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  1. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    I had a hard drive with lots of family and baby pictures. I created a folder to download some APKS for my android box. I thought the android box would recognize it as an external, but it didn't. When I took it back to my PC, my drive's name changed to LOCAL DRIVE and says you need to format the disc before you can use it.

    What happened? Is there any hope? Please help.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    Further info... It also says "The drive does not contain a recognizable file system..." So I think the Android Box somehow changed the files system or something. Tried the drive on several computers now, so It's not something simple like a bad usb port.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by siratfus; 17th Dec 2013 at 22:22.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2012
    Location: North America
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    I would install a copy of PiriForm's RECUVA (here's File Hippo's download page) on your C: Drive, first. Then, connect your now-Android drive to that PC. You'll have to let it do a quick-format - alas, you've got nothing much to lose now!

    Do the QUICK format, too. Then, you may need to restart your computer with this 'new' drive still connected. Once restarted, run RECUVA and see if it can locate that new drive. It can take hours and hours for a "deep scan" but that's what I'd do.

    (Also, under RECUVA's Options, there is a PRESERVE FOLDER STRUCTURE option - VERY handy - I definitely check that one YES.)
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  4. Don't use the drive for anything. Not that you can at the moment, but if you write files to it you'll risk over-writing the old ones.

    Install some file recovery software on your PC. There's free software you can try.
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/filerecovery/tp/free-file-recovery-programs.htm
    http://lifehacker.com/5237503/five-best-free-data-recovery-tools

    If you scan the drive and find files to recover you'd restore them to your PC, then you can format the drive again when you're done. If you don't have any luck with free software, GetDataBack has worked very well for me in the past when needing to recover files for others. It recovered a whole hard drive's worth of files once when none of the free software I tried could restore many files and many which they did restore were corrupted. I think the demo version will scan and report the files it finds but it won't do any recovery.

    Of course it might be just co-incidence that the hard drive can't be read after connecting it to an android box (computers are vicious like that). The hard drive may have died or it's dying. It's also possible (assuming it's a USB drive) the drive is fine but the case electronics are not. One step at a time though.....

    I suspect after this if you get your files back you'll never keep them stored on a single hard drive again? Sooner or later they all stop working.

    Good luck!
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2008
    Location: United States
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    I once had some luck with Acronis Disk Director.
    My situation was a little different - I had tried to create a Linux partition on a drive
    that had active XP and Vista systems. Somehow, Vista's partition disappeared completely.
    Using Disk Managment in XP, the area that should have contained the vista partition was now
    unallocated space.

    Using Disk Director it was able to recover the partiton. Evidently, it searches through the whole
    drive and finds the start and end of each partition. Once it finds them, it updates the partition
    table as necessary. May be worth a look if the other tools are not successful.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    [QUOTE=hello_hello;2288989]Don't use the drive for anything. Not that you can at the moment, but if you write files to it you'll risk over-writing the old ones./QUOTE]

    Second this. DO NOT let anything write to your drive. Writing anything to the drive may crush any chance of recovery.

    First, listen to the drive as it powers up. Does it run smoothly? Does it click? Does it start and stop? If it does the drive is physically bad. I just had a 3TB drive go bad. It powered up one day, then the next time I powered it up it started clicking. 3TB of data gone...BUT I had a complete backup!

    Second, assuming you're running Windows, try a live Linux boot disc (I like Knoppix or Zorin OS, both free and can run from a CD) or UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD). Windows is very picky about what of file systems it will read.

    Third, if you're unable to mount the drive in Linux or UBCD and it's spinning correctly, your enclosure may be bad. Open the enclosure and mount the drive directly to a SATA or IDE connector.

    Finally, BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP. As hello_hello stated "Sooner or later they all stop working". Hard drives, flashdrives, DVDs, CDs, tapes...everything you have data on WILL stop working someday, almost always when you least expect it.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for all the advice. Seems like there is some hope. Before I get started, I need to tell you guys one more thing. The computer I'm using is a Mac Air. I'm running windows 7 using bootcamp. I set it to restart and start in windows 7 by default.

    These recovery software will also find the Mac partition as well, right? If I'm restoring everything on the windows side. Will the mac side recognize its drive later? Nothing is important on the mac side, so it's not a priority.

    Lastly, my mac air has no room. I'm planning to use a hub and I'll connect the corrupted drive to this hub, as well as the new drive that I want the files to go to. Is that okay?
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    I started the Recuva and the wizard. It asks me where is the location where I need the files recovered, when I select the location which is DRIVE I, I get the same pop up.. that I need to format it. I click cancel and the dial is still selected at the DRIVE I. I do the scan and it says FIALED TO SCAN UNABLE TO DETERMINE FILE SYSTEM TYPE.

