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Help! - XP Says HD isn't formatted, but it is

Last response: in Storage
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April 19, 2010 2:51:50 AM

How can I recover the files on the hard drive?

I haven't used this computer in about 2 years, had forgotten about the pictures & music that were on it, I was listening to the music when it stopped playing, I rebooted (as I was installing updates from windows update) and now my D drive says it isn't formatted.

I've tried using TestDisk, but not 100% sure how to use it. When I look at the files, it only sees 3 files on the root drive, it doesn't see any of the subfolders. I started, but didn't let it finish, the photorec program, and it started finding lots of files, but the way it was naming them would make it a nightmare to go through them all to find what I want to keep, etc.

Any tips on how to recover my files?
Is it a lost cause?

Obviously they weren't that important to me, as I hadn't used the computer for 2 years, but would still love to save 'em.

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April 19, 2010 3:03:18 AM

I've used the free version of this in the past:

http://www.stellarinfo.com/

However, depending on what corrupted, it could be a huge headache to recover them.
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April 19, 2010 3:34:51 AM

Giving it a try. I know I recovered 3 photos using the PhotoREc program that you get with TestDisk, the 3rd photo was a surprise as it wasn't on the room drive so I had no idea it existed.

Hopefully this will recover all my photos, care more about them then anything else on that drive. Luckily it wasn't my C drive :) 
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April 19, 2010 12:07:48 PM

Yep, if the file system got messed up, you might just recover an unorganized an partially unreadable mess. Worth a shot though.
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a c 127 G Storage
April 19, 2010 1:40:46 PM

Is this about FAT(32) or NTFS?
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April 19, 2010 3:00:02 PM

NTFS -- I'm still waiting for the process to finish
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April 19, 2010 6:53:36 PM

Well, Steller helped me out. Was able to save the files I was looking to save.

Should I format the HD and see if it'll still be a good drive or is it toast?

Please note: This computer is a POS computer, I plan on using it for storage of items. So any HD would be decent as long as it works. Or is there a better way to use the HDs in this machine for storage?
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April 19, 2010 11:09:43 PM

Well, when my Hard drive randomly corrupted, I recovered what data I needed, reformatted, and it has worked without issue for 2+ more years. So there is hope. However, in my case I think it was the chipset's fault (nVidia's nForce 4 was known for corrupting data) so really the drive may have never malfunctioned.
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April 20, 2010 12:57:03 AM

Thanks for all the help. I'll try using it, but won't put any important data on it.
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April 20, 2010 12:57:25 AM

Best answer selected by trickynick.
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