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Can't access data on my usb mass storage [Solved/Closed]

snoopy - Latest answer on May 24, 2013 06:45AM
I have a 500GB Western Digital usb mass storage device with lots of data on it, and I have been using it without problems for several months. Now when I plug it in, the drive comes up in my computer as drive E as it usually does, but when i click it it asks me if I want to format it-when I click "no" I can't access the drive. If I format it again won't I lose all my files? The drive properties show 0kb for free space and 0kb for used space. What happened to the 300+ GB of files I stored on the drive? Is there another way to access the data on the drive? Thanks in advance for the help!
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moins plus
Try to run "chckdsk x: /f", without the quotemarks and where x is the drive. I think you have to do it in Safe Mode MSdos [restart, press F8, go for "safe-mode with command prompt"], or when in XP mode: right-click on drive X, open Properties, Tools-tab, click "check now". You'll get message is not possible, only after restart: it will be scheduled at next reboot - just reboot.

If your disk is just too old, funked-up, or qurwalized and you just want to try to save the data, then please do use special software (or some PC-freak near u) - don't let XP try to fix it! For

sonekka- Jul 3, 2010 07:43PM
Ridiculous, i did de chedisk and now, the folder it disapear
dodi- Jul 16, 2010 05:14PM
i love u it worked for me ,you kinda saved my life thanx
Help Me- Jul 23, 2010 12:11AM
Hey there, I got the same problem as the person who start this forum's question.

but the problem is that
' The HDD is not mine, It's a friend of mine which I am not close with.'
So before I do anything, I want to confirm whether these steps are really reliable (not to question your capability, no offense)

and I really need the files in THAT HDD to be there, not deleted a single one =.=
am so scared that all the files will be lost!!!

'when in XP mode: right-click on drive X, open Properties, Tools-tab, click "check now". You'll get message is not possible' ---> this statement really showed up.
So does this mean I have to restart? but they did not give me any message to restart it, just asking me to format it!!

please help me!!
Cacadril- Mar 4, 2013 05:29PM
Hello "Help Me", if the data on the disk is really important, the first thing you need to do before you risk deleting anything is to make a *raw* copy, also called an image, of the disk.

This is only possible if the hardware is intact.
If the hardware is semi-intact, you may try to connect the device to different computers running different operating systems (LInux, Mac, Windows XP, Windows 8). They will sometimes unlock a stuck disk controller by simply issuing a subtly different sequence of startup disk commands.

If the harware is in perfect order, the "file system structure" may be damaged. That is some incorrect data has been written to the disk at a central location, destroying the information that enables navigation of the files on the disk. This kind of errors are usually cured using "chkdsk /f E: ". But before attempting such a repair, make a raw image. You may need to buy another disk to hold the image. Using this image you can always restore the damaged disk to the current (sorry) state from the image. That buys you a second chance to do a correct repair if your first attempt deleted your data.
moins plus
This is Kumar Pushkar from Bangalore India; even my seagate usb hard disk was not detecting error was something like all data has been corrupted cant detect even the segate disk manager was useless ,but friends there is one solution that worked for me just goto command prompt type chkdsk G:/f G:-is my usb drive just check it whether its useful for you.

best of luck

Martini man- Mar 8, 2010 04:28AM
hey there everybody these seems to ba a place i can get help!
if someone nows how to fix these please e-mail me thanks a lot !
I have a 500gb External hard drive for about 1 year and half now!
It was working fine , and sundly my laptop stop detecting th HHD. It turnīs on, the light its on, i can even listen to the HDD working no strange noises what so ever! but the cpu don t detect, ive try new cables and also try it in a friends computer and its the same :( i got about 2.000 pictures in there i can not loose!
If Someone nows what i need to do please e-mail me ... thanks a lot to all!
Maverick23 1Posts Thursday July 8, 2010Registration date July 8, 2010 Last seen - Jul 8, 2010 05:00AM
Martini man did you fix your hard drive.i have the same exact pRoblem. Let me know how you fixed it.
ajroy- Feb 27, 2013 10:57PM
Thanks pal it worked
Srihari Raghavan R- May 24, 2013 06:45AM
your solution
just goto command prompt type chkdsk G:/f G:-is my usb drive
worked for me. I did not loose a single file.
Thank you
moins plus
Guys, please read my solution. You will regret if you didn't read mine. If you previously use the HDD as internal HDD and when you take it out and use it as external HDD, the HDD just stop working. When you try to initialize the disk in disk management inside windows 7, it will give you error "incorrect function". For those who use Win XP, it might not even able to get detected inside disk management.

