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751 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 136740 7-Dec-2013 13:48
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Hi,  recently changed some RAM and rebooted unknowingly with a drive disconnected.  After fixing that (and I suspect Windows got confused about which drive was which as it had changed the boot drive in BIOS) my 3TB drive is showing as not formatted.  It was - and was split into 2 partitions.

They can be seen  in Explorer and Disk Management, but not the full 3 TB. One partition shows as unformatted, the other as unallocated.

OS is Win XP and motherboard is Gigabyte GA-M56S-S3.   It can't read all of a 3TB drive by default and I'm pretty sure I had to use Western Digital Disk Wizard (Acronis True Image) to enable all 3 TB to be available.

If I run Disk Wizard again now it offers to allocate the unused space.

Logic (or wishful thinking) tells me I must do this before the two partitions can be seen and hopefully everything restored. but I'm too scared to try in case I lose the data.  There's a lot of it!

Anyone else been in this position, and what did you do ?

Thanks.

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656 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 947074 7-Dec-2013 13:57
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Try http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

You may need to use it via a live rescue CD e.g. http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd if you don't have native support on the OS, but my understanding is WD formatting just uses larger sectors to get around the XP 2TB limit.



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Ultimate Geek


  # 947101 7-Dec-2013 15:06
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Thanks Kevin, they look very handy and powerful - but I'm wary. This isn't my boot drive. just storage and is on the computer I'm using now.  May try an email to WD first as drive is less than 12 months old.  (Western Digital Red WDC WD30EFRX-68AX9N0).

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 947128 7-Dec-2013 16:27
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Testdisk is probably the safest/easiest way to recover the partition(s). If you RMA it you can pretty much say goodbye to your data.



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Ultimate Geek


  # 947130 7-Dec-2013 16:31
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I'm not convinced it's faulty. seems to much of a coincidence and it's only a few months old.  I won't RMA it and will try testdisk if necessary. if it's just a question of reallocating the whole thing..... that's what I'll ask WD if no one here knows.

Thanks for the advice :)

Mad Scientist
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  # 947154 7-Dec-2013 17:27
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If u recreate a partition you will almost be guarsnteed to lose data

Good luck with data/partition recovery. Do not "create" any partitions




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




751 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 947196 7-Dec-2013 19:24
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Roger that, I'll be treading very carefully and doing nothing without advice !

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Ultimate Geek


  # 947322 7-Dec-2013 23:10
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Do you have access to a windows 7 computer?

If so, try connecting the drive to that machine.

I do not suggest that you allow win 7 to try any fixes but you may find that it can see the partitions and copy the files onto another drive.

Win 7 can often read drives that have XP confused.

 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek


  # 947325 7-Dec-2013 23:29
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Yes, I could connect it to a Win7 machine without even removing it.  I was thinking of trying this... then read on Google that even Win7 has issues with disks over 2TB and Linux was the only thing that worked. (Which I don't have).  So I'll wait for WD to reply, hopefully Monday.

I've only just installed Win7... have had it for ages but hate change!! It was swapping RAM to give Win7 the most that caused this mess!


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  # 947353 8-Dec-2013 01:06
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I still can't understand how it happened

A pain in the bum and eternal sadness but poo happens. Always have a backup




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




751 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 947357 8-Dec-2013 01:39
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joker97: I still can't understand how it happened

A pain in the bum and eternal sadness but poo happens. Always have a backup


LOL this *is* the backup drive!!  Time will tell but I think (hope) it'll come right - and be Windows losing the 'patch' (or whatever) allowed it to see the whole drive.

Perhaps that (and Disk Wizard -running under Windows) see it as a large drive without the partition/size information and can do no more.

Re-allocating may restore everything, no problem.  It was a process prior to (and without) any partitioning or formating.   That was all done next.

But if it were that simple I'd expect it to be more common knowledge... and seems it's not.
Yet what is the likelyhood  of an (almost new) drive falling over just as some RAM was changed ?


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 947390 8-Dec-2013 10:42
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Western Digital don't patch windows to allow XP to see the contents of larger drives, they format the drives in such a way that the sector size is larger (4096 bytes) but reports it to the OS as 512 bytes.

Don't reallocate or recreate the partitions, you will lose all your data. Just go through the process listed in the Testdisk site to attempt to recover the partition (by searching for and rebuilding the missing partitions).

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  # 947421 8-Dec-2013 12:41
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Do you have another computer to try

If you get it to work on another computer I'd reformat the drive in case there is indeed something wrong




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  # 947426 8-Dec-2013 12:55
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I've lost data to the abortion that is the stuff to make 3tb drives work on old os's.

It just doesn't seem to work reliably or constantly.




Richard rich.ms



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Ultimate Geek


  # 947445 8-Dec-2013 13:51
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Just tried the drive in a Win 7 machine and it's still showing as unformatted.

Will wait to see what WD say and most likely attempt recovery with TestDisk.

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, will let you know how I get on !

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  # 947466 8-Dec-2013 14:43
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Mine went like this. Friend gave me drive to put "Linux iso's" on. Worked fine on win 7. Gave drive back. Friend cried it was unformatted (as yours is now) got drive back on 7 - also unformatted. Test disk found the first partition fine but even it's really long search didn't find the second which luckily had only the new stuff I gave them.




Richard rich.ms

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