External Hard Drive problems

  nebuchan 21:06 12 Aug 2007

I am very concerned, that my external hard drive, which has all my important data backed up, well i can't get access to it.

When i plug it in and put it on, an icon comes up in my computer. I click on it but as i click to open it, on my computer it says that the disc in drive X is not formatted, do you want to format it? and a yes and no box. I have clicked no, as formatting = deletion as i seem to remember.

What should i do? I have some real important files on there, "safely backed up!"

I have tried accessing it on a differnt computer

What should i do?


  Ben capewell 23:16 12 Aug 2007

What type of conection are you using, presume its usb, and are you using the same pc as what you stored the data to.
Dont know what you are like on pcs but some times the simple things may work, i would try turning of pc plugging it in and then restarting.
Thats the best i can do so far mate and im suprised no one else has any ideas.
Also right click the icon in my computer, and try explore rather than open.

  UncleP 23:47 12 Aug 2007

Could be a number of things. First, you were right not to format the disk - that invitation is one of the most misleading and dangerous in the computing world. Also, do not at this stage try to write to the disk, although from what you say it appears unlikely that you would succeed.

Second, if you haven't already done so, check out the simple things which could go wrong eg power reaching the HD (indicator lights on, HD noise present etc), connexions and cables ok, and so on.

Third, if the really knowledgeable guys (unlike myself!) on the forum are to help, they will need more information about your system:-

(a) your basic computer configuration, particularly the OS. Also important is whether you made any changes to the system about the time that the fault occurred, especially adding or changing external components.

(b) details of the external HD, manufacturer, model number, capacity, USB1/USB2/Firewire etc. Are you using the manufacturer's software for backing up?

(c) it would appear from what you say that the OS is detecting the external HD but cannot read from it. If you go to the Windows disk management page you should find a list of the detected HD and optical drives, starting with Disk 0 - the master HD drive C:. If the external HD is present, make a note of all the status comments given in its window and post them here. That should give a general indication of where the fault lies.

  UncleP 00:56 13 Aug 2007

Sorry, I type (and think!) too slowly these days, and missed Ben capewell's contribution.

I should also have been specific on some points. There isn't, for example, a 'disk management' page. Open the Control Panel, click on 'Administrative Tools' and then on 'Computer Management', which opens a window with this name.
On the LHS there is a list of topics with 'Disk Management' included under 'Storage'.

Clicking on Disk Management puts the required information in the window on the RHS. At the top is a list of volumes ie partitions or HDs; the useful information in this is given under the headings Type, File System, Status, Capacity and Free Space. Below this is information for each volume in order Disk 0, Disk 1 etc. All of this for the external HD should be included in the post.

I suspect that the problem is due to corruption of the MBR or FAT on the external HD but, without the information listed above, that is just a guess.

  nebuchan 11:16 13 Aug 2007

Hi, i am at work, so dont have access to my comp or hard drive, but i can tell you what i remember.

All 3 pc's i have tried the harddrive on are Windows XP SP2 No updates or anything was installed between myself using the hard drive on one computer (intel p4 PC), then moving it about an hour later to a AMD 64 Laptop.

My external hard drive is a usb2 one. I can't remember the manufacture, i think it starts with an L (was designed by Porsch, if that helps)
Not using any software to back up, i just copy important files into it directly.

The os is detecting a drive is there, but wont access it, no matter how many ways i try. wen looking at properties, it appears the disc is completely full...

CHeers for your help

I can get more details on here just after 5.30

  nebuchan 17:51 13 Aug 2007

Its a Lacie 250GB Harddrive USB2
I think the actual hard drive manufacturer is Seagate.

When turned on, it humms as usualy, but ever so oftern feels a bit clunky, but nothing extra-ordinary...

Hope that helps..

  Diemmess 18:10 13 Aug 2007

...... It is just possible that a fault has developed in the case of the ext. HD

If you are happy with a screwdriver, take the HD out of the case and temporarily connect it as a slave in your computer. (Jumper set to CSL usually works).

If you don't have room for a secondary drive, it can be connected instead of a CD drive. it is only to prove a point and you don't need to unscrew and mount it properly.
Just hang it by the power and data leads so that it wont move around while you try it.

  nebuchan 19:00 13 Aug 2007

Im not really happy rummaging around in a computer, particulary as the pcs, which i could put the drive in are not mine. (i have a laptop)

Cheers anyway

  CDLewis 19:06 13 Aug 2007

Ok get your screw driver out. take the HD out and plug the driver in directly to the computer.

if it doesnt recognise it it is a faulty drive.

if not im stumped really i dont use external hardware

good luck

  woodchip 19:13 13 Aug 2007

You could try TestDisk, as it sounds like Partition info is corrupt. I have used it with success on XP laptop

Scroll down to the one you want to download
click here

  nebuchan 20:21 13 Aug 2007

had a look at the disk drive, i cant find any screws on it!

How do i use this Test disc program? Its running, but im just playing around with it

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