External HD lost files and formatting

By Rosstamon ·
I have an external HD that lost all files and formatting. When I try to access it I get the message "You need to format the disk in drive I: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?"
So my questions are: Should I format it or will I lose everything?
What is the best preferable free software out there to recover this data?

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All Answers

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Try Free Recuva

by amycopper In reply to External HD lost files an ...

You will lose everything if you format the hard drive. Try Recuva to recover files.

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This is a common problem

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to External HD lost files an ...

Because people fail to use the Safely Remove option for external media. They unplug external drives while a write process is underway and it damages the Partition Tables of the External Hard Drive.

You can try opening the command line in Windows and entering the CHKDSK /R command for the external drive and this should repair the Partition Tables.

In future remember to use the Safely Remove Option or this will continue happening and may cause the premature failure of the HDD by dragging the Read/Write heads on the Platters when you unplug the drive.

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Solve it

by Alice Samanta In reply to External HD lost files an ...

Even after trying various manual techniques like giving CHKDSK/ R command etc. things don't work, then you can try an alternative approach to fix this issue, which will definitely help you to recover all your valuable data from there.

To know more:

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Stellar Data Recovery Can Help

by abby1991 In reply to External HD lost files an ...

Well, it seems that your drive has become RAW as when it turns to RAW on the Windows operating system, then only it shows several error messages like:

“Your hard disk drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?”
“You need to format disk drive before you can use it”
“Windows was unable to complete the format or external hard drive cannot be formatted”

Although the error messages are different yet they have the same consequence, i.e. loss or inaccessibility of data. In such situations, it becomes extremely important to recover all of the valuable data.

For recovery, you can try Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows as it is one of the most powerful & easy to use software that will help you recover data from corrupted, accidentally formatted or lost partitions of a drive. It’s 100% safe and can recover all your valuable documents, emails, photos, videos, and audio files, quickly and easily.

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