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External HDD failed - Everything lost?


Had my external formac USB external drive plugged into a laptop. Went to walk away and caught the USB cable and pulled it out while copying a file... Plugged it back in but windows stated 'windows needs to format this disk before it can be used' The drive still spins up but is not recognised at all. Removed it from the enclosure, plugged it directly into the laptop and went to install windows. When it had finished 'loading files' it stated it could not find a hard drive so setup could not continue.

Is there any software that can recover? I read something about Hirens boot CD, would this work? If so would i be better off putting it directly into the laptop itself or back in it's USB enclosure? If software recovery will not work, what about all these companies that advertise on the net claiming they can recover data from failed drives, can anyone recommned a genuine one for me please? I don't mind paying, I have 14 years worth of family photos, music, films, documents, absolutely everything on there and I'm totally gutted... :(

Anyone help please?

Some Bloke

Well-known Member
I'm not an expert at data recovery, but I'd recommend starting off by trying this free software Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download
It's made by the same people who created CCleaner, so it trustworthy.

I don't think your data is lost, it's just Windows being Windows.
If you're using Win7 (or maybe Vista and XP) try:
Control Panel -> Admin Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management.
Then click on any drive in the right hand pane and then click on the Action tab at the top of the dialogue box and choose Rescan Disks.

That usually make Windows "see" the disks again.
Sometimes you need to click on the "import foreign disks" pop up too.

I've lost data when HDD's have failed in the past, so I back data to 2 HDD's now.

Good luck :)

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