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Hard drive switches on but pc cant read data

Last response: in Storage
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February 11, 2012 6:02:38 AM

I was watching movies on my external hard drive last night and when i went off to bed i ran a defrag on the whole pc. However this morning when i switched everything back on the pc recognized that there is an external but i cant seem to retrieve the data or see the drive under 'computer' where all the other drives are listed. The external is plugged in and goes on but i cant read the data HOW CAN I FIX THIS please assist

PS I did try to plug the external into another pc and it is doing the same thing
February 11, 2012 11:42:48 AM

I went to right click on computer/ manage / computer management / storage / disk management

It shows

Disk 0 basic GB online / vista C: healthy / data E: healthy

Disk 1 unknown 1836.02 GB Not initialize / 1836.02 unallocated
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a b G Storage
February 11, 2012 12:49:50 PM

Somehow (I can't think or any reason) the partition table disappeared.

If the data is not important, you could use Disk Management to create a new partition on the unallocated space and format it to a filesystem, and start using it.

If the data is important, you have two directions to go: you can try to do a partition recovery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning#Partitio...), or you can go for the files, which are quite possibly still there, but there's no file system to get to them.
a b G Storage
February 11, 2012 12:58:55 PM

The safest route would be the second direction, because a file recovery program like GetDataBack (which I had success in the past) won't change anything on the drive, it just reads it sector by sector looking for indicators of files and directories. If it finds them, it generates a browsable tree, which allows to copy the files to another drive. Feel free to ask for more info if you go down this way.

The partition recovery is quick. See the tools mentioned in the Wikipedia article. If it is successful, it gives you back the filesystem as it was, and there's no need for copying. However, it does commit writing operations on the disk, so it may reduce the chances of the file recovery if it proves to be unsuccessful.
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