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External Hard Drive File Allocation Table

I bought a 2tb Samsung External Hard Drive about 2 years ago, ripped all my DVDs to it and hooked it up to my Smart TV so I could just watch my films without having to change disks etc.

The other night I accidentally hit the record button on my remote whilst watching TV and I think this may have changed the hard drives file allocation system because my TV will no longer recognise it as anything other than a recording device and my desktop doesn't even show the drive letter in "My computer". I ran the disk managment tool in windows and the data is still there, I just can't seem to access it.

I also ran a program called TestDrive and performed an analysis on it. It says that the allocation system is for a Linux system, but I know for a fact that when I first bought the hard drive I formatted it as NTFS or FAT32.

Any ideas? I really don't want to reformat and have to rip all my films again. I just need windows to recognise the disk...
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  1. Apparently the record button used your HD as a recording device so finding something foreign, it simply initialized it, it should had ASK you for confirmation, but oh well.

    What precisely do you mean by "disk managment tool in windows and the data is still there?"
  2. jsmithepa said:
    Apparently the record button used your HD as a recording device so finding something foreign, it simply initialized it, it should had ASK you for confirmation, but oh well.

    What precisely do you mean by "disk managment tool in windows and the data is still there?"
  3. It did ask me for confirmation, but the thing is I didn't know which button I pressed, the film I was watching just suddenly stopped playing and then a message come up about initialising the USB device and I clicked OK (I'm not as tech savvy as I would like to be!) thinking that would take me back to the film.

    The disk management tool. If you open "run" then type in diskmgmt.msc, it gives a summary of all the drives connected to the computer, plus various options, even if the drive does not appear in the My Computer folder.
  4. wildmorgan said:
    It did ask me for confirmation, but the thing is I didn't know which button I pressed, the film I was watching just suddenly stopped playing and then a message come up about initialising the USB device and I clicked OK (I'm not as tech savvy as I would like to be!) thinking that would take me back to the film.

    This confirms what I just told you.

    Quote:
    The disk management tool. If you open "run" then type in diskmgmt.msc, it gives a summary of all the drives connected to the computer, plus various options, even if the drive does not appear in the My Computer folder.

    This only says I SEE A DRIVE and nothing more.

    If the data is critical, and you have a few hundred dollars to spend retrieving that data, both Seagate and Western Digital have data recovery services. If you bought it from Amazon, you may had paid for that service insurance up front.

    Other than that, ur done for. The HD's directory is been wiped and replaced with an empty linux directory.

    ONE LAST THING: If you see more than one partitions on the HD you may have a prayer. Just one partition=done.
  5. There are two partitions.

    Surely there's no way it could have wiped over a terabyte of data that quick...
  6. Post a screenshot of the Disc Manager.
  7. jsmithepa said:
    Post a screenshot of the Disc Manager.


    http://i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp189/Richard_While/Screenshot_zpseyrqtoah.jpg" class="img lazy">
  8. Best answer
    Assuming Disk6 is the drive in question it shows:

    p1: 1.86tb, format not recognized by Windows
    p2: 47mb, format as RAW
    p3: 9mb, probably a left over slack space, unused.

    I wager p1 is where your videos were. If your utility says this is indeed your linux partition then I confirm it has indeed been reformatted for Linux.

    I should not had said WIPE, I mean to say the NTFS directory is been replaced by the Linux directory. You are right, the actual data has not been wiped just yet, but without the original directory, basically there is no way to get to it, it's like a town where all its houses have lost their addresses, how do you know which house (file) is which? and you probably already know computer files are not stored in one continuos strips, they are stored in segments scattered on the surfaces of the platters.

    Is it impossible to retrieve the data without its directory. Short answer: No, but it requires professional $$ tools and people, they have to forensically re-construct your data by going into each house and ask "who are you?" :(
  9. jsmithepa said:
    Assuming Disk6 is the drive in question it shows:

    p1: 1.86tb, format not recognized by Windows
    p2: 47mb, format as RAW
    p3: 9mb, probably a left over slack space, unused.

    I wager p1 is where your videos were. If your utility says this is indeed your linux partition then I confirm it has indeed been reformatted for Linux.

    I should not had said WIPE, I mean to say the NTFS directory is been replaced by the Linux directory. You are right, the actual data has not been wiped just yet, but without the original directory, basically there is no way to get to it, it's like a town where all its houses have lost their addresses, how do you know which house (file) is which? and you probably already know computer files are not stored in one continuos strips, they are stored in segments scattered on the surfaces of the platters.

    Is it impossible to retrieve the data without its directory. Short answer: No, but it requires professional $$ tools and people, they have to forensically re-construct your data by going into each house and ask "who are you?" :(


    Oh well, thanks for your responses and for trying to help anyway, much appreciated! Looks like I'll just have to re-format and rip all my DVDs again. Lesson learned!
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