Ext. 4TB USB Suddenly Unallocated w/ Lots of Data Looking 4 HELP : )

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  1. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #31

    phaedruspress:

    If you made two disks (connected to two computers using one usb2sata converter) damaged, then there is something wrong with your converter, do not use it. Connect your disks either directly to sata or using another converter.

    You can gain some knowledge of gpt partitioning scheme from GUID Partition Table - Wikipedia - as you can see, partition table should be stored twice, at the beginning and at the end of disk, so it can be restored if the first copy is damaged.

    Standard 4TB disk should have 7814037168 sectors, they are numbered from 0 (not from 1) to 7814037167. Important data are at these sectors:

    Sector 0-33 ... "protective" sector + efi marker + gpt table
    Sector 7814037135-7814037167 ... copy of gpt table + efi marker.

    The first thing we need is copy of these areas of your damaged disk. It can be done using HxD or BootIce or other hex editor. So it is necessary these data to be copied to files; it can be done by you or other person.

    There are many ways how the disk can be damaged, not only protective sector. So sharing these areas of your disk with more people for analysis is necessary.
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  2. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,507
    Windows 10 Pro
       #32

    muchomurka said:
    phaedruspress:

    If you made two disks (connected to two computers using one usb2sata converter) damaged, then there is something wrong with your converter, do not use it. Connect your disks either directly to sata or using another converter.
    Did you even read his post?

    phaedruspress said:
    Thanks for the input. The docking station with the accompanying USB cable is working with my other USB external 2TB and 4TB drives.
    The simple solution is to let MiniTool Partition Wizard partition recovery wizard attempt to find the deleted partition. You can mess with hex editors, etc.... but keep in mind there is the strong potential of making the disk unrecoverable. I've recovered a very important "unallocated" drive before with the software designed specifically to do it. About 4 mouse clicks and less than a minute later and I had all my data back. Leave the hex editing to the experts, IMHO.
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  3. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #33

    NavyLCDR said:
    Did you even read his post?
    Different disks have different signal strength requirements, power consumption & voltage need.

    NavyLCDR said:
    The simple solution is to let MiniTool Partition Wizard partition recovery wizard attempt to find the deleted partition.
    Never ever let disk utilies do some "automatic" repair actions without analysis of problem (or complete backup); the 1TB disk is already destroyed by this, the 4TB is the last chance.
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  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,507
    Windows 10 Pro
       #34

    muchomurka said:
    Different disks have different signal strength requirements, power consumption & voltage need.



    Never ever let disk utilies do some "automatic" repair actions without analysis of problem (or complete backup); the 1TB disk is already destroyed by this, the 4TB is the last chance.
    I'm sorry, but you are way off base here. The initial functions of MiniTool Partition Wizard Partition Recovery wizard do not write to the disk. It scans the drive (reads, not writes) and displays what has the potential of being recovered. But whatever...to each their own! My experience has been the free version of the partition recovery program showed me what could be recovered. Then I paid for the full version of the program and it restored exactly what it had read and said could be recovered. I also tested the functionality of MiniTools Parition Wizard yesterday by creating an NTFS partition on a 3 TB drive that was inserted in a USB docking station. I copied some files to the partition. Then I ran the diskpart clean command on the drive. Then I booted from Kyhi's Recovery Tools drive and MiniTool Partition Wizard found the partition deleted with the clean command and restored it to perfect working order with about 4 mouse clicks and 1 minute of time. In this instance, @phaedruspress doesn't even have to pay for the full version of the program if they decide to use a USB flash drive created using Kyhi's recovery tools ISO file.
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  5. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #35

    Your choice to prefer the sw (imo your "test" proves nothing, you should test many ways of disk corruption) over gaining knowledge, but please do not recommend it to person who values his data.
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  6. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,507
    Windows 10 Pro
       #36

    muchomurka said:
    Your choice to prefer the sw (imo your "test" proves nothing, you should test many ways of disk corruption) over gaining knowledge, but please do not recommend it to person who values his data.
    I will continue to HIGHLY RECOMMEND programs that I know work. And you are free to recommend alternatives.
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  7. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,575
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #37

    jumanji said:
    ........But for an external drive, most of it will be not be necessary. When I continue, I shall post a screenshot of how sector 0 will look when initialised with third party Partitoning Tools such as Minitool Partition Wizard. .......to continue.
    Continuing my post #26, when an external drive is initialised as a GPT drive the protective MBR at sector 0 will look as in the screenshot below.

    a. The protective MBR at sector 0 of an external HDD when it is initialised as a GPT disk with MiniTool Partition Wizard

    Ext. 4TB USB Suddenly Unallocated w/ Lots of Data Looking 4 HELP : )-25-11-2018-10-22-17.jpg

    b. The protective MBR at sector 0 of an external HDD when it is initialised as a GPT disk with Windows Disk Management (repeated here for comparison)

    Ext. 4TB USB Suddenly Unallocated w/ Lots of Data Looking 4 HELP : )-24-11-2018-18-09-28.jpg

    So what is the problem?

