• Creator
  • #2171137

    Retrieving Data from External Hard Drive


    by dervin80 ·

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent Portable Hard Drive that I was using on my desktop at work to store music, pictures, etc. I removed the hard drive from my desktop and am now trying to use it on a laptop at home. I plug the USB cable into the laptop and the computer prompts me to format the drive, even though it was previously formatted when installed on my desktop. How can I retrieve the information on the disk drive without having to format, and understandably delete the information currently on the hard drive? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Author
    • #2887381


      by dervin80 ·

      In reply to Retrieving Data from External Hard Drive


    • #2887378

      Can your work PC still see the drive?

      by robo_dev ·

      In reply to Retrieving Data from External Hard Drive

      Have you tried it in another PC? Tried another USB cable?

      One issue can be that a USB-powered drive is not getting enough current from a laptop USB port, or thru a USB hub. Is the drive plugged into a motherboard USB port? If the drive came with a USB Y-cable, you must use that to give it enough power.

      Some enclosures have a separate (optional) power supply that may be needed, especially if the PC has a wimpy USB port.

      Seagate has a free diags tool (data lifeguard). If you need data recovery software, something like Easeus may be needed.

      • #2887220

        Reponse To Answer

        by dervin80 ·

        In reply to Can your work PC still see the drive?

        I no longer have access to the work computer therefore can not tell whether it has access or not. It was swapped from a Windows 7 desktop to a Windows 7 laptop so I wouldn’t believe it would be the OS. Also, the drive comes with it’s own power cord, therefore, I would believe that it would be getting plenty of power through the AC connection. Every time I plug the drive into the computer it asks me to format it, then, when I cancel that and click on the drive letter, it tells me that “Access is denied”.

    • #2887374

      In addition to the above answer what are the OS’s on each computer?

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to Retrieving Data from External Hard Drive

      It wasn’t uncommon a while ago to find a Windows Drive formatted under XP was unreadable under Vista or 7.

      Also if you are using a Windows Machine at home and a Apple Mac at work the Apple uses a Different Partition Type and you need to install additional software on the Windows System to be able to read that Partition. If you do not install this Third Party Software you’ll constantly be prompted to format the drive because the Windows System is unable to recognize the existing Partition Type and thinks that the drive is blank and unused.

      Additionally is your Work PC locked down by the business? It’s not impossible to believe that some Very Secure Systems will only ever be able to read external USB Media on the machine that they where formatted on or at least on the network that they where first used on. This is an attempt to prevent Data Theft from the business and if circumvented tends to lead to Immediate Dismissal with no possibility of fighting the dismissal or return to the job. It’s more prevalent since Mr Manning was arrested for supposedly supplying Wikileaks with those Top Secret Documents and is an attempt to prevent it happening again. It’s much easier to prevent the Leak than it is to try to fix it after the event. 😉

      If you where using a Windows System at work I would return the drive to work and try again to see if the work system can read the drive . If it can’t then mostly likely you didn’t use the Safely Remove Option on the Task Bar and the Partition Tables have been corrupted [i]unless of course there is other security involved.[/i] If you failed to use the Safely Remove Option and the drive still actually works as apposed to having dragged it’s Read Write Heads across the Platters and mangling the Heads and scrapping the Covering off the Platters most times just Running Chkdsk /R on the drive will repair the Partition Tables but everything posted above also applies here.

      Without more information there are way too many variables possible so the above are just generic answers to possibly provide assistance. 😉


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