I just had a horrible day. I have a 160 gb external Seagate hard drive and had no probs before. I used it with a mac several times which I think might have caused some partition corruption. When I turn on the hard drive it loads but the icon on my computer is different and when i click it it says it needs to be formatted and it shows it as being empty. I had over 150gb's of data on it so it is not empty! I was wondering if someone here could suggest what I should do next. Are any third party data recovery software companies good?, also I called my local "geek squad" just to see a price or if they can do it. They said they can try and if not send it away to be looked at. I'm just wondering if there is reliable software out there that would let me do it at home rather then going to a local shop. Also wondering if I am at a complete loss, this really makes me depressed, this hard drive was my most precious thing in the world.
It is possible your Master Boot Record was deleted, or corrupted.
You can buy software off the internet for 20-40 bucks to restore your master boot record. Not sure if this is the problem though, but you description sounds similiar to when I had a MBA corruption, (darn RAID stripped configs)
If I understand ou correctly, you used this hard drive on a Mac and then have installed it on a PC. PC's don't read Mac hard drives and vice versa.
What you can do is to put it back on a Mac and backup all the needed information to a CD, DVD, or multiple thereof. That makes sure that you won't loose anything. Then put the hard drive back into the PC and format as needed. After that, you can try to install the various programs and data that you previously backed up.
My brother owns a Mac and I own a PC, and we have learned that many data files can be transfered back and forth through floppy discs, CD's, and DVD's. I don't know if the particular data files that you have can transfer, but by making backups, you won't loose them.
thanks for all the ideas. I have come to a conclusion that seems reasonable. I am going to buy another hard drive, then run a program called PC inspector file recovery. Hopefully it will be able to find most of the data and i can save it to a network drive (it does have that option). A friend of mine has used it in the past and said it works quite well. I called a few local places but they wanted me to pay at least 800-1000 dollars, Im going to attempt it at home.
Just note that if your hard drive is failing (as opposed to having an isolated damaged section), it will get worse and worse with use. Using a do-it-yourself data recovery program could recover some or all of your data. However, it could also push the drive into total failure because of all the stress the software puts on it. Thus, you need to consider VERY carefully exactly what data is important to you and *how* important it is to you. If it's worth paying multiple hundreds of dollars (or more) to recover, then send it off to a data recovery service first, w/o messing with the drive and possibly damaging it further.
If not, go ahead and play!
I dont believe the drive is failing, seems to be more of a damaged spot or wants to be formatted again for pc. I am only going to attempt to recover the data a couple of times so I dont mess it up further.
Thanks for all the ideas on here, I ended up just buying a new hard drive and running Pc inspector (free data recovery program), it found all the data on the hard drive (140 gb's was just music) so I was very pleased to have all of my files back. Of course I did format the drive that was corrupted and copied everything from the new one on to it.