Maxtor External Hard Drive taken apart and reconnected

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David_Wazza

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Sep 22, 2007
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Hi,

As with a few people on here, I have had an issue with my once thought 'always reliable' Maxtor 300 GB External Hard Drive. Then the inevitable occurred, and as I was writing to it, an error occurred, and computer kind of half froze, so I stupidly pulled out the USB Cable. Now when I plug the hard drive in, it doesn't even recognise it, nor when I try it out on other computers.

So it seemed like the next step was to pull it out of its case, and connect it to my home computer as a secondary drive. Got a friend over to do that for me, and now under disk managament, it says it is "unallocated", and seems like I can't access it. I tried to "Initialize" it, but doesn't seem to be doing anything.

So I guess my first question is what is this whole "initialize" command, as far as I have read, it is always the first step in formatting my drive (which is the LAST thing I want to do - did I say this data I have is unbacked up and priceless to me?). Is there any other suggestions people have for me?

Thanks in anticipation, cheers David.
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
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Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,432
If it's "unallocated", you should be able to right click on the graphic and create a partition.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
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It appears like the drive lost its partition structure and formatting.
Search around these forums for File Recovery, this comes up very often. Then after you are done with that look for SyncBack on google. Its a pretty decent backup program for windows.
 

David_Wazza

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
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5
So looks like when I hit "Initialize" yesterday, now theres no error symbol or anything on the drive, yet it still says it is unallocated.

I was reading around - in terms of data recovery, should I now try to partition the drive? Seems like this is the next step in then formatting the drive. No letter has been designated to it yet.

Any software people could recommend. Guess free software would be good, though obviously this data is quite sentimental to me, so even some decent software that would work in this situation I wouldn't mind paying for.

And don't worry - no need for Sync application, think I have finally learnt the need to backup, and always its through learning the hard way :-(

Thanks a bunch guys for helping me through this problem! Cheers, David.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Messages
417
Don't make a new partition yet.
Search google or these forums for....

PCI File Recovery - good for finding all types of lost files, it might be able to show you the old file structure and let you copy some files.

PCI Smart Recovery - will try and scan a drive or folder, for pictures and some other files types.

PhotoRec - will scan a hard drive and try and find about 80 different file types. I only had luck with a few .docs and all my jpgs. It recovered mp3s, but they were broken up into fragments, or got mixed together.

TestDisk - it will try and re-write the old partition structure to the disk.

These are programs that are free and I have used before.
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,432
If you're trying to recover data, I agree with the previous, you should not do anything in Disk Management!
 

David_Wazza

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
Messages
5
But as the drive is unallocated, I can't even see the drive, so trying to use recovery software seems stupid then. Seems like my only choice is to partition the drive ?
 
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