    Should I do over and let it format like it wanted to?
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    Here is the full message whenever It wants to format but I click CANCEL.

    "The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted."

    Just want to know is it okay to let Recuva format the drive so it can access it? Formatting means deleting, right? So that concerns me.
    Last edited by siratfus; 18th Dec 2013 at 01:27.
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  10. I would suggest trying GetDataBack as mentioned by hello_hello.
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  11. Formatting doesn't actually mean deleting, although it seems odd to me the recovery software requires you to format the drive in order to recover files. I haven't used recovery software in a long time myself though.

    Maybe try one of these.
    http://www.puransoftware.com/File-Recovery.html
    http://www.icare-recovery.com/data-recovery-free.html
    I've not used them but they have a few different scanning methods which don't require you to format the drive first.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Australia
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    The error is due to trying to save to the drive with issue.

    There are 2 rules in data recovery:

    1: Do not let any program format or repair a drive in questionable state.

    2: Do not save files to a drive in questionable state.

    ----

    3rd rule, rare, in some situations it may be possible to create a master raw data image which can be restored to another drive of equal or greater capacity where file recovery may succeed if recovery fails on original drive

    ----

    Use testdisk to recover files
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    I'm not sure if it's Recuva that's asking me to format or the computer itself. Because I get the same thing when I click on the drive directly from MY COMPUTER. In any case, GETDATABACK is scanning, and there was no pop-up to format disk. ETA is 6 hours. WOW! It's allowing me to use the demo and if the results are good, I can then pay after.
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  14. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    Testdisk is too complicated. Seems like you have to understand what happened to your drive, but I don't understand what happened. Because the guide says to do this, run this. To do that, run that, to the other thing, run that thing. LOL!

    Here it is.. I'm lost already. Raw, encase EWF, split.. I don't understand this language. Which category do I fall under?

    To recover partition from a media image or repair a filesystem image, run
    • testdisk image.dd to work from a raw disk image
    • testdisk image.E01 to recover files from an Encase EWF image
    • testdisk 'image.???' if the Encase image is split into several files.
    To repair a filesystem not listed by TestDisk, run testdisk device, i.e.
    • testdisk /dev/mapper/truecrypt0 or testdisk /dev/loop0 to repair the NTFS or FAT32 boot sector files from a TrueCrypt partition. The same method works with filesystem encrypted with cryptsetup/dm-crypt/LUKS.
    • testdisk /dev/md0 to repair a filesystem on top of a Linux RAID device.
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  15. Do you know if the external hard drive was NTFS or HFS formatted? Was the external hard drive used interchangeably with Mac and Windows computers (not VM), or Mac only?
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    NTFS or FAT? Don't remember, but yes, used interchangeably.

    I'm running Puran file recovery right now. Trying the free stuff first before getting back to GETDATABACK. Puran shows the drive as RAW now.
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  17. It was probably NTFS if Windows could recognize it.
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  18. Take the actual hard drive out of the sepeaate interface casing it is in and connect it directly by SATA cable to a computer. Eliminate extra circuitry which does not really need to be there and also has a high probability of being the EXACT cause of the error, most ESPECIALLY after recently moving the drive.

    The error you are experiencing is fairly common with an external drive with a bad USB or Firewire bridge, or cable. NONE OF WHICH is necessary to make the drive function.

    Very Highly recommend GetDataBack, have used it several times. Worth the money. You must have a Windows PC, and enough hard drive space to store all data. This program WILL NOT write to the problem drive. Any program which does must be avoided like the plague, until ALL other options are exhausted. ANY changes made to the drive's file structure are likely to result in complete and total data loss, this is an absolute last resort, ONLY.
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  19. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2012
    Location: North America
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    Sorry for the tardy reply - sleeping overnight, and all...

    Sir, in my first note, I mentioned "Do a QUICK format" which would 'initiate' a file-system for all other operations. That's why I wrote "do a QUICK format".

    This WILL wipe out some files (only a few, and PROBABLY only the once-existing File-System-ID files anyway, since those are always located at one specific 'address' on hard-disks.

    Windows should be the one notifying you that you've put in a new hard-drive and that IT should do the FORMAT (and there will be a checkbox QUICK-FORMAT ? YES ? for you to use.)

    All of these other solutions have excellent options as well.

    But until your 'bad' hard drive has an installed file-system ID, recovering the bits and bytes will be more if-fy.
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  20. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2012
    Location: North America
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    Sir, I just read your note asking "FAT or NTFS". Ugh. Now, you need to remember which operating system this hard-drive was originally used on. WinXP? Win2000? Win98? I can't guess for you.

