External hard drive corrupt and unreadable, wants me to format, need h


I've got a 2TB external hard drive with about 1.5TBs of data on it. One day when I plugged it into my laptop, windows didn't recognize it and wanted me to format it in order to lose it. I really don't want to lose all of my stuff, can anyone please help? I've already searched around a bit, and tried using the chkdsk command, but it didn't help and I really have no idea what I'm doing.
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  1. That kind of thing usually happens when you disconnect or shut down drive when it is still in use. Try connecting it to a different pc and see if you can access the data you need. If you d then back it up and do a format then copy the data back over.
  2. Quote:
    Don't worry! It is a really common problem.
    Generally, under this circumstance, you need format the derive first, or you can not able to access your data on it. But the data on it also cannot afford to lose, right?
    Therefore, for the safety of your data there, you need a recovery program, and then format it.
    Actually there are many recovery programs that you can choose from, but i think iCare Data Recovery Free and Recuva can be the good ones of them, they are both professional and efficient i restoring your data and they are both free.
    you can get them :


    If I use a data recovery program and then format it I need a place to store the data though right? I don't have another hard drive near big enough to hold all that. I've already got iCare Data Recovery, but I was hoping it would be possible without formatting my hard drive because I have no where else to store it :/
  3. Bite the bullet and buy another 2tb hard drive before you start. Some of the other answers may involve loss of data and also take a long time, particularly those suggesting to format the drive and then use recuva or similar to recover the files. That will give you a useable drive with no data, and it can take many days to recover your files. Last resort.
    How I did it is to use boot-repair disk (choice of 32 or 64 bit - free). The site tells you how to burn it. I used Imgburn which is free. there's also a USB boot alternative.
    This has a clean ubuntu installation on it. Use that to copy your files to another external disk. 500gb took about three hours on a rather old computer. THEN format your drive once the files have been validated and you are satisfied you have your data back. Ubuntu does not suffer from the Windows bootrec problems. You will see all your files via file manager (bottom left on taskbar) Just copy the files to your new external drive which should be the same size as your non functioning drive (or larger). This procedure is easier than using umpteen command lines that only DOS era people find easy. I used boot-repair-disk because I like it, but any easily available linux disk will work, Backtrack 5 for example. Boot up with your preferred linux OS and carry on from there. Don't waste your time trying to do it from Windows. Don't waste your money on recovery programs.
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