and then transferring the corrupted files to the new one, then format the old, then transfer the files back to the old, then return the new. I doubt that BestBuy would let me return the new drive though... :/

  26. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,201
    Thanks
    4,875
    Thanked 16,685 Times in 5,021 Posts
    Buy a new one that's bigger than the combined size of your two drives and use it to back up both. Isn't it worth the money not to go through this again?

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

  27. The Following User Says Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  28. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    325
    Thanks
    250
    Thanked 42 Times in 29 Posts
    also you never never never wanna give away a harddrive that had your data on it. because as you just saw it usually stays accessible no matter what. unless you overwrite it with junk several several times.

    and you don't know yet what caused the error on your ext. drive. what happened once, might happen again.

  29. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Quito - Ecuador
    Posts
    3,123
    Thanks
    438
    Thanked 333 Times in 223 Posts
    Yeah man, buy at least 1 tb drive. 100-200 bucks. Worth it 100%!!
    "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu" | SB | Portfolio | FJGC (blog) | DA (Profile) | EJERCICIOS DE COLOR

  30. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3,430
    Thanks
    643
    Thanked 1,484 Times in 719 Posts
    Meanwhile, get the most important things backed up to DVD, just in case..

  31. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Calgary,AB Canada
    Posts
    597
    Thanks
    363
    Thanked 613 Times in 197 Posts
    Similar thing happened to me a year ago. I had so much collected over the years I just paid someone to fix the issue. Also bought an additional external HD to back everything up with.
    My Imac only has 200 some GB so I keep everything on an external. Now I have a double of that external that I leave unplugged. About once a month I sync it al up. It'll save me in the long run.
    Just an Idea if you have the cash, but it sound like your getting thing worked out.
    Happy to hear it.

  32. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Quito - Ecuador
    Posts
    3,123
    Thanks
    438
    Thanked 333 Times in 223 Posts
    Thanks for the reminder to buy another one Dan, even the large backup can fuckup unfortunately.. I'll need to get one soon enough
    "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu" | SB | Portfolio | FJGC (blog) | DA (Profile) | EJERCICIOS DE COLOR

  33. The Following User Says Thank You to GriNGo For This Useful Post:


  34. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    4,537
    Thanks
    2,304
    Thanked 2,121 Times in 870 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by GriNGo View Post
    Yeah man, buy at least 1 tb drive. 100-200 bucks. Worth it 100%!!
    This drive is a TB. Luckily I only I used a small portion before it "died".

    And yeah, Elwell, I don't know if they make like 1.3 TB drives.

  35. #30
    The7Artist7's Avatar
    The7Artist7 is offline I'll have a double Rocktastic with added awesome please
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,713
    Thanks
    1,444
    Thanked 1,300 Times in 559 Posts
    just googled '2TB drive' there's quite a few out there so I think you're covered - seem to cost anything up from £124 (I'm in UK) so not sure how much one would go for in dollars.

    hope that's helpful - cool you're able to access the files now

    Edit: check this out (only 1.5TB but should do the trick and one of the cheaper ones) -

    http://www.amazon.com/Iomega-Prestig...0815012&sr=1-4

    I'm not aware of which makes are best but I like my iomega external drive as it's been reliable for me)
    Last edited by The7Artist7; August 20th, 2009 at 08:46 PM.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Anatomy model + External hard drive for sale
    By Black Sun in forum The Art Bazaar
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: September 26th, 2009, 09:31 PM
  2. Best reliable external hard drive for data backup?
    By TsunamiZ in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: October 22nd, 2007, 05:00 AM
  3. External Hard drives
    By dkounios in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: January 25th, 2007, 11:50 AM
  4. Good External Hard Drive Brand Name???
    By JoshuaTheJames in forum Artist Lounge
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: December 6th, 2005, 12:59 PM
  5. does an external hard drive help?
    By pickboy in forum Painter
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: March 21st, 2005, 05:21 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Designed by The Coldest Water, we build the coldest best water bottles, ice packs and best pillows.