    If you use MiniTool Partition Wizard to recover the partition/s, it will be successful and you will be able to see your data, provided the original Sector 0 was as in screenshot a. ( because that is what it will write)

    If not, ( i.e the original sector 0 was as in b.) you will recover the disk but you will not see any of your data. ( your data is still there but not visible)

    At this point, I shall take a break and return after sometime.
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  8. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,575
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #38

    OK, my thesis was completed in post #37, the previous post. It is not just a theoretical exposition. Theory I knew. It was put to test by an actual experiment on my Seagate 500 GB external drive. It was initialised as a GPT and formatted in Windows Disk Management. Single volume. Some data was put in it. Fine. Next sector 0 (Protective MBR as in screenshot b above in my previous post ) was saved with bootice. Then sector 0, sector 1 ( GPT header) and sector 2 (GPT Partition Table) were zeroed. The disk became unallocated. Data not accessible. Akin to OP's problem.

    Ext. 4TB USB Suddenly Unallocated w/ Lots of Data Looking 4 HELP : )-25-11-2018-08-15-14.jpg

    In an effort to recover the HDD Partition Recovery Wizard in MiniTool Partition Wizard Free version 9.1 was run.( Why version 9.1? Because in later versions 10.x.x Partition Recovery is not free. One has to buy it.)

    And sure the single partition was found. But double clicking on it did not show my data. What all I can see was the Recycle Bin and System Volume Information. Bootice showed the truncated Sector 0 as in screenshot a above in my previous post. I did finish the process writing it to the disk. Windows showed the HDD alive after giving it a drive letter.. Explore. No Folders. Drive empty.

    Using bootice, the original bootsector saved ( screenshot b above in my previous post) was written into Sector 0. Lo and behold! The HDD was restored as before and I could see and access the data.

    Ext. 4TB USB Suddenly Unallocated w/ Lots of Data Looking 4 HELP : )-25-11-2018-18-43-49.jpg

    ( My data is only a single folder 0.10GB consisting of a few MP3s)
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  9. Posts : 554
    windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter
       #39

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed. I must have caught something from one of those germ infested nieces or nephews on the US Thanksgiving holiday last Thursday so I am feeling like crap. With a busy week coming up not including possible sick days it looks like my next attempt to fix this will not be until towards the end of next week.

    Thanks again to everyone for their efforts.
      My Computers

  10. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,575
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #40

    phaedruspress said:
    ...... With a busy week coming up not including possible sick days it looks like my next attempt to fix this will not be until towards the end of next week......
    @phaedruspress, do it in your own comfort zone.

    And you had said that you have one more 4TB HDD. If so check the sector 0 ( Protective MBR) in it with bootice. If it is the same as in screenshot b in my post # 37, then save it with bootice ( Go to Sector 0 - if it is not already in it - "Backup to file" [Button in Menu Bar] > give a file name > click on Backup). By default it will be saved in the same folder where bootice*. exe resides. It will be a 512 byte file (You are saving the 512 bytes in that sector. Check that the file has been saved and it is 512byte size)

    Then examine sector 0 of your faulty 4TB HDD with bootice. ( Save it also with a distinct and different filename, so that you can go back to the original state if need be) If it is different than what is seen in your good 4TB drive, then use the good 4TB HDD's saved sector 0 and write it to Sector 0 of the bad drive. Transplant .
    ( bootice operation "Restore from file" > "Save changes". Buttons on the Menubar)

    (Give a shout here when you do this, if you want me to be online to clarify any doubts. You may have to choose your morning time when it will be evening here - your time+10.5 hours.)

    Every dock is designed to handle a maximum capacity/bay. Supposing your dock can handle 2TB Max HDD only/bay and you plug in a 4TB HDD, then any data over 2TB will wrap around and start writing from the beginning of that HDD overwriting its MBR and subsequent sectors. Consequently your drive is gone with the wind . This is what happens in most cases like this involving a dock..

    For future safety you may read this:
    https://www.sevenforums.com/performa...ml#post2693984
    Last edited by jumanji; 26 Nov 2018 at 09:49.
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