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the disk in the drive is not formatted, format now?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by randallr, Jul 6, 2007.

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  1. randallr

    randallr Thread Starter

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    I just built a new computer. I had previously built a machine that had two hard drives, but the new computer is much more compact and only has room for one internal hard drive. As a result, i purchased a USB 2.0 IDE external hard drive enclosure that runs on its own power (not bus power). When i installed the drive and started up the computer, the external hard drive was recognized, and the usual "your new hardware is installed and ready to use" message made me think all was good. however, when i try to explore the hard drive, i get the message,

    "The disk in drive F has not been formatted. Format now?"

    This message is confusing, because this is NOT A NEW DRIVE. it has been used many times before, and it actually served as my backup drive, containing media and other files. In the old machine, i had a Western Digital 80GB IDE drive that contained the OS and system files [this drive was the PRIMARY MASTER]. the backup drive (now the external drive on the new machine) is a Samsung 200GB IDE drive that contained no OS, only media files and other backup info [this drive was the PRIMARY SLAVE]. it was partitioned with a single partition that occupied the full capacity of the drive. there is only one IDE port on the new computer, and here is the setup:

    IDE- MASTER- 80GB HDD
    IDE- SLAVE- DVD/RW
    external- SLAVE- 200GB HDD

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz
    Memory: 2 GB DDR

    I have tried the drive under with a master designation, and it will not even appear, so i do not think the designation is causing this problem. I have also looked at Partition Magic and Partition Table Doctor, but the former doesn't really apply and the latter's "FixBoot" utility is actually "grayed out", or deactivated, when i select the drive. Furthermore, my disk management utility shows the "capacity" of the 200GB drive as 31 GB, with no partition or NTFS file system shown.

    PLEASE HELP- I am fairly knowledgeable with computers and i have tried many different things from similar posts. Let me know if anyone knows how to fix this problem.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You didn't mention one important thing--do you want to keep the data that is on the drive?

    See what Testdisk finds for recoverable artitions.
     
  3. randallr

    randallr Thread Starter

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    Yes, i very much want to keep the data- i wouldn't really care about formatting the drive if it wasn't an issue. I have about 100GB of data on the drive, and about 70GB is backed up elsewhere. Thanks for your help, i'll try the test disk utility and see what i can find.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    If you could I would recommend connecting the drive internally in place of the DVD-RW and see if you have any better luck getting at your data - as a temporary measure.
     
  6. randallr

    randallr Thread Starter

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    i tried to use the "test disk" link you sent, but the executable gave the error message, "This application has failed to start because cygwin1.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem." (it doesn't by the way).

    Then i downloaded the PC Inspector File Recovery and selected the drive in the window, then ran the "Find Logical Drives" command. After the scan the error message, "bad parameter in boot sector: directory cluster (4119533773)>count of clusters".

    i have no idea what that means. By the way, this application also shows the capacity as 31.49 GB. Any ideas?
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    How did you have the drive jumpered when you took it out off the old computer? There is a jumper setting on some drives to limit it to 32GB for compatibility with older computers, if it was used then formatted with a drive overlay utility then you'd get results similar to what you're getting. I'd still suggest connecting the drive as an internal IDE drive.
     
  8. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Did you use 6.7 or 6.8? Is cygwin1.dll in the folder?

    Cygwin1.dll is an application extension that allows Linux apps to run in Windows. It should be in the downloaded folder.
     
  9. randallr

    randallr Thread Starter

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    NOTE: I did try using the 200GB drive as a slave to the 80GB drive internally using the IDE interface. I found no difference in performance or file access.

    Regarding testdisk: I was able to run the testdisk software shortly after my reply message. I ran the utility and i received the error message that the partition could not be recovered. it also gave me a message about the drive having a capacity of 32GB.

    Regarding photrec: I ran the PhotoRec software and it was able to locate a portion of my data, although it sets all new file names and doesn't preserve folder heirarchies, so i have no idea what any of it is without actually opening the file. Also, it only found about 1500-2000 files (i have at least 15000 files). Whatever it is that this process did does NOTHING for me. ALSO, most files were actually chopped into segments, such as mp3's, which would appear as one hundred 2 second segments with no ID3 information.

    if i am not able to recover the entire partition, then there's no way i'll be able to use the data on it. i've got about 350 folders at least, with 15000 files scattered in it- if each file is renamed, it would take me a year to find anything. honestly, i have some pictures that i don't have backed up that are the most important thing on there, and they aren't even a full gig of data. i have all the music and video backed up, so it's mostly just that. I REALLY need to have access to the original file structure. What can i do?
     
