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Harddrive Wanting to format but has data on it


OSNN Junior Addict
Hey Guys
Hope someone can help me out here
I got a Western Digital 120gb harddrive that was working yesterday and has 120gb of data on it. I took it out of my PC to bring it to my friends house but when we hooked it up it is saying "Drive is not formatted: Would you like to format it now" We are both running windowsXP. I brought it back to my house and it is now doing the same thing. Any ideas on how to make this give me my data back or a way to get my data off and reformat it?
Thanks in Advance
Do this.

Hook it up to a computer allready running windows; as a secondary drive. Then go to my computer; and see if Windows sees it. Whatever should be on the drive; you should be able to back up and copy.

And there is no way it has 120GB of data on it :)

When drive is changed from RAW format to NTFS or anything windows compatible; it looses useable space :)


OSNN Junior Addict
OK well technically it has 111GB of space on it, but you know what I mean. I hooked it up as slave on a pc and the OS is master. IT detects it in bios and comes into windows. In windows it still says This Drive is not formatted, would you like to format it now. This drive is NTFS. Any ideas?

Any Data Recovery tools that might work?



.:: FTPAlex ::.
try the Windows 98 BOOT DISK... I use that for everything, even formatting my Windows XP Hard Drive. When you put in the Boot Disk, type in FDISK.. and see if there are any Partitions on the HardDrive.. If so, Delete the Partition, then Format the HardDrive Using the 98 Boot Disk again.. typeing in..

a:/Format C: (HardDrive Letter)

Then just click yes.. Its worth a try i guess. After i do all that, i then just put in my XP CD and proceed to Install..

It may be a long shot and it may be old, basic information for you to try out.. But it works for me and it could work for you too.. Sorry if it doesnt help but Good Luck

Sincerly Alex :)


Uh, Alex_is_Axel he dosent want to format he's trying to save his data. But he does have one good idea useing FDISK to see if the partition is there.
another thing you may want to try is hooking the problem dirve up and running the XP recovery console. Boot off of the XP CD and choose the repair option, see if you can read anything that way. Oh and while your in the recovery console you may want to try running CHKDSK /R or fixboot
Also; if you have Xp; you might want to try to boot with that drive connected and use the Repair function; maybe something went wrong.

I believe if you move a hard drive around too much; it might do something weird; and loose data...why or how I do not know...
Magnetic fields, that's what. For instance cars emit alot of those. Normally it's not a problem (the metal casing shields it off) but if the fields are strong enough...

Not saying it's because you transported it in a car though.

I had this problem on another drive. That drive, I believe, recovered when it was back in the original computer (not mine so I don't know really).

XP Abuser

isnt there an option in the recovery console to rewrite your mbr im not sure cuz i aint been in there often cuz my comp is running sweet! (touch wood)
After thinking about some of my ideas; and what Zedric said; I have come to conclude that your drive is fine and working; but has lost all of it's data.

Sometimes drives do this in forgein computers; but when you stick it back in your home rig; and it still does it; I says you're screwed. :\


Double O Egghead

goto www.ontrack.com

get easyrecovery

scan your hd and it will show you what it can recover

its possible somehow windows fat32 wrote a byte onto your ntfs drive

fat32 will never be able to see an ntfs partition (but you can get a dos ntfs reader software)

your data is not lost as long as you dont write to your drive



I have run into a (kinda sorta) similar situation. A friend of mine brought his drive over so I could dump about 20 gig worth the data on it (it was an 80 gig slave drive partitioned 40/40 FAT32). It told us it needed to be formated blah blah blah.

Here's what we did (after several other options failed):

A) Shut down my computer and disconnected the cd-rom (which is also slave) and hooked the drive up with the cd-rom cable/power.

B) Booted XP.

When XP came back up, no errors, no problems (except only the primary partition was visible). We were able to transfer all the data to the drive without one error message. After all the data was dumped, we shut down and put everything back as it originally was. He then took the drive home and installed as he normally would. XP immediately recognized the drive and all the data we dumped was still there.

:eek: :confused: :rolleyes: :cool: :D

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