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  1. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Hi

    I'm using an old internal HD as a external hard drive. It's recognised in computer, but when i open it there is nothing showing. You can see the space bar, which is showing nearly full data in red.

    I'm using Windows Vista 32.

    The drive was never formatted, there was data on the drive i needed to keep. When i hooked it up to my laptop it worked without formatting.


    Can anyone advise how to open and access folders?

    Thanks
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    More info required.

    When you say 'external' how is this connected ?. Is it in an enclosure ? How is it powered ? Independently or by USB.
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  3. Member TreeTops's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Oregon
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    If it is a old drive it may need to have jumper removed or added to make it a slave drive.
    Inside Every Older Person Is A Younger Person Wondering What The Hell Happened.
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  4. Member ranchhand's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: USA-midwest
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    it worked without formatting
    I think you may be misinformed; it is impossible to use a drive without a partition and file system format; without a file system there is nowhere to put your data. Without formatting you would have RAW space. My suggestion is to first investigate if you are formatted in FAT or NTFS. That would be your start.
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  5. If you were running XP you could right click on the drive, select properties, and the window which opens would have a Tools tab containing a function for scanning for and fixing errors. Vista may have the error checking in the same place, or you get to it another way (I've no idea) but it'll have the ability. You probably don't need to do a scan for bad sectors, just a scan for file system errors.

    I've got a SATA to USB2 hard drive dock and not so long ago I could only see a couple of files on the drive in it after it connected (it was nearly full). I don't know what happened. Maybe I tried selecting the drive before the USB dock had finished connecting properly and that somehow made a mess of things. Fortunately, getting Windows to scan for file system errors and fix any it found put the file system back the way it was and I could access all the files. The drive's been fine ever since.

    If scanning for errors with Windows doesn't fix it, you might need to look at some decent file recovery software.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Thanks all for your info.

    I hope the following gives a bit more help.



    This is the setup i'm using

    http://oi60.tinypic.com/14d0tph.jpg

    Has you can see the HDD is recognised in computer - LOcalDisk (F) The only thing wrong is the HDD is a 160GB. And it's showing 104 MB free of 349 MB when it should be 104 MB free a little under.160GB

    http://oi58.tinypic.com/aw8h05.jpg

    Then we open the HDD LOcalDisk (F) in computer nothing at all showing.

    http://oi57.tinypic.com/2qd97at.jpg

    We go into Disk Management i have highlighted in black where HDD LocalDisk (F) is found

    http://oi59.tinypic.com/2s1579g.jpg


    Thanks all, i really appreciate your time and help you giving me
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  7. Member DB83's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    We had a topic a little while ago where the OP was trying to use one of these connectors.

    If memory serves, the usb does not provide enough power for a standard HDD.

    I guess then you trashed the disk when you connected it to your laptop.

    I am also worried about 'Drive E' which is alongside your drive. I think this is actually the drive you connected and not 'F'. 'RAW' is the give away here.

    You can attempt to recover the data but would need recovery tools to do so.
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  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
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    Originally Posted by ranchhand View Post
    it worked without formatting
    I think you may be misinformed; it is impossible to use a drive without a partition and file system format; without a file system there is nowhere to put your data. Without formatting you would have RAW space. My suggestion is to first investigate if you are formatted in FAT or NTFS. That would be your start.
    You read it wrong,the op means it didn't need to be formatted since there was already a partition with files on it.
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    Originally Posted by ranchhand View Post
    it worked without formatting
    I think you may be misinformed; it is impossible to use a drive without a partition and file system format; without a file system there is nowhere to put your data. Without formatting you would have RAW space. My suggestion is to first investigate if you are formatted in FAT or NTFS. That would be your start.
    You read it wrong,the op means it didn't need to be formatted since there was already a partition with files on it.
    No, the OP can't say what means in a good way. YOU just happened to be able to see through the bs here, so bully for you, but that first post is awful. He said, and I quote:
    The drive was never formatted
    which to a normal English speaking human being would mean "This drive was unformatted" rather than the "I didn't have to do anything to the drive - it just worked" that he meant but certainly did not say and you somehow figured out. Again, good for you. But I thought the same thing ranchhand did, I just didn't respond.
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  10. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
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    as the picture shows e: and f: are one single drive with 2 partitions. the big one is raw and unformatted which means that any data that was on there is gone.

