Solved

External hard drive

Hello,
My new computer says I need to format a WD external hard drive which is plugged into a USB port. I don't want to lose my data. I was using windows vista, new computer is windows 7.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about external hard drive
  1. TestDisk, Data Recovery
    TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

    TestDisk Step By Step to recover lost partitions and repair damaged FAT/NTFS boot sector
    Recover deleted files from NTFS partition

    NOTE If seeked lost file are still missing, give PhotoRec a try. PhotoRec is a signature based file recovery utility and may be able to recover your data where other methods failed.

    PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.
  2. Best answer
    For some strange reason my WD Elements 1.5 TB will occasionally throw up a "You need to format the disk in drive F:before you can use it" when I initially connect it in Win 7 but after a few minutes it shows up in My Computer and all my data is still there so I figured it's a bug with Win 7 64 but I'm not sure so I do not use it as my only backup. And I've read lots of folks have similar issues but many times their drives do not become accessible, or they click format disk not realizing they are about to erase all their data. You may want to try and see if the you can browse the contents on another computer if it won't cooperate with your new PC to see if you are getting that message in error.

    Running TestDisk will help you find out if your data is still there.
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
  3. silvery said:
    For some strange reason my WD Elements 1.5 TB will occasionally throw up a "You need to format the disk in drive F:before you can use it" when I initially connect it in Win 7 but after a few minutes it shows up in My Computer and all my data is still there so I figured it's a bug with Win 7 64 but I'm not sure so I do not use it as my only backup. And I've read lots of folks have similar issues but many times their drives do not become accessible, or they click format disk not realizing they are about to erase all their data. You may want to try and see if the you can browse the contents on another computer if it won't cooperate with your new PC to see if you are getting that message in error.

    Running TestDisk will help you find out if your data is still there.
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step


    Fellow Windows 7 User Silvery,

    I was running out of patience when I discovered that my security software was able to scan the files on the disc even though the disc was not listed in My Computer. The following day, the disc showed up and there was no longer a warning re formatting. Coincidence? This initially troublesome disc was also drive F. Another WD external drive, drive E, never gave any trouble. Windows 7 bug is my best guess also. Thanks.
  4. Best answer selected by jim murray.
  5. jim murray said:
    Fellow Windows 7 User Silvery, This initially troublesome disc was also drive F. Another WD external drive, drive E, never gave any trouble. Windows 7 bug is my best guess also. Thanks.


    I'm glad it was just a fluke and nothing actually wrong with the drive.

    I often lose patience when I get the "Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device" message! No matter what process I end in task manager including antivirus program, anti malware program, even explorer itself, I cannot get drives to eject after big backups and have to resort to shutting the PC off to safely remove the external drives. So I'm not sure if it's Windows Search Indexer even though I've excluded the drive from it... Anyways I learned that it's OK to do that in Windows 7 as long as it's Policy is set for Quick Removal. (Device Manager --> Disk drives --> highlight external drive, right click --> properties --> polices tab --> make sure quick removal is clicked, it's the default setting so it should be). Just when we get used to Windows 7 quirks, Windows 8 will be upon us, lol, but I don't plan on updating until I have to.
  6. There are many reasons which may causes external hard drive to show error message like not formatted. It could be Windows problem, i.e. hard drive itself does not have any problem, the Windows may have problem detecting the hard drive and hence show the error message. So you may try to restart Windows computer, or you may try the hard drive on other computer.

    Sometimes the usb port may got problem, the connection may be loose, or the usb port may simply spoiled. So you may try another usb port and see whether the problem fixed.

    You may also take a look at this article which explains how to fix the hard drive not formatted error and how to get files off the not formatted hard drive: http://goo.gl/mIOJLp

    Sometimes it could also be virus which destroys the file table, making operation system not able to read the hard drive well. If that's the case, you may run an anti-virus program to scan the external hard drive and try to kill the virus. Microsoft Security essential is a free and good one
    http://goo.gl/rx1KFq

    If all above failed, you may have to send the hard drive for repair.
  7. I encountered this problem on a WD Elements Hard Disk Drive 1023 (WDT-D2B B), 500 GB/USB 2.0 0611B. on Windows 8 - 64 bit. it seemed that the HDD was connected to USB port of a cheap Media box messed up the partition.

    Resolved with TestDisk http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

    Although I spent a few hours recovering the data first before trying to change the partition type using TestDisk, but eventually changing the partition type was a breeze. I regretted wasting those hours recovering the data whereas changing the partition type to NTFS did the trick in minutes and HDD started working well.
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Western Digital Computer External Hard Drive Storage