External Hard Drive wont boot

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  1. Posts : 9,748
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #11

    Hi @Agh55,

    Have a look at this:
    Fix: The Volume Does Not Contain A Recognized File System in Windows 10/8/7 - EaseUS

    Try only Procedure 1. Recover data from devices with "The volume does not contain a recognized file system" error

    Check whether you can recover whatever data is in the RAW partition.

    If not successful, we can try some alternate method, but it will be a laborious process. ( In your original HDD condition, the Volume Boot Record was in sector 2048. Now it has been overwritten by this 32GB and so the partition is lost.. If we can find the backup of the bootsector and write it into sector 2048, we may be able to restore the partition. (The data in the first 32GB is however lost forever.) Let us see.)

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  2. Posts : 63
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #12

    Hi, and thanks to all who responded, I must have unknowingly downloaded the Windows tool and installed it on my external hard drive. I haven't done any further writes to the drive. Hopefully if you can advise how to recover any data which may still be readable.
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  3. Posts : 12,415
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #13

    Just to confirm what happens, I did a 16GB Thumb drive last night that had Version 1909 plus some update files I had saved and the MCT process in formatting to create Version 2004 wiped all the data out first.
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  4. Posts : 9,748
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #14

    Media creation Tool will FAT32 format the USB device upto 32GB. So all data in that 32GB will be lost. When you use a more than 32GB device to create the installation media, the space above 32GB will become unallocated since the original partition table in sector 0 . has been overwritten with a new MBR and a partition table for the 32GB.

    To replicate the OP's HDD condition, I have created an installation media on a 500GB HDD. You can see that the space beyond 32 GB is now Unallocated. As long as this space is not formatted the data in it still remains. The problem is how to retrieve that data.

    My 500GB HDD now.

    External Hard Drive wont boot-25-07-2020-19-33-03.jpg

    In OP's case also, the space beyond 32 GB remained unallocated initially. He seems to have created a simple volume in that space and assigned a drive letter. He has not formatted it. So it shows as RAW ( no file system). The data should still be there. I haven't still formulated my strategy though I have a very rough plan. Every Data recovery project is different and require specific solutions based on some logical inferences. I don't know how good my logic is going to be .

    The OP should first try the Trial version of the EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard Pro as outlined in my post #11.
    Last edited by jumanji; 25 Jul 2020 at 10:51.
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  5. Posts : 63
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #15

    Hi ,Jumanji apologies for my delay in responding. I have now set up what you advised and the program although another 5 hours to go before it finishes, has found approx 5000 files ( Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Photos etc). I assume as this is a free program it will allow you to recover only one file at a time. Have you any thoughts on how I could recover the files in bulk.
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  6. Posts : 9,748
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #16

    On experimentation, I have found that there is absolutely no way of recovering the old partition and you may have to rely only on commercial software to recover data from the present RAW volume.

    As for as commercial software is concerned, you may also try Active@ File Recovery Find & Restore Lost Files: Undelete deleted files and recover damaged disks (USD30) and GetdatabackPro (USD80) Data Recovery Software Products - Runtime Software Products which we usually recommend when no freeware can do the job.

    If the trial versions show your files on scanning, you may preview/open and check the integrity of the files and if satisfied buy and copy the files.

    I don't know much about the Easus Data Recovery Program except that some people have used it to recover the data. You have to decide on your own depending upon the results you get.
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  7. Posts : 63
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #17

    Hi Jumanji

    I was going to take the option of using the Easus Software and had contacted the company via live chat for advice on which particular product to buy.

    He said he would carry out a free diagnosis and found the Hard Drive was seriously corrupted. When I allocated the unallocated drive a letter, I seriously corrupted the drive.

    I have subsequently found out, my PC was used to create a fresh copy of windows and the External drive was mistaken for a memory stick. It was reformatted and the windows software downloaded.

    He suggested two options, I could purchase one of the programs they have on line and try singly to recover each of the filest he files or they could do at a cost of approx 350 USD. I declined as this is a backup of various back-ups.

    I hope you don't mind me asking another question, is it just a simple task to reformat the drive so I can use it for future backups.
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  8. Posts : 1,867
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #18

    Very easy.

    In File Explorer, right click on the drive and select Format.

    When you open Disk Management, it will ask you if you want the drive partition style set as MBR or GPT.
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  9. Posts : 3,957
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #19

    As you have a 32G Fat32 partition and the remaining drive is unallocated, you must first delete the Fat32 partition. You will then have one and only one unallocated space. Then create a new partition on all space and then format as NTFS.
    To do it, open Disk Manager (C:\Windows\System32\diskmgmt.msc) select the Fat32 partition, right click - Delete - create new (partition) format as NTFS.
    Last edited by Megahertz; 30 Jul 2020 at 11:44.
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  10. Posts : 9,748
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #20

    Agh55 said:
    Hi Jumanji........ is it just a simple task to reformat the drive so I can use it for future backups.
    Well, since the Media Creation Tool would have written a bootable MBR into sector 0, I would prefer to wipe it off clean, remove the partitions and then format it.

    You may use HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool from HDDGURU: HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool for that.
    Download Windows Executable (works without installation): HDD Low Level Format Tool ver.4.40. It will be a single executable HDDLLF.4.40.exe . Click on it to run, and make sure you select the correct drive to wipe.
    (Make doubly sure that it is not your system drive.)

    External Hard Drive wont boot-30-07-2020-07-23-25.jpgExternal Hard Drive wont boot-30-07-2020-07-34-43.jpg

    Perform a quick wipe to remove MBR and the partitions. It will do it in a flash.

    Close the tool then open Windows Disk Management . It will ask you to initialise and format that disk. Initialise it as an MBR disk , go ahead to create a simple volume and format as NTFS.
    Last edited by jumanji; 30 Jul 2020 at 06:56.
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