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Changed HDD to NTFS by accident

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hypnobiz, Jul 14, 2013.

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  1. hypnobiz

    hypnobiz Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    I was going to check if my external HDD needed to be defragged. I was in the wee window that asks about checking the disk for errors and decided to do that, there's always two options, one is always automatically ticked and there's another one that said something about find and attempt to restore corrupt files, that is never ticked and I never choose it, until today. All I noticed was it found 1024 files, and I clicked proceed, it processed or fixed etc and i went back to the pc after an hour and decided just to cancel as it seemed to be stuck at 2025 files checked.
    Once i clicked cancel I couldn't get access to my external HDD and when I right on 'My Computer' it says it's NTFS files and is full but windows can't get access to it, i thought i'd try restoring it and i can see that out of the 1TB I have used 330GB which is what my disk was like before my mistake.
    as with most people I have all my most important stuff saved there away from my C drive.
    Ok, sorry for waffling on, can anyone tell me if I am able to restore my drive back to what it was (Would that have been FAT32 files?)
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    First of all, data drives [either internal or external] really do not need to be defragged.

    Next do you have a current backup of the data on this drive? If you do, then simply delete the partition on the external and create/format. Now copy your data back or restore the image. If you do not have a current backup, it becomes more involved.

    Run data recovery software on the drive. Since this seems to be a partition issue with the drive, run test disk;
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
    You must recover any data to a different drive or media; you cannot recover to the drive you are scanning.
     
  3. hypnobiz

    hypnobiz Thread Starter

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    hi, thanks for that, don't have anything backed up as that was the idea of the external drive, also can't recover on to another drive or media as it's 330GB of a 1 TB drive my pc is (for no good reason I know of) split in to two 140GB drives so i have nothing big enough to recover it back on to
     
  4. hypnobiz

    hypnobiz Thread Starter

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    PS i installed a file changing prog I assumed it was a FAT32 file before, but don't know for sure, but when i clicked on the prog the system doesn't bring up my external HDD now in a search, and windows says it can't access the drive, i'm puzzled by this because it says the external drive is now NTFS and that's what my windows system runs as well so I would have thought it could still read the drive.
     
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    OK, you have to recover to another drive; you cannot recover to the drive you are scanning. If this data is important to you, then take the drive to a shop that does data recovery. Do get an estimate first; this is NOT cheap. A basic data recovery using software runs approx $150 plus the cost of the media to recover to ie new external drive, etc. It goes way up from there.

    You can try the testdisk software however it may or may not fix the problems with the drive.

    Just one of the reasons why we stress backups so much. Remember data you do not backup is data you do not care about.
     
  6. hypnobiz

    hypnobiz Thread Starter

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    I have tried Testdisk and when I did the initial test I got this message. Bad GPT partition, invalid signature. I expect that means nothing can be done lol. It will cost me less to buy another external HDD and try the recovery software i can download and as you said, recover it to the new drive, than taking it anywhere, a 500GB HDD in the UK is very cheap, once i've recovered it will my old external drive be un usuable, or could it be formatted? Thanks for all your advice and help BTW
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    As I thought the partition table is the problem. You should have an option to fix/correct the partition table.

    Yes, your old drive should be usable once you delete the old partition and create/format a new one.
    Off to work so I will check this some time tomorrow; good luck.
     
  8. hypnobiz

    hypnobiz Thread Starter

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    Hey, thanks so much, ok, I am glad you probably live in a different country because.... I switched my pc off and on again... and the external drive is back to normal.. But, I will take on board your advice of getting a 2nd back up, I expect the idea is to back everything up to another drive then unplug it and keep it specifically for that reason alone, to use as a restore disk. Anyway, thanks for your time.
     
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