  10. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Recovery software varies quite a bit on the user-friendliness of the results it shows.

    Try some trial versions:

    http://www.snapfiles.com/goto.php?i...&gourl=/features/filescavenger-704-421808.php
    http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/softperfect-file-recovery/spfilerecovery.html
    http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/Active_File_Recovery/activefilerecovery.html
    http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/Recover_My_Files/recovermyfiles.html

    If you find one that gives satisfactory results, you might consider buying it.

    Did you try PCI?
     
  11. randallr

    randallr Thread Starter

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    well, nothing in life is easy...i have made some progress with this but i still am not getting what i need- so i downloaded Recover My Files v3.60, and I AM ABLE TO VIEW MY FILES. i can view all the folders that exist on the drive, including all the music, pictures, videos, etc. so here's the kicker- only half the files actually work. the way this program works is that you search the partition, and it shows a list of files that it found on the partition. it "found" a partition that it's calling "Quick NTFS Partition 1", and all my files are in it. you "save" the file to a directory to view the recovered files. sounds sweet, but only random files work.

    i tried to pull up the pictures i'm after, and they were downloaded into a folder on my current working HDD. the files are of the correct size (a couple of megs), and all the information, including the time the shot was taken and the full folder heierarchy is preserved. awesomely, when you click on the file, nothing happens. it's like the shell of a picture. opening it in photoshop gave me the following messages: "Could not complete your request because a JPEG marker segment length is too short (the file may be truncated or incomplete" OR (for the ones that actually "work") i still get "This document may be damaged (the file may be truncated or incomplete). Continue?" if i do continue, then the file opens and appears to be normal. yet this happens one out of every ten images- the rest just don't do anything.

    i feel like i'm close here- are these files just corrupted and unrecoverable or is there something i can do here? and by the way, how is this program finding a partition when it "doesn't exist"? it's obviously there so is there a way to recover it?
     
  12. Nastrodamus

    Nastrodamus

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    I would run a chkdsk /r on the drive and see if that helps with recovering any of that data. I know I had an external drive that was giving me problems pulling some files off....ran the chkdsk and bam...files able to be accessed again
     
  13. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    I'm with Triple6. I would remove the drive from the USB enclosure and connect it via an internal cable. If it is a forty-pin (old IDE commonly connected with a two-inch ribbon cable), I recommend you set it at cable-select and have nothing else on that cable.

    I had a situation just last week where I could do partial accesses of the folders and files until I took ownership. This was odd as usually if ownership is a problem, I have no access at all. Anyway, it happened and it was and taking ownership solved the problem and gave me full access.
     
  14. randallr

    randallr Thread Starter

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    well, i should have mentioned in the last post that all that stuff was happening when the drive WAS hooked up internally. problem is with your post alex is that my system is very compact (the whole reason i was using an external enclosure for a media HDD anyway), and my microatx board only has one IDE port. thus i can only connect two internal devices. my only option internally is a slave to the HDD with the OS, unless cable select can be used here (i've never tried it but i'm not real familiar with cable select).

    how do i take ownership of a drive? i know how to take ownership if its a file or folder by using the security tab of the properties, but obviously a drive does not have the same options.

    How does a chkdsk command work? i'm not experienced in this area.

    I was also wondering if this drive is safe to use after all this has been figured out? it makes me nervous to use a HDD with this history as a back-up drive, which is what it is. does this drive have any life left?

    thanks for the help so far, it's appreciated.
     
  15. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I wouldn't recommend chkdsk untill all data that is recoverable has been recovered. I have seen chkdsk rescue a drive from near-extinction when mauled by Partition Magic. But I have also seen a nearly-usable drive get all its files scambled beyond recognition when chkdsk goes about its "repairs" based on mistaken assumptions about the files parameters.
     
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