    If you were using this hard drive with WinXP, Vista, Win7, then it probably used 99.9999999% NTFS. If you used Win98, you probably were using FAT or FAT-32. Win2000 is probably NTFS, too.

    I'd guess "NTFS" first. The QUICK FORMAT and attempts to RECUVA data will give you your absolute answer (if you get ZERO recovery, then you might go back and QUICK FORMAT to "FAT", but I bet it's NTFS.)

    QUICK FORMAT, again, probably won't destroy your data files. It will overwrite some System Critical files that probably contained File-System IDs anyway. It's like pulling out a Table Of Contents from one book's copy and taping in another ToC from the same book's other copy.
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  21. Attempting any serious drive recovery through a USB interface is an EXTREME ERROR.

    I would not perform a quick format or any other writing to that drive until MULTIPLE other options were investigated. Be NON-DESTRUCTIVE until there is no other option.
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  22. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2007
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by siratfus View Post
    Here is the full message whenever It wants to format but I click CANCEL.

    "The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted."

    Just want to know is it okay to let Recuva format the drive so it can access it? Formatting means deleting, right? So that concerns me.
    Based on my similar experience: Recuva's not a repair tool; it will only read the drive looking for files, not write to it. Also, while that bad volume error message will still come up when you select the drive in Recuva, it only affects the "regular" scan. The deep scan will ignore the problem and scan the entire drive anyway. I would suggest using Recuva to recuva what it can just in case before actually trying any kind of repair.
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  23. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: United States
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    If there is nothing physically wrong with the drive and you have a corrupt partition, it may be smart to raw image the drive before you begin any recovery work on it. This will allow you to have a backup of your raw data in case you do something to destroy the data during your recovery attempts. It will require you to have another empty hard drive of at least the same size. A good free tool to do this is the Linux Live CD called Parted Magic. There are lots of information and guides on the internet that you can research how to use the tools included. One important thing to remember is don't mix up the source and destination, you don't want to image an empty drive onto your corrupt drive.
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  24. Originally Posted by OllieTSB View Post
    Sir, I just read your note asking "FAT or NTFS". Ugh. Now, you need to remember which operating system this hard-drive was originally used on. WinXP? Win2000? Win98? I can't guess for you.
    The majority of external/USB hard drives used to be sold pre-formatted as FAT32 in order to keep them compatible with the widest range of devices and operating systems possible.
    These days it's no doubt shifted to NTFS due to the increase in capacity, but unless the user "manually" re-formatted the drive, the file system and the version of Windows being used probably have no relationship to each other.
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  25. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Toronto, Canada
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    Format message coming from the OS most likely. Recuva is a data recovery tool not a disk utility.

    Try ISOBuster.
    Is he gone?
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  26. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    Hey Guys, thank you for all the tips. OllieTSB, I was uncomfortable with recuva because there was no QUICK FORMAT option as you mentioned. There was only FORMAT, so I wasn't sure if that was the same.

    In any case, I decided to try Puran File Recovery. And it did not require me to format anything. It identified the drive as raw. It discovered over 25k worth of files, and has been recovering for over 10hrs now. The scanning part took 6 hrs, but the recovery is taking much longer.

    For those familiar with Puran or anything similar, can you guys explain something... The drive I'm recovering from is 500gb, which technically is only 465gb. I recall only about 300gb was used. So there was still about 165gb of space. The destination drive for the recovery is 1tb, technically only 931gb. It is still going, but as I check the destination drive, as of this moment, it says there is 407gb of free space left. So it has used up 524gb and still going.

    I'm curious, why is that? Source drive is only 465gb with only about 300gb used. So why doesn't the math add up? I can see my recovered files in the destination drive. So everything seems to be working, but I'm just curious why the math doesn't add up, and it's still going.
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  27. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
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    From 931 GB of free space to 335 GB left and counting. This doesn't make sense. Any clue guys?

    Temporary files? If this is normal and part of the process, then users should have been warned that we need a much bigger destination size than the source.
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  28. The program is probably recovering deleted files -- who's space on the drive has been reused by newer files (pointers to the deleted files' location may still exist after deletion). You'll have to go through all your files when it's done and figure out which ones are good files and which are bad.
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  29. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    The program is probably recovering deleted files -- who's space on the drive has been reused by newer files (pointers to the deleted files' location may still exist after deletion). You'll have to go through all your files when it's done and figure out which ones are good files and which are bad.
    I see. Very strange.

    The "REAL" files should have priority, right? At some point, I probably don't need this to continue.
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  30. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: United States
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    Also, is it possible to get back the original dates of the pictures? I see all that info is gone, replaced by current date.
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