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Is possible to format hard drive without losing files?

Last response: in Storage
February 29, 2012 4:12:01 PM

i bought a 1.5 TB hard drive for my movies. ive been using it for about a week now on both of my computers, yesterday morning both computers told me that it has to be formatted before i can use it. now the question is, is there a way to save my movies (about 500 GB) without physically being able to see them? if so how?
a c 301 G Storage
February 29, 2012 5:13:32 PM

Well, formatting's job is to get rid of what was there, so that's not the answer.

If this is an external drive, the usual steps are to

1) Try a simple recovery utility like EASEUS Partition Recovery.

2) If that doesn't work, remove the drive from the external casing and attach it directly to the motherboard of your desktop machine. Note: I just moved this step from number 1 to number 2.

3) If that doesn't work, but Device Manager can see it, there are more sophisticated recovery utilities that will read every sector of the drive and try to reconstruct files. They typically cost $70 to $100 to recover files and allow you to do the scan for free.

Unasked-for advice: Have at least two copies of everything, so if one drive goes south you still have your backup drive.

If you need more help, please specify
What kind of drive
What interface (internal SATA / IDE? External USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire...?)
What kind of computers are you using? What OS are you running?

Good luck.