external hard drive problem

  gav223 21:59 28 May 2010


I have just caused a problem with my hard drive and before I completely eras it I would just like to know if there is a way of saving anything from it.
It is a 1TB western digital and I had around 500GB of stuff saved to it.
I had it connected along with a USB stick as I was trying to move some stuff over to the stick.
I had to erase the stick beforehand, but ended up erasing the hard drive.
It lasted about 5 seconds before I realised and I quickly pulled out the USB cable.
It now says that it has an error and does not show anything.
Has anyone got any advice for me.
Surely it has not wiped everything from it from just 5 secs worth.
Many thanks.

  bremner 22:06 28 May 2010

The overwhelming majority of data will not have been wiped.

I know professional data recovery programs could recover much of your data. I am not sure about the free recovery software often recommended on the forum. I will need to leave that to others to advise.

  gav223 22:27 28 May 2010

Thanks bremner.

I will wait and see if someone else has anymore advice.

  northumbria61 22:27 28 May 2010

There is a list of Data Recovery Software (FREE)

click here

but I have never used any so can't recommend anything - to be used at your own risk. I am hoping that someone on this forum will have used something of this nature and be able to help you.

The damage will have been done when you pulled out the USB instead of using the "safely Remove Hardware" icon on your taskbar.

  bremner 11:56 29 May 2010

When you wipe a disk it starts at the first sector on the disk. This unfortuantely is where the Master Boot Record starts. Even 5 seconds of wiping will have taken that out.

Therefore the disk will not boot or be seen on a logical level.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:59 29 May 2010

The boot record is backed up towards the end of the disc, something like test disk click here
may be able to restore it for you.

  gav223 13:46 31 May 2010

Hi Fruit Bat.

I have only just seen your reply and wanted to ask a question.

I found a freeware data recovery software called Boomerang and run it yesterday for around 14 hrs.

It found all files on the hard drive totalling just over 500 GB.

It then asked for an activation code, which I did not have, so it was a complete waste of time.

Is there any data recovery software that is free that will recover what I need or should I just take it that its lost.

Many thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:02 31 May 2010

click on the blue "click here" in my previous post to take you to a page where you can download a free version of test disk.

  rawprawn 15:50 31 May 2010

Try Recuva click here

  gav223 16:18 31 May 2010

Thanks to both of you for your advice.

I'm assuming that both of these software packages will do what I am looking for.

I'll try the free version of test disk tonight.


  gav223 07:23 04 Jun 2010


I am a bit confused.

I had to run test disk on my wife's laptop as I needed mine for some work.

It has been running for almost 60hrs and didn't recover anything.

The reason I find this strange is that when I run the other software (boomerang) it showed me exactly what it did recover, but wouldn't go any further unless I had an activation key.

This was done within about only 15hrs.

Any more advice.


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