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How do i get files off my external hard drive when it says it needs formatting

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July 13, 2013 12:35:40 PM

I have a portable 50gb hard drive i have been using now and have heaps of files on there - all of a sudden it is coming up as an drive & says I need to format it. I'm devastated I may lose all my files - can anyone help tell me what to do?

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a c 297 G Storage
July 14, 2013 9:21:35 AM

Hi, plug in the HDD, say no to that format msgs. bring up CMD, type chkdsk X: /f/r (X is the example drive letter, yours may be different). See how it works. If it fails than try this free and decent data recovery software.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Note: Read the instructions carefully before trying anything. Good Luck.
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July 15, 2013 7:51:28 PM

Have you tried it on another computer?
The unformatted drive problems could be caused by many reasons, such as the virus problem, drive problem and even computer system problems.
Therefore, try to use it on another computer.
If it could work well there, just copy off all your data on this drive and format it to try it again on your PC.
But, if it could not work normally there and get the same error message, your drive must get some problems.
The priority thing for you right now is to restore your data back by using data recovery software.
You could easily get many data recovery programs over the internet and simply select a right one for your drive.
And then format this drive after data recovery process.

Note: You should never save the important data on only one drive from now on.
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February 4, 2014 6:41:37 PM

lonewolf7 said:
Hi, plug in the HDD, say no to that format msgs. bring up CMD, type chkdsk X: /f/r (X is the example drive letter, yours may be different). See how it works. If it fails than try this free and decent data recovery software.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Note: Read the instructions carefully before trying anything. Good Luck.


I just want to thank you for posting this. It helped me access my external hard drive without having to Format it and use a retrieve software. (Thank you)x1000!
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a c 297 G Storage
February 5, 2014 5:31:35 AM

You are welcome gratefullydancing. Cheers.
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February 5, 2014 6:32:43 AM

Try the steps above, and a tip: try a different enclousure (they are cheap, and a lot of times, when the HDD is not making click sounds, they are the culprit, even for bad quality, and even for their cheap USB cables)

I had a bad enclousure with a good HDD that had the same problems, since the USB connection was bad
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February 26, 2014 11:05:59 PM

I tried that code chkdsk X: /f/r and this message popped up: Access denied as you do not have sufficient privileges.
you have to invoke this utility running in elevated mode. what does that mean?
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