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How to repair FAT without data loss

I have an external drive for file storage. It has never been a bootable drive. Something happened to the file allocation table so now when I connect it to any computer, it says I need to reformat. This happened once before and reformatting fixed it an worked fine. However, I'd really like not to lose all this data if possible. Any way to repair the file allocation table with out wiping the drive? I'm not sure if the drive was FAT32 or NTFS. I think it was NTFS.

Thanks.
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  1. Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.
  2. God bless you man...you saved my life..I recently bought new WD 1TB external hard disk and I backed up my entire data including personal data into WD drive. After couple of months I started facing the same issue, disk was not getting detected and asking to format it which i really didn't want. Even I took this drive to many IT solutions shop to repair it, surfed a lot on internet but couldn't find the answer. Finally i made my mind to format it to get it resolve and I was looking for steps to format drive on internet where I looked at your post and you had the same issue and you gave one simple solution which REALLY WORKED FOR ME!!!! I can't express myself how happy I am because I have got my all personal data back without spending money, without formatting it. Please keep posting such solutions to help everyone.
    A VERY BIG THANK YOU straight from my heart. GOD BLESS YOU!!
  3. Hey...i got another issue now. whenever I connect my Western Digital external HD, it notifies some error on the task bar stating "Windows - Currupt File - The file or directory \System Volumes Information is currupt and unreadable. Please run the Chkdsk utility." which i did many times using cmd.

    The Hard Disk Sentinel shows there is 1 bad sector on the disk surface. I couldnt find the answer anywhere may be you could help me in this. I can access the data easily however I am scared to loose the data. Please help.
  4. Try running "chkdsk /r" to recover the bad sector. If you keep getting the notice, your drive may be failing physically and continuing to develop multiple bad sectors, in which case you need to move the data to a new drive as quickly as possible.


    NewGamer_2012 said:
    Hey...i got another issue now. whenever I connect my Western Digital external HD, it notifies some error on the task bar stating "Windows - Currupt File - The file or directory \System Volumes Information is currupt and unreadable. Please run the Chkdsk utility." which i did many times using cmd.

    The Hard Disk Sentinel shows there is 1 bad sector on the disk surface. I couldnt find the answer anywhere may be you could help me in this. I can access the data easily however I am scared to loose the data. Please help.
  5. mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.


    Can you e-mail me step by step instructions? How do I access the command prompt? And mine is a FAT32 file system. How would I recover that? My e-mail address is:Personal information removed - SS

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a 2TB external hard drive (Western Digital), and it"s almost full. I would REALLY like to be able to recover everything without losing any of it.
  6. mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.


    Thank U VERY VERY MUCH buddy.
    I haven't used DOS commands for a long time and I had almost forgotten that they existed, but it REALLY worked for me. I had more than 100.000 songs in MP3 rounding 600 GB and I started to format erroneously the external HD, and now the CHKDSK recovered all that stuff. Thanks a lot, u saved some 5 years or research.
  7. mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.


    Wow! God sent. you really saved me. I was wondering how I'll ever recover my over 10 years of work. I use a MAC, tried Disk Utility, failed, the on Windows 7, I managed to get back my 1TB WD Hard disk….., with all my files. Thanks for documenting this.
  8. mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.



    mtroy
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!! for sharing how you fixed your problem which fix mine too. You're GREAT. Thanks.
  9. mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.


    WOW!!! God had sent an ANGEL so dear to save me...THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! U've really saved my work of more than 5 yrs...
  10. thanks very much man. I experienced a same problem with my seagate 1TB hard disk and invested a huge amount of money to get data recovered (almost equivalent to the cost of hard disk), but even than all the data was not recovered. By using chkdsk all the data was back in like 5 mis.
    you are the man bro. thanks for saving my data.
    appreciate your post and love u
  11. I have the same problem. I tried chkdsk E: /f /r /x

    It returned:
    The type of file system is FAT32.
    An error occurred while reading the file application table (FAT 1).
    An error occurred while reading the file application table (FAT 2).
    There are no readable file application tables (FAT).

    Any suggestions as to what to try now?
  12. mtroy said:
    I have an external drive for file storage. It has never been a bootable drive. Something happened to the file allocation table so now when I connect it to any computer, it says I need to reformat. This happened once before and reformatting fixed it an worked fine. However, I'd really like not to lose all this data if possible. Any way to repair the file allocation table with out wiping the drive? I'm not sure if the drive was FAT32 or NTFS. I think it was NTFS.

    Thanks.


    mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.



    thank you man! I know this is a lot of time ago, but you saved my files and I want to thank you!!
  13. mtroy said:
    Nevermind, I was able to fix it. In case anyone else experiences this, I just went to a command prompt and typed: chkdsk e: /f (where e: was the external drive being repaired). It ran for about 2 minutes and recovered all 3TB of data without any apparent problems. Oh, and it was an NTFS vol.


    again it is converting to NTFS....
  14. rusty99 said:
    I have the same problem. I tried chkdsk E: /f /r /x

    It returned:
    The type of file system is FAT32.
    An error occurred while reading the file application table (FAT 1).
    An error occurred while reading the file application table (FAT 2).
    There are no readable file application tables (FAT).

    Any suggestions as to what to try now?


    i am facing this problem suddenly. I tried chkdsk h: /x but the same error keeps coming. Have you found a solution to this. If so please help. Thanks a lot.
  15. Please post a new thread, rather than digging up a three year old one.
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