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Hard disk Can't initialize.

Hi guys,
Need some help here plz. My External hard disk Toshiba 500gb can't initialize when I plug into my computer. I 've tried to check with the disk management tool but I see it running ok, it's also showing up well in devices in the control panel. I've tried this link posted previously by Ubrules(http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13944545851448&key=984ed3ed6aa9a69986f88d56d10e7616&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tomshardware.com%2Fanswers%2Fid-2005279%2Fide-external-hard-drive-initialize.html&v=1&libId=f925e671-eea1-413b-a0ea-7d5a26e208d0&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computerhope.com%2Fdiskpart.htm&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tomshardware.com%2Fanswers%2Fid-1633010%2Fexternal-initialize.html&title=IDE%20External%20Hard%20Drive%20won%27t%20initialize%20-%20Windows%207%20-%20Windows%207&txt=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computerhope.com%2Fdiskpart.htm ) but seems like I'll be losing my data. I'm not sure whether it's a mechanical issue. Please help me out...lots of thanks in advance.
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about hard disk initialize
  1. in search programs and files box, or launch command prompt Fromm accessories folder and

    type chkdsk /f E: Replace E with whatever letter it is designated
  2. Gee Bee said:
    in search programs and files box, or launch command prompt Fromm accessories folder and

    type chkdsk /f E: Replace E with whatever letter it is designated


    Hi Gee, the disk doesn't initialize that's why i can't figure out the drive to use in the command. I check in the disk management and it's running properly. Av tried the command anyway but it doesn't work.
  3. this is difficult given you have data you don't want to lose.

    In disk management or under 'my computer' does it show as unknown device or not allocated etc.

    What is reported (actual description) by os?
  4. Ndau said:
    Gee Bee said:
    in search programs and files box, or launch command prompt Fromm accessories folder and

    type chkdsk /f E: Replace E with whatever letter it is designated


    Hi Gee, the disk doesn't initialize that's why i can't figure out the drive to use in the command. I check in the disk management and it's running properly. Av tried the command anyway but it doesn't work.


    DO NOT run chdsk. That's one of the worst possible things you can do with a failing drive. If a drive cannot be initialized it's physically unstable and there is nothing you can safely do on your own without causing additional stress to the device and potential unrecoverable data loss.

    You need to send it to a professional data recovery lab.

    Send it to a reputable company that will offer you a free diagnostic and detailed report and come back to us when you've done that and I'll help you determine if it is legit and if there is anything else you might try on your own.
  5. TyrOd said:
    Ndau said:
    Gee Bee said:
    in search programs and files box, or launch command prompt Fromm accessories folder and

    type chkdsk /f E: Replace E with whatever letter it is designated


    Hi Gee, the disk doesn't initialize that's why i can't figure out the drive to use in the command. I check in the disk management and it's running properly. Av tried the command anyway but it doesn't work.


    DO NOT run chdsk. That's one of the worst possible things you can do with a failing drive. If a drive cannot be initialized it's physically unstable and there is nothing you can safely do on your own without causing additional stress to the device and potential unrecoverable data loss.

    You need to send it to a professional data recovery lab.

    Send it to a reputable company that will offer you a free diagnostic and detailed report and come back to us when you've done that and I'll help you determine if it is legit and if there is anything else you might try on your own.



    Well, I'll do some consultation then on some firms around, and get back later. Any idea is welcomed anyway. thanks.
  6. I wasn't going to say anything more, however if it indeed a failing disk i have used SW 'Getdataback' on a failing sata drive (that would not initialize) and it worked perfectly on retrieving some very important files. Unfortunately it's not free. I believe there are free ones available but I'm not in a position to recommend anything else having not used them.

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/download/GetDataBack-for-NTFS,0301-33764.html
  7. Gee Bee said:
    I wasn't going to say anything more, however if it indeed a failing disk i have used SW 'Getdataback' on a failing sata drive (that would not initialize) and it worked perfectly on retrieving some very important files. Unfortunately it's not free. I believe there are free ones available but I'm not in a position to recommend anything else having not used them.

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/download/GetDataBack-for-NTFS,0301-33764.html


    GetDataBack warns you not to run the software on the original drive, but to get an image first.

    Obviously, if the drive is physically unstable you won't be able to get a sector by sector image, so you shouldn't run GetDataBack.

