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Disk in drive is not formatted

By jmoody76 ·
I have a Western Digital 200GB Serial ATA hard drive in a Windows XP Pro computer that I was using and had lots of data on it. I was copying files to it and it was extremely slow so I canceled the copy and rebooted the system. When it came back up I could see the drive in My Computer but when I tried to access it I got an error message that the drive was not formatted and asked if I wanted to format it. I did not format it. Is there any way to get the OS to recognize this drive and get my data back? Thanks.

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by Black Panther In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...

Set the drive up as a 'slave' on another bootable system and see if you can see the drive and the files. You may then back them up.

If the drive was really slow it could have been running out of space? could be on the way out - have corrupt sectors??

If you can get the data off as a slave then try reformatting and re-loading the OS.

good luck

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by In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...



There is no substitute for a current backup. You need to have a backup and restore strategy, religiously follow it, and rely on it when your HDD fails. It is never a question of "if" but "when" your HDD will fail.


It sounds like your HDD is failing. It will likely stop working entirely soon. You should get whatever data you can off of it and replace it ASAP.

The slow operation you observed is likely I/O retries due to I/O failures. This is a dead giveaway.

Data recovery tools may help. I have never used any of these tools. I never want to have to use them. But, I have read good things about them.

Spin Rite by Gibson Research

Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional

Best of luck to you...

-----Steve Jackson

Software Corporation (Softcorp)
Advanced pro bono tools and utilities free for personal use

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by jmoody76 In reply to

thanks, i had to use a recovery software called getdataback. worked very well

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by jmoody76 In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...

This drive never had an OS on it. It was always slaved and used for data only. I tried slaving it another anohter system and it can't read it either.

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by jmoody76 In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...

The drive was about half full and was only about 3 months old so I thought it would be ok until I could find a strategy to back up 100GB of data. Not an easy thing on a tight budget. I will try the tools. Thanks.

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by jasonbis In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...

I have had something similiar happen to me with my 40GB WD drive. I had tons of data on it that of course was not backed up. Do as the others suggest and try to slave it to see if you can copy some files over. Even if you are successful, your hard drive will still be in bad shape. What I did was download the Data Lifeguard tools from Western Digital found here

Be sure to select your model hard drive. Download the utility and place it on a floppy or bootable cd. Boot off the disk.I used this years ago and it ran a scan on my hard drive, told me the drive was bad, and gave me a report number. Once it was through, it also gave me the option to attempt to repair the drive. I tried it and it worked perfect. I never lost any data and I have been using the drive ever since which has been about 3 years. Hopefully your luck will be the same. Either way, the tool will spit out a repair number that you can call WD with and they will tell you what it means so you can go from there. Good luck.

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by willcomp In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...

I don't have a magic bullet at present, but need to ensure that situation is understood.

Drive is SATA (so stated in question).
Used for file storage and not bootable disk.
Drive appears in My Computer drive list with a drive letter assigned.

Have you checked drive properties in Disk Manager?

Is boot disk SATA or PATA?

Was Data Lifeguard used to partition and format disk?

SP1 or SP2 installed?

Download and run Western Digital diagnostics (non destructive) to see if drive appears healthy or has obvious problems.

Will be glad to scratch my head (or other area) and see if I can come up with something.


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by willcomp In reply to

Assume drive was NTFS and not FAT32.

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by jmoody76 In reply to Disk in drive is not form ...

This question was closed by the author

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