Format Error on External Hard drive

By Karshs ·
I have a dell studio laptop with Vista OS.

I use a external hard disk to save al my information. I am a student of research and lot of my works have been saved on it - academic, work. And i have a collection of pics, videos, music and a lot of research with my thesis stored in it.

I plugged my hard disk on an old computer with OS Windows XP and it said

Disk has to be formatted to be used and i cancelled the format ofcourse.

Now i tried using the hard disk on the Vista running laptop and it says the same thing

Disk to be formatted to be used.

And i really really don't want to format it. I tried reading it on different comps , it still says the same thing.

Please please can you help me out of this...I don't want to lose the information I collected over 6s years, please ...

Thanks you.

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You have corrupted the Partition Tables

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Format Error on External ...

By not dismounting the HDD on the Vista System. You need to use the Safely Remove Option on every External HDD before unplugging it or turning the system off.

Turning the system off doesn't send the External HDD the correct signal to shut down it just removes the power and leaves the HDD to it's own devices to park the Heads and make the drive safe. You may get away with running CHKDSK on the External Drive to repair the File Structure but it just as likely may not work and then you'll need to employ some form of Data Recovery Software that can rebuild the Partition Tables.

If the data is Important as apposed to being Nice to get back you really should send this drive to a specialist Data Recovery House and pay them to recover the Data off it. However if you can accept loosing the data you can try one of the software alternatives here is a very short list of some that are available.














While the last 2 are from the same company they are very different products. Win Hex should only be considered for use by someone who knows Hex Inside Out while Davory is a great cheap General Purpose Application.

Personally I prefer the On Track Option but it's anything but cheap. However because I use this type of software a lot it's paid for itself many times over by now, for a cheaper option Spin Rite from Gibson Research or Stella have both very good reputations by other TR members.


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Lister would have been proud

by mafergus In reply to You have corrupted the Pa ...

Nice reponse-very good links

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run utilities

by mafergus In reply to Format Error on External ...

on the drive. Make sure there are no issues first. Windows will give that message sometimes if there are hardware issues with the drive. Good luck. If it is hardware and the drive utilities can't fix it, you may need to send it to a data recovery outfit.

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