Questions

How to retrieve files from a drive needed to be re-formatted?

+
1 Votes
Locked

How to retrieve files from a drive needed to be re-formatted?

Healer
I have a portable drive that has some files in it. Somehow all of a sudden the files in there are not visible or retrievable. Connecting it to a computer USB port, I can only see a message saying the drive needs to be formatted.

If I follow the prompt to format it, I can imagine I would lose all the files in there. Is there any way I can go around it? I wonder!
+
2 Votes

Yes

mikeadams1137
Collapse -

Portable USB drive...If you're being asked to reformat it...then it means Windows is not able to read it's original formatting..Was it formatted as NTFS or FAT32? Did you use it on a Windows computer or MAC? When did it last work, what changed since? ie: Cables, USB Ports, New Drivers etc...

There is a way to access raw data but it requires certain tools. I recommend looking around the Internet for a CD/Tool called "Hirens"...or an "ERD" CD...these are great and valuable IT tools used on a daily basis.

+
0 Votes
Healer
Collapse -

Thanks! Hiren's Boot CD sounds good for a lot of problems. It seems to be free too. I am not sure if it could fix my hardware problem without losing any files though.

+
0 Votes
Healer
Collapse -

The portable drive was used without formatting. So it must be whatever default format it came with. I suppose it would be FAT32 like USB in spite of its size. Am I right?

Anyway, what is the significance of it being NTFS or FAT32? Are files on FAT32 easier recoverable?

+
2 Votes
OH Smeg
Collapse -

Is that the drive was disconnected without being dismounted. This can be OK 99 times out of 100 but you are eventually going to hit that 1 in a 100 time that the partition Tables go south.

What to do here all depends on just how "IMPORTANT" the data on the drive is. If it's "IMPORTANT" stop using the drive IMMEDIATELY and pack it up and send it to a Data Recovery Specialist Now.

However if it would just be Nice to recover the data and you can afford to loose it all there are several things you can try but you need to remember that every time you unsuccessfully do something it's just that much harder to recover anything at all and if you then send it to a Professional Data Recovery House you will have drastically increased the costs as well as reducing the chance of getting a 100% recovery.

If you just disconnected the drive without using the Safely Remove Option you can go the Run Command and enter chkdsk /r for the Drive letter that the External Drive should be and hope that Windows can repair the Partition Tables. It may or may not work but what the **** it costs nothing and it just might work.

If that doesn't work look here for a list of Data Recovery Software

http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/questions/101-342724?tag=content;discussion-table

+
0 Votes
Healer
Collapse -

Sending it to a Data Recovery Specialist would be very expensive.

I will certainly try "chkdsk /r" when I get hold of it again. It is not my drive, just my friend's.

Thanks for the list of Data Recovery Software. I didn't know that "chkdsk /r" and data recovery software would work on "unformatted" disks though.

+
0 Votes
OH Smeg
Collapse -

Both Chkdsk & Data Recovery Tools will work with a drive like this.

I do a lot of Data Recovery Work and I have yet to find a Utility that required the drive to be formatted.

Col

+
0 Votes
Healer
Collapse -

Col,

Are you saying that data recovery utility software doesn't usually require drive to be formatted before they can retrieve lost files?

+
0 Votes
OH Smeg
Collapse -

Yes the drive doesn't need an active partition on it.

Though it must of at one stage had a Active Partition on it.

The reason you have been asked about the Partition Type is because it depends on what Software to Attack the Drive with.

Currently there are 2 type of Data Recovery Software the first type recovers Files from a HDD the second Type Rebuilds the File Structure on that HDD. To use the second type you don't need an active readable partition.

Col

+
0 Votes
Healer
Collapse -

I apologize. I didn't see your latest comment until today. I like the previous forum format better, it is clearer.

I don't quite follow the two types of data recovery software. Don't they both recover from hard drives? How do we identify which type of software?

+
2 Votes
the edidas
Collapse -

Assuming you haven't formated it yet, try connecting the drive on a different USB port or on different computers. It happens very often that the lower than needed voltage of the USB ports makes Windows unable to read the file system of the removable hard drives.
Try also a USB cable with double connector, that should fix the issue if the file system in the drive is still intact.