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Accessing a 3TB with data on a Win7 Machine?

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June 20, 2012 4:38:27 PM

I have a Western Digital 3TB Green drive that I had loaded with data from a former Win Vista64 machine. I'm not unable to access the drive as anything other than an unformatted drive on my Win7 x64.

I realize that for the drive to be recognized by Win7 I needed to update my BIOS and I'm reading I need to GPT format the drive before it can be used fully and properly in Win7 BUT... is there a clever way for me to access it just to get my existing data off? I don't have access to a Vista machine. I imagine someone else has had this problem and found a work around.

I just need to get the info off the drive before I GPT format it. HELP!

a b G Storage
June 20, 2012 6:04:04 PM

What size is the drive formatted too currently? You could always take and clone the to another smaller drive and then clone it back to the 3TB once you get it installed.
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June 20, 2012 6:15:26 PM

If you are sure that your MB supports 3 TB drives (and make sure on which controller it is plugged if you have more then 1), It seems that the partition information was lost since W7 would of recognized it.

So either BIOS/controller doesnt support 3TB drivers or corruption occured
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June 20, 2012 7:05:46 PM

BIOS supports 3TB. Yeah, data might be lost. I've tried several softs that boot right to a prompt and scan for lost partitions and even those come up with nothing.
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July 8, 2012 8:03:06 AM

You have to have GPT set up on any computer you use to access the full 3 TB. So, if your Vista machine could do it, then the drive already has it. Or, had it.

When I went out of town for a day on June 22, my computer was working reasonably well. When I booted it for the first time on my return on June 23, I discovered that my Windows 7 (64-bit) computer had lost the ability to access my 1 year-old, 3 TB WD Caviar Green internal hard drive. On booting, the system said that one of my drives needed to be checked for consistency, but on checking, it could only display several lines of failed file record segments, beginning at Segment 64. After a lot of work, I've managed to retrieve virtually all of my files, though some of them are corrupted to various degrees.

In hunting around the Web, I'm noticing a few other people reporting the same problem at about the same time. This could be just a coincidence; WD hard drives supposedly have a high failure rate, lately. But, 2 other common oddities take place, too:

1) The hard drives are almost full when they fail. Someone suggested to one victim that his drive wrote past the 2.2 TB boundary and the SATA controller wrapped around.

2) Leap second was June 30/July 1, and several computer systems around the world crashed when they did not handle it correctly.

I cannot find a good correlation between the drive failure and the leap second; these failures take place before the leap second does. It just seems odd that so many would happen in the middle or end of June.

Other problems that cropped on my computer about the same time:

3) I also can no longer play Flash in Firefox.

4) Microsoft Word 2003 often stops responding for a few minutes, beginning immediately after the program loads.

I am looking for any information that might relate to this issue.

Incidentally, a lot of file recovery software could not access my 3 TB hard drive, but I found a few that could. I believe the difference is that a lot of file recovery software cannot access GPT partitions (they are stuck in the MBR world). Of those that can access my GPT partition, I chose to register the one recommended to me by FileHippo, as it worked and was the least expensive. I used MagicCute Data Recovery to recover my files off my 3 TB partition.
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