I have a 500gb iomega externad hdd that I think has been dropped one too many times and now the laptop is telling me it needs to be formatted.
I have years of data on the drive and dont want to do this.
When I plug it in it whirs, clicks, flashes and asks to format after about 1 min.
I used some software that said there is no partition?
The software that said there is no partition was Tenorshare Data Recovery but was unable to restore the partition as you have to buy it and not sure if I want to fork out money for something that may not work.
I also downloaded something called Easeus that doesnt even recognize that the drive is plugged in.
BTW - I know the word of the day is BACKUP ! I have learned my lesson and will do so going forward.

When I go into Devices and printers - it does recognize the disc is there and when I go into disk management in the admin tools, it shows the C: drive which is working fine with the three partitions and below it shows disc 1 which is unknown and not initialized. I choose the option to initialize and it tells me the request could not be performed because of an IO error.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help. I need to access the info on my drive.


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  1. The drive is likely toast. I have this hanging on my office wall. Think of the Beatles tune:

    All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
    Now my database has gone away.
    Oh I believe in yesterday.

    There's not half the files there used to be,
    And there's a milestone hanging over me
    The system crashed so suddenly.

    I pushed something wrong
    What it was I could not say.
    Now all my data's gone and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.

    Need for backup seemed so far away.
    Seemed my data were all here to stay,
    Now I believe in yesterday.
  2. Thanks Phil :-( Not the news I was hoping for but I appreciate the song and will pass it along to someone I know who is an IT friend of mine when they come back to work.
    I did speak to the GEEK SQUAD at Best Buy who said they can try pulling the data with software they have for $99.00 and if not, it can be send off to their recovery team who can pull it apart by piece and recover it that way but could be very costly
    Ive also heard something about freezing the drive and then trying it but scared to do this.
    Any thoughts on any of the above?
  3. Freezing DOES work for certain types of drive failures; I have used it successfully myself, but I don't think it works for drop damage.
  4. Hello... I had a problem with my external harddrive... Windows said it needed formatting... further examination showed the the files/drive were now in RAW format... I wanted the data off of it... I found a a program called TESTDISK... full explaination in WIKIPEDIA how to use it and download it... I was able to retrive alot of the files ( not all ) back to my C:\hardrive with is a DOS program I could run from in windows... be patient and walk around the menus... you can try to have it fix the format or just extract the files from it... Folders and Directories will have long strange names for them... but be persistant in looking at the files/data in them for extracting... it was amazing to say the least what I was able to recover for FREE!!!... later I reformated the Drive and is working just fine now.
  5. how do i tell if my data is in raw format?
    Sorry, I try to keep up but learning new terms daily.
  6. Hello... it was with Windows 7- administrative tools-Computer management-Disk Managements...
    the file system was reported as "RAW"... as normal would be NTFS... Windows suggested to format it... I did not want to lose my DATA... and found a free way out with TESTDISK...

    Your problem maybe different than mine... and re-thinking you a solution... I would... 1) try a different cable... 2) open up the external drive and remove the harddrive and plug it directly into you MOTHERBOARD... this will determine if your I/O error is due to the external harddrive case or if your harddrive is the problem... Please give that a try...

    you have FOUR components here you can examine/test easily... 1) Power Supply 2) Data Cable 3) Harddrive 4) and enclosure/Case... before throwing your Hands Up in Air...
  7. I bought a new cable - no luck. Im okay with opening the case for the external drive but being that its usb, and not comfortable with opening the case of my laptop to access the motherboard (also would void my laptop warranty) any thoughts about if I open the external hard drive or is that going to ruin it? It is one of those portable iomega drives that I understand from radio shak was originally made for a desktop and they make them smaller now for laptops. Just worried about opening it up. (not that it works now).
  8. Best answer
    Hello... please don't open your laptop up!!!!... I mean connecting to a desktop computer motherboard... a desktop computer... of a friends?... chances are its a IDE connector... or a SATA connector on the Harddrive it's self... and you will need a power plug for it... and you will be able to retrive DATA off of it... if the hardrive is not Totally Damaged...
    There is a standard Harddrive in that case... be it... IDE or SATA... 3.5/2.5/1.8"... it can be connected or even mounted in a Standard desktop computer... There is no new or special technology in that IOMEGA case...
  9. Best answer selected by truman861.
  10. Hey All,
    So I took my hard drive down to the local fleamarket computer repair place as I dont own a desktop, Everything I have is portable. Turns out it is a sata drive and as soon as they would assign it a drive letter, it would lock the o.s. up.
    He tried a couple programs and no luck. I was referred to a website though called and they have a distance training course where you learn at your own place how to repair and rebuild drive, comes with a ton of software and hardware that you keep and then you test to become certified - class is 3g though. I know its a lot of money to shell out to get my data (more than im willing to spend) but if I can go on to do that for other people in my area and make a small business out of it then it might be worth wile. Going to check with a few other shops in the area to see how often they have unrecoverable drives come in and if they would refer out to me for something like that.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Again, thanks to EVERYONE for their help. I really mean that.
  11. The class also includes flash drive recovery and i am now using carbonite for regular online auto backups of pretty much everything.
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