Windows 10: I Did Something Bad To My External HDD's & Can't Access Them. Solved

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  1.    4 Weeks Ago #61

    OK. I will try a program you have mentioned to recover the files. Once I have finished doing so, what do you think would happen if I then ran chkdsk against it, before trying to format it?

    After trying to recover the files and before either trying chkdsk and/or format, if I discover that I have another Seagate 2TB drive with its VBR at Sector 63, do you want to experiment with the transplant? You would learn something new. Nothing ventured, nothing gained :)

    Another question: If I did find a VBR at sector 63 on a 2TB Seagate 2.5 inch USB drive, could that be used?

    I have a total of 28 External USB drives. A mixture of Seagate & Western Digital 3.5 & 2.5 inch. They are a mixture of 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5TB in size.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 767
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
       4 Weeks Ago #62

    "Once I have finished doing so, what do you think would happen if I then ran chkdsk against it, before trying to format it?"

    Yes, I was about to suggest that but forgot. Running checkdisk on a faulty drive is risky. If it completes successfully you are in heaven. If it aborts itself midway through you are in hell. Your data would have been strewn all over making data recovery thereafter uncertain. It is a fifty-fifty situation. So my recommendation will always be : Recover your data first and then do anything.

    ".....if I discover that I have another Seagate 2TB drive with its VBR at Sector 63, do you want to experiment with the transplant? You would learn something new. Nothing ventured, nothing gained :)"

    ......... if you don't know I am one year older than you. Layback Bear on my thread - Retiring from SevenForums :
    "A wise man once told me he used to run 5 miles a day but no longer could.
    He decided to not stop running but just run a mile a day."

    I think you got the message

    "Another question: If I did find a VBR at sector 63 on a 2TB Seagate 2.5 inch USB drive, could that be used?"

    Try for yourself. Save sector 63 of the receipient disk, save sector 63 of the donor disk, transplant on the receipient. If the recepient disk continues to function - success. If not restore the original sector 63 on the receipient disk.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    4 Weeks Ago #63

    Read you Loud & Clear :)

    I will try the chkdsk after I have done all I can do to my faulty drive.
    I will report back the outcome of trying to recover the files.

    Thanks a heap for your generous help. You are an asset to this forum.
    I am off to bed. Good Night.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    3 Weeks Ago #64

    I am happy to report that I have recovered all the files that were on the faulty drive.

    I have 28 external drives (totalling 73TB). I use 3 in docks and the other 25 are a mixture of USB 2.0 & 3.0.
    Because of that many drives, I use a file catalog program called WinCatalog 2018. Found here https://www.wincatalog.com

    WinCatalog
    shows that the files on the faulty drive (before I caused the fault) were a total of 1,878,740,204,644 bytes.
    The recovered files add up to that exactly (to the last byte).
    The program I used to recover the files was one of the ones recommended by jumanji.
    It is Active@ File Recovery found here Active@ File Recovery: download evaluation version for free

    It could do with a section in its Guide for the user who is a complete newbie to this sort of thing but I muddled through :)

    The size of the recovered files is 1.71TB. After the program had searched the drive (quick scan found nothing), I used its SuperScan which found everything.

    After the scan, it took 5.5 hours to recover the files through USB 3.0, which surprised me at its speed.

    After the recovery, I ran chkdsk against the drive from an elevated command prompt. It could not access it.
    I then formatted it in Disk Management & transferred its original files back on to it.
    It is working normally now.

    A big Thank You to jumanji.
    Thanks also to those of you who also gave suggestions: @Samuria @Berton @ignatzatsonic @eLPuSHeR

    I hope that this thread helps others in the same, or a similar situation that I found myself in.
    Last edited by theoldfarter; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:56.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 767
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
       3 Weeks Ago #65

    Glad that you could recover all your files . Even in GetDataBack Simple, there are four levels. If Level 1 is not successful, then Level 2 and then Level 3.... Level 4. These programs only scan the drive and do not write anything into the drive. So you can afford to make as many mistakes as you would like to . It was inevitable you had to use a commercial program but even Christophe Grenier, the author of TestDisk, knew it .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    3 Weeks Ago #66

    Did the file recovery program that you used retain your original file names and folder structure?

    Or will the files have to be renamed and reassigned to your desired folder structure?

    I assume you paid the $29 to be able to recover files larger than 64kb?

    I've never been in a situation identical to yours, but maybe 10 or 12 years ago I had occasion to use a free file recovery program and found that all file names were scrambled. I had to open each file to determine its contents and then reassign as appropriate. It worked, but was very time-consuming.

    I think I used either PhotoRec or Recuva.

    I'm going to bookmark this thread for possible later reference in case I face such a disaster. Good work by both you and Jumanji.
    Last edited by ignatzatsonic; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:41.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    3 Weeks Ago #67

    The structure, of the recovered files, was exactly the same as it was written to the faulty drive. I have not looked at every file as, at 1.71TB, that would take ages.

    The contents are TV shows, in .mkv format. Each show has its own named folder and each season has its own subfolder, which contained the season's individual episodes.

    In the subfolders, are the occasional .txt & .jpg file. All folders, subfolders, episodes, .txt & .jpg files retained their individual names.

    I sampled two .mkv files from each folder and they all played perfectly.

    As you say, the Demo version will only recover 64KB. One must buy the program to unlock its full functions.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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