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External HardDrive needs reformat?

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So I've owned my USB iOmega Protege 1tb drive for about 6-7 months now. I have about 600gb on it full of travel pictures, movies...etc.

Just the other day, when I went to double click the drive to open the folders, It said error. So I unhooked it (the right way), and reattached it back to the computer, when it loaded up, it's asking to 'reformat' the drive.

This is something i DO NOT want to do, I cant afford to lose everything on this drive. I took the drive itself out, and attached it to my SATA and its STILL asking to reformat. I even tried it on 2 other computers.

I swear I wasnt doing anything to the drive at the time, I'm pretty familiar w/ computers and hardware, I built the machine im using myself. I run a web development company from home.

I also tried running it in /cmd dos, and its still showing errors. Its basically stating like its a new drive that needs to be reformatted. I also never did an update to my windows at all either. Like I said, this just happened out of the blue, for no reason.

Any ideas on how to get the drive recognized and working again??


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Pull the drive from it's enclosure and install it in your computer as a Slave drive. If it is recognized you will need to retrieve your data ( try Recuva ) and save it to another drive. Once the data is saved you can then format the iOmega drive and then test it to see if it okay.

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With drives in that situation, where windows asks to format it we have had great luck with Linux to recover the data. For what ever reason Linux will mount many of those drives without a hicup where windows won't. Using that simple technique we have recovered lots of data for clients with minimal labor.

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I would use TESTDISK to check for and recover the partition table and Master File Table.

From there the drive should be as it was before this problem.

TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

TestDisk can

Fix partition table, recover deleted partition

Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup

Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector

Fix FAT tables

Rebuild NTFS boot sector

Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup

Fix MFT using MFT mirror

Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock

Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem

Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.

TestDisk has features for both novices and experts. For those who know little or nothing about data recovery techniques, TestDisk can be used to collect detailed information about a non-booting drive which can then be sent to a tech for further analysis. Those more familiar with such procedures should find TestDisk a handy tool in performing onsite recovery

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