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Dropped ext hard drive, only reads 2 partitions

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January 17, 2011 6:46:25 PM

Dropped my external hard drive by accident.
It had 3 partitions on it, but now it only lists 2 in Windows.
The 3rd one is listed as a drive but no information on space on it and it asks me to format it but Windows cannot successfully format it, it just hangs.
Sounds like it's completely dead but any ideas on what I can do to try and get it working?
a b G Storage
January 17, 2011 8:46:28 PM

Think yourself lucky you still have 2 partitions that you can recover data from. You can kiss the 3rd one goodbye.
I would be thinking about a new drive to transfer over the contents on the other 2 partitions, before disaster strikes.
January 18, 2011 5:08:44 AM

Jonmor68 said:
Think yourself lucky you still have 2 partitions that you can recover data from. You can kiss the 3rd one goodbye.
I would be thinking about a new drive to transfer over the contents on the other 2 partitions, before disaster strikes.


What would cause that kind of symptom though?
The reader obviously still works as it can read 2 partitions so why not the 3rd?
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January 18, 2011 8:05:19 AM

qwertyjjj said:
What would cause that kind of symptom though?
The reader obviously still works as it can read 2 partitions so why not the 3rd?

The sudden stop at the bottom of the fall. The sector with the lost partition got damaged.
January 18, 2011 8:07:57 AM

jockey said:
The sudden stop at the bottom of the fall. The sector with the lost partition got damaged.


How would that damage the sector though? It's all just 1s and zeros :) 
If so, shouldn't be a way to mark off the bad sector and get the partition running again?
January 18, 2011 8:24:01 AM

If the disk is broke or cracked I might be seeing it, and since it hangs on reformatt would suggest that it's gone. Now you maybe able to get certain tools or take it to a shop to recover what info. they can.

But I have to agree if the one of the platters got damaged it could very will end up damaging the others. So I would diffently back up all the info and get a new one.
January 18, 2011 3:55:14 PM

A hard drive is a lot like a stack of re-writable compact discs or DVDs. They call the 'DVDs' platters. Plenty of hard drives have multiple platters within. As suggested, one of the platters was likely damaged. It's lucky that it worked out as it did, I'd be surprised if it would work at all after being dropped. Personally, I'd back up any data from the drive that you need and discard the drive inside the external hard drive.

Warning, this is a bit of a rant, please feel free to ignore this. External hard drives are almost all coffins for data. Much like you just experienced, most hard drives weren't designed to be jostled in such a manner and people might go about with them like they were a flash drive. The very worst aspect of external hard drives are the lack of proper cooling. Many external hard drive enclosures have a single tiny fan that moves very little air, and plenty have no fan at all. Heat will destroy anything, computer components are pretty sensitive to heat. This is why I recommend avoiding external hard drives if possible. If you absolutely must use an external hard drive, I recommend making the enclosure yourself. Just as an example, with the use of http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... something like this, you can rig up your own box with a 80-120mm fan that will keep your drive happy and cool all the time.
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