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Need help cannot access external drive

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September 9, 2010 6:01:41 PM

Hi, recently I made a mistake interrupting an automated disk check, and now the drive cannot be accessed. It's an internal 250Gb SATA in an external USB enclosure which I had been using to store data, single-partition NTFS in a Vista system. One main issue I had with this USB setup is that the drive could never be "safely removed" from within Windows, so I always do a complete shut-down if I need to disconnect the drive. A few times I just switch the power off from the drive and disconnect. Perhaps this what caused the automated chkdsk in the first place.

From within Disk Management - Computer Management, Vista identifies the drive as 232Gb RAW (healthy, active, primary partition) with 0 bytes used/free space. Chkdsk cannot be evoked due to Windows not being able to access the drive.

However using a third-party program (such as EASEUS Partition Master), the drive is identified as 188Gb used, 44Gb free (as it should be), NTFS, active, primary.

I'm guessing this tells me my data are still intact, so I just need to find a way to repair the file system from RAW back to NTFS, a way so that Windows can read the drive again. I'm opting to repair rather than recovering the files, but as a last resort than I would need to find a way of copying the 200Gb++ to another media. Mind you that this is not a system drive, just for data storage. I tried my best searching the net but most is about repairing boot issues as this is not the case here.

I would appreciate any help, thanks.

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Budy

More about : access external drive

September 10, 2010 12:27:14 AM

bybwn said:
Hi, recently I made a mistake interrupting an automated disk check, and now the drive cannot be accessed. It's an internal 250Gb SATA in an external USB enclosure which I had been using to store data, single-partition NTFS in a Vista system. One main issue I had with this USB setup is that the drive could never be "safely removed" from within Windows, so I always do a complete shut-down if I need to disconnect the drive. A few times I just switch the power off from the drive and disconnect. Perhaps this what caused the automated chkdsk in the first place.

From within Disk Management - Computer Management, Vista identifies the drive as 232Gb RAW (healthy, active, primary partition) with 0 bytes used/free space. Chkdsk cannot be evoked due to Windows not being able to access the drive.

However using a third-party program (such as EASEUS Partition Master), the drive is identified as 188Gb used, 44Gb free (as it should be), NTFS, active, primary.

I'm guessing this tells me my data are still intact, so I just need to find a way to repair the file system from RAW back to NTFS, a way so that Windows can read the drive again. I'm opting to repair rather than recovering the files, but as a last resort than I would need to find a way of copying the 200Gb++ to another media. Mind you that this is not a system drive, just for data storage. I tried my best searching the net but most is about repairing boot issues as this is not the case here.

I would appreciate any help, thanks.

---
Budy



Have you looked at any of the tools such as the BartPE Boot CD or Ultimate Boot CD to try and repair or access the drive?

Another option would be removing the drive from the case and installing it internally into a PC, it seems that you have more visibility (for lack of a better term) when its on a PATA/SATA port rather than hanging off a USB connector.
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a c 342 G Storage
September 10, 2010 8:21:12 PM

Since Windows Disk Management sees the drive as having a RAW File system, there is some corruption in the Partition Table or the File System data at the beginning of the drive. It is VERY likely that your actual data is OK.

You have a coupe of options. IF you want to recovery the data, search the web specifically for how to recover from a RAW Format. I have not done it, but I understand the process fundamentally involves using software tools to copy all your files off the unit to another good drive. Then you simply Delete the Partition, Create a new Partition and Format it. Doing those last two operations re-writes the critical data tracking structures and it's all good again, BUT empty. Lastly you copy all your files BACK to it from the other drive.

The other option if you do NOT want to bother trying to recover anything, is to go directly to Delete Partition, Create partition, Format. Then you can use the drive again.
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September 11, 2010 4:21:59 AM

@flyingpete: I've tried the Ultimate Boot but it's too complex for me to comprehend, hoping to find a tool for a straightforward fix.... I've tried other free utilities and they too don't immediately identify a problem, leaving me to do a trial n error on its tools. Unfortunately I don't have a desktop around me to connect the disk directly.

@addict: Yes windows says its file directory is corrupted. I know that the easiest is to try to recover the files and then reformat the drive. I guess that's what I'll do next.

Thank you guys for the help!
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