External Hard Drive Failure


Established Member
Jul 23, 2000
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England, Surrey

I have a Maxtor 250gb external drive connected via firewire to my pc. I switched it on on Sunday and the PC took longer than normal to recognise it and now won't read from the drive. If I try to access the drive it says it is not formatted and asks if I want to format it:eek:

Over the past couple of weeks I have been looking into getting a new external hard drive to compliment and give me more back-up / storage, so sods law has struck.

I removed the hard drive from the enclosure and tried it in a USB enclosure and the same happens, also tried plugging it into a different PC and the same still happens.

Luckily the drive was used mainly as a back-up, so not lost too much, but there are some files I would like to try and recover.

Can anyone suggest a freeware / shareware hard drive recovery program that may assist in file recovery.

Thanks in aniticipation.

Testdisk if the partition table got trashed. With luck you can just rebuild it without losing anything. Saved my life a few times so far.
R-Studio would get my vote, although being a Maxtor I'd guess that the drive is shot...
I had a similar experience with my maxtor external HD. I had it in an enclosure for ages and it worked fine. It was unplugged for a while and when i tried to plug it in again, it turned on okay, but my PC didn't recognise it. It used to just appear on Windows Explorer but now, nothing. As with Sheks, mine was used mainly as backup but there are some files which i need to recover from it.

If i use one of these programs, how will they recognise the drive if my computer wont?


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