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  • #2213481

    Will initializing my eHD delete all the info on it?


    by johnneh ·

    Recently my external hard drive (500 gb My Passport Essential by Western Digital) was dropped onto the floor, and it began acting funny… When I plug it into the computer, it makes a clicking noise a few times, then Windows gives the alert sound that a USB device has been plugged in. I cannot see the device in “My Computer”, however, when I open up disk management, I see the hard drive listed as “Disk 1- Unknown – Not initialized”. I know this means I need to assign it a drive letter, but it also means I need to “initialize” it. Will this mean deleting all of the ever so important data that is on it? I realize that my drive is dying soon, and if I do get it to read again, backing up is the main priority. I haven’t much experience with these external hard drives, as this is my first time owning one. I appreciate any help given.

    By the way I am on a Windows Vista operating system

All Answers

  • Author
    • #3027558


      by johnneh ·

      In reply to Will initializing my eHD delete all the info on it?


    • #3027554

      It writes a Master Boot record.

      by seanferd ·

      In reply to Will initializing my eHD delete all the info on it?

      Which you may not want to do. Windows is seeing the drive as a new, unformatted drive.

      Yes, there is definitely something mechanically wrong with it, and even turning it on may be causing further damage. You could possibly even be looking at expensive forensic recovery if the data is important.

      If the drive is physically broken, initializing may do nothing anyway. But if the drive is removable from the external case, you might try seating it in the computer as a slave to see if it is readable.

      The absolutely best piece of advice I personally can offer is to contact WD. And do not power on the drive unless you have a plan of action.

    • #3027532

      You can try WD’s Data LifeGuard Software

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to Will initializing my eHD delete all the info on it?

      But by your description the drive is on it’s way to Silicon Heaven. If there is Data that is [b]Important[/b] and must be recovered I would say pack it up and send it to a Data Recovery Specialist who can work with dead Drives.

      If the data isn’t important and would only be nice to get back you can try initializing it but I very much doubt that it will do anything useful.

      The full destructions for WD’s Data LifeGuard are available here. 😉


    • #3027531

      If the data is “ever so important”

      by santeewelding ·

      In reply to Will initializing my eHD delete all the info on it?

      You do as Col does: you inscribe on clay tablets, fire them, and bury them out back.


      The masses only now discover the meaning of the words, “data” and “serious”. This goes further back than Gutenberg. Back further than the Sumerians.

      How much “data” do you suppose is enshrined in Stonehenge, or, the pyramids? Or the stele discovered in the movie, “2001”?

      How does what you have compare?

      Do you see what I mean by, “important”? Learn the meaning of “important” before you trouble others with banalities.

      May be that “important” is what lies between your ears — not some stupid drive.

      • #3027403

        okay “santeewelding”

        by johnneh ·

        In reply to If the data is “ever so important”

        …yeah that was really useful.

        but to the other two who replied, that’s what I feared I’d have to do (take it to an expensive recovery place), and was prepared for such. (of course not financially, yet )

        well, thanks all

        • #3025578

          You want quick and dirty

          by santeewelding ·

          In reply to okay “santeewelding”

          I don’t do quick and dirty.

          Quick and dirty is what did you in, to begin with.

    • #3025594

      You can try to recover the drive.

      by ic-it ·

      In reply to Will initializing my eHD delete all the info on it?

      HDD Regeneraor works very well, but is not free.

      MHdd32 is free and also does a nice job.

      Download this ISO, create the CD, read the documentation, and let it run a few loops.
      Set the program to repair and conduct a loop test. Let it run at least three times through. I have had a lot of luck recovering drives with this program. (I have no affiliation with them).

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