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1TB External USB HDD not recognized in Windows

Last response: in Storage
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November 19, 2012 10:48:47 PM

Hello,

I have 1TB External Hitachi USB drive. It was working fine but stopped all of sudden. Here is what happens when I plug it into my computer.

USB detects the drive and message pops up on the bottom right taskbar saying USB drive detected and installing it.
Once completed, I go to My Computer, it does not show up. No drive letter.

I go to Device Manager and it shows detected under USB Controller and under Hard Drive.

I tried on several computers, same result.

I also tried under Disk Management in Windows 7, It sees the disk and ask to initialize the disk first. I don't want to do that, otherwise all data will be wiped.

So it looks like "physically" the drive is ok but somehow MBR is corrupted.
I can not even fix the MBR because I don't get the drive letter in My Computer so can't do anything.

Any suggestions please?
a c 317 G Storage
November 19, 2012 11:12:06 PM

I would probably first try to recover the files from the drive with something like Recuva ( http://www.piriform.com/recuva ). Repairing the MBR is possible, but I've not had good success with doing so since it was probably pretty badly corrupted and is not nearly as easy as fixing the MBR of an OS drive.

And after recovering needed files I lecture the drive owner about the unreliability of external hard drives for backing up data that is not easily duplicated, as a review of this forum will show -- external HDDs are not very reliable backup, and are extremely poor for a single storage solution.
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November 19, 2012 11:18:01 PM

Can I recover files without drive letter assigned? I believe it won't recover since there is no drive letter assigned
Is there a freeware tool?
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a c 317 G Storage
November 20, 2012 2:33:00 AM

Yes, Recuva is freeware and will recover files after an accidental format or failure of the MBR. Download it and give it a try, it will not write anything to the drive so it will not overwrite files that are on it already.
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