    Otherwise it's definitely a good piece of software, just not for this situation.

    Of course if the lab says there's no physical problems with the drive, it's a great tool to try.
  8. Ndau said:
    TyrOd said:
    Ndau said:
    Gee Bee said:
    in search programs and files box, or launch command prompt Fromm accessories folder and

    type chkdsk /f E: Replace E with whatever letter it is designated


    Hi Gee, the disk doesn't initialize that's why i can't figure out the drive to use in the command. I check in the disk management and it's running properly. Av tried the command anyway but it doesn't work.


    DO NOT run chdsk. That's one of the worst possible things you can do with a failing drive. If a drive cannot be initialized it's physically unstable and there is nothing you can safely do on your own without causing additional stress to the device and potential unrecoverable data loss.

    You need to send it to a professional data recovery lab.

    Send it to a reputable company that will offer you a free diagnostic and detailed report and come back to us when you've done that and I'll help you determine if it is legit and if there is anything else you might try on your own.



    Well, I'll do some consultation then on some firms around, and get back later. Any idea is welcomed anyway. thanks.


    Well, you can try looking for a local lab if you're in/around a major metro area.
    You'll want to ask them:

    Do they have a clean room/clean bench?
    Do they do all of their work in house there?
    How long have they been doing clean room data recovery? 10+ years is preferred, because this is before you could get commercially available data recovery hardware.
    Do they offer a free diagnostic and only charge you when/if they recover the data?

    Other than that, you'll want to feel comfortable with them that they are honest and transparent.

    If you don't find someone you're comfortable with, there are some good nationwide labs tat do free diagnostics as well.
  9. my sata drive was totally unstable, and yes saving to another drive is a total requirement. Given this an external drive issue, obviously there is at least one internal drive. I have never paid anyone to do anything with any of my pc's since windows 95. I have learnt to back up everything important, especially since i have run on raid 0 for quite sometime.
  10. Gee Bee said:
    my sata drive was totally unstable, and yes saving to another drive is a total requirement. Given this an external drive issue, obviously there is at least one internal drive. I have never paid anyone to do anything with any of my pc's since windows 95. I have learnt to back up everything important, especially since i have run on raid 0 for quite sometime.



    Well, had I a way to recover the data before sending it to a lab, then I think I would have done that. May be You can tell how you do that in a case a failed external disk drive.
  11. Best answer
    Yes and no. The easiest answer is backup frequently else where, so when a drive begins to fail you will not be to concerned with data losss.
    However, since your not in that place, i stand by what i said about 'Getdataback'. My drive was absolutely unusable, yet i managed to get back almost 90% of the of my important data back. Of course i was very happy not to mention impressed.

    The aforementioned post regarding running gdb on the original failing/failed drive is not entirely correct. Where one gets a complete image or not is not important. What is however, is that any files found redeemable are NOT recovered to the failing/failed drive.
  12. Gee Bee said:
    Yes and no. The easiest answer is backup frequently else where, so when a drive begins to fail you will not be to concerned with data losss.
    However, since your not in that place, i stand by what i said about 'Getdataback'. My drive was absolutely unusable, yet i managed to get back almost 90% of the of my important data back. Of course i was very happy not to mention impressed.

    The aforementioned post regarding running gdb on the original failing/failed drive is not entirely correct. Where one gets a complete image or not is not important. What is however, is that any files found redeemable are NOT recovered to the failing/failed drive.


    Despite some inherent risks of making things worse(permanently unrecoverable), this is probably the best answer for most people, especially if not willing to spend hundreds of dollars or more on a professional data recovery lab.
  13. I have been following up on some similar cases about sudden failing of hard drives and does not show up on home:myComputer. Most people complain of un-partitioned external hard drives which may be the main reason of the failing. When you acquire a new hard drive, it is necessary to allocate the space to several or single volume and in the process all the data is lost, that is, formatting the drive.
    I almost gave up on my case but took time time to explore testDisk, a data recovery software, which easily retrieves the data. testDisk run on linux, windows,etc and it's quite easy to use whereby for this case of unallocated drive failing you select the "NONE" option. Anyway, anyone make a consultation on a similar case.
    Thank you guys for the responses.
  14. GetDataBack is a great program, but my copy will not see anything that does not have a drive letter and if the disk will not "initialize" then it will not be assigned a drive letter.
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