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External hard drive

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July 23, 2012 12:30:10 AM

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.

More about : external hard drive

a b G Storage
July 23, 2012 12:40:26 AM

TestDisk, Data Recovery
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a b G Storage
July 23, 2012 3:12:25 PM

The disk need format then how does TestDisk fix this problem?
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Best solution

July 26, 2012 1:47:09 AM

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
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August 2, 2012 1:59:10 AM

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.
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August 2, 2012 2:00:04 AM

Best answer selected by jim murray.
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August 2, 2012 3:04:16 AM

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.
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December 2, 2013 6:08:42 PM

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.

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May 22, 2014 3:32:31 PM

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.

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