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What happened to my external hard drive

By welchd ·
Howdy,

A couple of days ago, I was using my external hard drive connected to my laptop using Vista. I went to explore the files on the hard drive and windows explorer became non-responsive. I gave it several minutes but it never became responsive again. I ended up turning off power to the computer and restarting windows.

I tried accessing the external hard drive again, but it was showing up as unformatted. I tried the external on another system (non-vista) and the same issue, the computer recognized it as an unformatted disk.

What can I do to get my data back? I had some important work documents and personal pictures stored on the hard drive.

Thank you in advance for any help ~ D

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Try booting it up to a live Linux cd

by w2ktechman In reply to What happened to my exter ...

and see if it can recover your files.
What happened is something became corrupt and Windows cannot read it properly. However in many cases, a live Linux distro (boot without installing on your hard drive) such as knoppix can see and recover your data. Of course, you will need to put the data onto another drive before messing with it. After the data is moved your choices are to play with Linux more and try fixing the disk/partition or re-formatting (using Windows)
Note: While Linux can see and recover data, the format with NTFS does not seem to work well, so use Windows for this.

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