External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error

1 Votes

External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error

I have a Seagate 160 GB External Hard Drive that I've been using for about 2 years or so. Recently, I ran into a problem accessing it. When I turn it on, Windows assigns it a letter and I can see it under My Computer like normal, but then when I click on it, it says the drive is not formatted and asks me if I want to format it. I assume reformating it would erase all of te information I have on it so I didn't do it. I tried plugging it into a different usb port and i tried plugging it into my other computer, which is a Sony with Window XP, and it still didn't work. The computer I'm using is a Hp with Windows XP.

I downloaded a program called Test Disk which is made to find damaged partitions and read the drive. The harddrive has no partitions though, its just one big drive. I had the program display the list on the drive and all the folders and files appear to still be on the hard drive. The TestDisk program also came with a data recovery program. I started using it to recover the files, it estimated about 16 hours to move the files. After about 1 hr 40 min., I stopped it. It had recovered 366 files, all music files except for 2, but when I looked at the folder it was putting the files in, all the file names had been changes to f########. This wouldn't really be that big of a deal for my pictures, but I also have hundreds of cds worth of music on there, and more importantly, I make music in a sequencing program, and I use this hard drive to keep all my audio samples in. Without the folders and filenames, all of my samples are useless.

I think I know what caused the problem. I usually turn off the hard drive when I'm done with it and I didn't know that I'm suposed to click the little button in the bottom right of the screen before turning off the drive. I found the problem at Seagate's help site:
It tells what can cause the problem, and what to do to keep it from happening again, but it does not tell how to fix it. I'm basically looking for a program that will read the hard drive and allow me to copy all the files and folders to a different hard drive without losing the names and folders. I don't really wanna spend a lot of money for this, but I need the files so I'm hoping for something as cheap as possible but whatever will work. Any suggestions?