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

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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  1. Best answer
    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.
  2. 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!
  3. You are welcome gratefullydancing. Cheers.
  4. 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
  5. 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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