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Hard drive says it needs formatting

Last response: in Storage
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May 24, 2011 7:29:49 PM

I plugged my verbatim 320gb external hard drive in but on trying to open it it says drive needs to be formatted! if i do that i lose all my files. what can I do?

More about : hard drive formatting

May 25, 2011 7:47:44 AM

no I can detect it, thats not the problem
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a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 9:19:26 AM

There is a difference between detecting the drive itself and detecting partitions and it's formatting.

That Find & Mount tool seems useful.
a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 3:48:00 PM

RIP is correct. Plus Find & Mount is free to try. So run it and let us know what it shows.
May 25, 2011 7:04:31 PM

I tried it, it says the partision is already showing and doesnt find any others
a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 10:14:03 PM

Is it still asking you to format the drive?
May 26, 2011 7:56:15 AM

When that happens to me and it does happen quite a lot as i have 7 External hard drives i tuen them off and then ait a few min and turn them back on and usually they come right up and windows sees the drive like normal
December 10, 2012 3:20:42 AM

Rusting In Peace said:
There is a difference between detecting the drive itself and detecting partitions and it's formatting.

That Find & Mount tool seems useful.


RIP is correct, use mounting tools and it will give back your data, it worked out at least with me.
February 27, 2013 6:29:35 AM

Normally, in your case, you need a file recovery tool for saving your data back and format this drive afterwards for saving the drive.
I have found a free hard drive recovery tool for you to go on here: http://freeware-fix.blogspot.com/2013/03/hard-drive-not...
It has helped a web friend to recover his data back. I trust it will retrieve all your data back, too.
In the future, you should learn to do regular data backups in case of data loss.
May 15, 2013 10:37:05 AM

Carl Billy said:
Normally, in your case, you need a file recovery tool for saving your data back and format this drive afterwards for saving the drive.
I have found a free hard drive recovery tool for you in this forum: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/295923-32-recover-dat...
It has helped a web friend to recover his data back. I trust it will retrieve all your data back, too.
In the future, you should learn to do regular data backups in case of data loss.

I find all the answers hear interesting since they all assume there is a problem with the drive or partition or there are errors on the drive. I have been seeing this occur for perfectly good drives and all the files are visible on another machine. Just today I moved a HD from a Dell to a Lenovo the Lenovo says it needs formatting. I took the drive from the Lenovo put it back in the Dell no issues all files readable. I wrote some more data to this HD no issues, ran chkdsk with the /f no problems found 0 none nada. Copied all the data to a 3rd drive no issues. Took out of the Dell placed back in the Lenovo and formatting required. I formatted the drive and am coping the files from the 3rd drive.

I think this is a Windows 7 problem, since I have seen this behavior on other systems running windows 7 as well. In every case the hard drives that windows stated needed formatting really did not.

October 13, 2013 1:22:05 PM

swanscn said:
Carl Billy said:
Normally, in your case, you need a file recovery tool for saving your data back and format this drive afterwards for saving the drive.
I have found a free hard drive recovery tool for you in this forum: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/295923-32-recover-dat...
It has helped a web friend to recover his data back. I trust it will retrieve all your data back, too.
In the future, you should learn to do regular data backups in case of data loss.

I find all the answers hear interesting since they all assume there is a problem with the drive or partition or there are errors on the drive. I have been seeing this occur for perfectly good drives and all the files are visible on another machine. Just today I moved a HD from a Dell to a Lenovo the Lenovo says it needs formatting. I took the drive from the Lenovo put it back in the Dell no issues all files readable. I wrote some more data to this HD no issues, ran chkdsk with the /f no problems found 0 none nada. Copied all the data to a 3rd drive no issues. Took out of the Dell placed back in the Lenovo and formatting required. I formatted the drive and am coping the files from the 3rd drive.

I think this is a Windows 7 problem, since I have seen this behavior on other systems running windows 7 as well. In every case the hard drives that windows stated needed formatting really did not.



I get this problem all the time with my Western Digital 2TB external. The way I fix it is completely shutting down and power cycling all the devices I have. Something with Windows 7 doesn't like external HDDs.

Edit: The same devices do not have this issue on my Linux setup. This is why I think it is Windows 7's fault.
March 30, 2014 8:42:37 PM

FreeDataRecovery said:
Does this detect your partition? http://findandmount.com


This absolutely worked for me when I had lost all hope. I can't thank the developers enough!

May 28, 2014 8:15:13 AM

FreeDataRecovery said:
Does this detect your partition? http://findandmount.com


Thanks for the support. This really helped my problem. Thanks again...!:bounce: 
!