    Click image for larger version

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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Unless the OP has accidentally done a re-partition, or a re-format, a drive isn't going to just "un-partition" or "un-format" itself. More likely, it is either corrupted (which might be repairable), or un-recognized (which might become recognized with proper setup, drivers, etc).

    I was thinking that the OP meant to say, "the drive was never RE-formatted".

    OP needs to stop using simple Windows OS tools to check on partitioning: get PartitionMagic, PartedMagic, gParted, Acronis, or some other more thorough tool. Don't reformat/repartition or unformat/unpartition at all until it is fully understood just WHAT the current partitioning situation really is.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2002
    Location: United States
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    Don't format the disk yet. Use getdataback to recover the data on the disk and save to another drive. Then reformat the drive as NTFS and move your data back to the reformatted drive.

    A few years ago, I bought a Sata card to add more drives to my PC and somehow, installing the card changed my two 500 GB Sata drives from NTFS to RAW. I took the card back to the guy I bought it from (a local computer repair shop) with one of my drives. He took it into the back room and brought it back out reformatted which meant I lost almost 500 GB of data. I downloaded a working trial copy of getdataback and recovered all the files off of the second drive.

    Oh, and dump that stupid adapter and get a $30 external HDD enclosure.
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Thanks again everyone for your reply.

    Cornucopia wrote:
    I was thinking that the OP meant to say, "the drive was never RE-formatted".
    This is what i should have written, thanks Cornucopia.

    I will give software ago

    I have come across a software titled TestDisk http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

    Anyone know of this?
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  14. There is a good reason GetDataBack was recommended, that is because it works. Other software MIGHT work, BUT - IF anything attempts to repair that partition structure, it is DO or DIE. You either get everything back, or you loose it all forever. I have had very limited success with TestDisk in multiple attempts. GetDataBack has never failed to access files on a drive that was still electrically live. Hasn't always gotten everything, but has always gotten at least something. It does not attempt repair, it just recovers the files and will NOT write to the suspect drive. That is critically important.

    GET RID OF THAT ADAPTER!! DO NOT repeat NOT access the drive again with it, ideally EVER, or at least until you get the repair done. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES attempt to do any low-level drive repair using such a device. Hook it internally to a standard drive interface. External, and/or non-standard, interfaces are the minions of Satan.

    Having more info on where this drive came from and how it was used before the current connection would be helpful. Some overview of the existing files on the small partition would yield some info. My guess would be that is either a restore partition from a name brand PC or a Win 7 or above boot partition. Possible the main partition was deleted and partially re-created as a security measure upon removal from the original PC. Possible the simple lack of enough power is the only cause of the current problem. Did it EVER work on the current adapter? My guess is no, but I am getting tired of guessing and need some useful information.
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  15. Member DB83's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    My 'tool' of choice is ZAR - Zero Assumption Recovery

    But I echo what is said above and 'recover from within a PC and not by some quirky adapter. If you are lucky, simply plugging that HDD back inside a PC will bring it magically back to life ie with all files available but the recovery tool should still do its work.

    I have seen drives go bad/vanish simply by using Windows analysis tools on them.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Australia
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    Yes testdisk works, in some cases it is far more superior recovery program than those bantered about the net ... most here and other places appear to like gui type apps which run within the current os there using.

    Before you run anything on the disk ... where did it come from as you have not specified ?

    Secondly, recovery should not be done via any external enclosure to reduce connected hardware interfaces between the drive and system performing recovery ... especially that cable.

    Recently while I was in system manager on a system being recovered a usb drive appeared for a second as raw then relisted with ntfs system.

    This might be an issue with the usb port, onboard chip, registry bloat in usb key subsection causing confusion.

    If the current system has prior to this had any issue with a usb device on the ports you should

    A: Uninstall all usb related device drivers

    B: Clear all related registry keys

    C: Reboot, reinstall usb chipset drivers, reboot once more

    Allow system to re-detect device with hd attached and confirm if issue remains.

    Try reversing the Y cable connected usb ports and try again.

    If problem remains next step is to have the unit physically connected internally in a desktop to confirm issue.

    After this its deep scan using testdisk ... I've had some pretty fouled up and flaky drives from customers and its always done the job and pulling readable files ... then there's those jobs where the drive needs rebuilding, replace mainboard.

    Last job was a 3 terabyte with a little over 2 terabytes worth of data ... it read time to recovery 315days 22hours 6mins ... not fun.
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  17. Teac23,
    Did you try a simple scan to find and fix file system errors using Windows as I suggested? Before messing around with anything else, that's the first thing I'd do.
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