Here's the solution guys: REMOVE HARD DISK PASSWORD. Put the HDD back into your laptop and go into BIOS > remove HDD password. IT SOLVED YOUR ISSUE!

Cb- Dec 19, 2012 12:55AM
Thanks!!! This worked for me.The box at the bottom of screen was on the 'permissions' tab. I don't think there was an 'edit'.
moins plus
Do NOT format the disk - That will make it much much harder to recover the data.

I think you have a MBR (master boot record) problem - there is a fix.

Google MbrFix - download the program - burn it to a CD - boot from the CD (you might need to change the boot order in the BIOS to boot from the CD)

fix the MBR on drive 2 your E drive (((( NOT on drive 0 which is your C drive))))

chris eagleye - Jan 14, 2010 09:19AM
you stated to do the following:

"Open the programm- select wizard- partition recovery wizard-next to continue-select the disk you cant access- choose full scan disk- wait until the scan finish- it should find your deleted partition- after that close the programm- go on disk management from windows explorer-assign a letter at the partition just recovered- done!!!"

I ran the program and it has finished now when i go to close it says it will

"At least one of the existing partitions will be deleted. Are you sure you want to do that?"
Thee is only one partition listed and i cannot afford to loose the data on this drive, my job depends on it. please advise......... HELP!

Thank you
vinnie eagleye - Jan 26, 2010 12:52AM
you saved my files!!!! thank you so much
bubba gump eagleye - Feb 25, 2010 10:37AM
so i downloaded that software and ran it. after it runs i get a window that i have to select the drive. when I do it says bad disk at the bottom in red. Does this mean that my disk drive is shot? also what do you mean by opening selecting drives in windows explorer?
xpcman 12456Posts Wednesday October 8, 2008Registration date ModeratorStatus August 27, 2015 Last seen - Feb 25, 2010 12:52PM
I would think that the drive is in fact dead.
luskme- Mar 27, 2010 02:50PM
wat do you mean by fix MBR on E drive?????
moins plus
I have this same problem easily solved heres what to do this worked for me:

load up in safe mode (tap f8 on boot up) choose normal safe mode (rather than with command prompt or networking)

if asked load in as administrator

once loaded in locate problematic drive in my computer (double click on it and it should open)

next go back to my computer and right click on drive selecting properties

goto security tab and click on advanced to change permissions

then click on owner followed by edit

you should have a check box on the bottom of the screen to replace owner on subcontainers and folders tick it and click ok

all subfolders will be reset to you as owner and will be able to open it I believe this to be a problem with vista and on.

hope this helps someone :)

Allison- Apr 2, 2010 03:03PM
This just helped me! I was downloading all types of programs to scan my external USB drive's MBR and couldnt find anything wrong. Your post made me check the Security settings of the troubling partition and sure enough, Administrator was the only user with permissions on the drive. Thanks so much!
totti- Apr 27, 2010 06:20AM
when i choose properties it doesn't appear to me security tab
jules- Jun 20, 2010 08:46PM
im a noob so please dont throw any rotten tomatoes at my question:

could you be more specific when you say "load up"? do you mean on start up as in computer start up or when connecting the usb drive?
moins plus
power on your usb device, restart your pc ( while your usb is on), your windows will automatically boot to your usb device, your windows will fix it for you

moins plus

moins plus
Ive looked through all the answers and none of them worked for me, my 1tb HDD decided it wanted to be formated and i couldnt get any of my files off it.

Finally I found some freeware that is able to locate either deleted files or access this cuntish HDD.

Trust me on this one its works. Just go into options and tick the wee box that says scan undeleted files or something.

Hope that helps, because I found it torture trying to get my files back.

moins plus
I'm having also a external disk. But a different situation. Its a disk from a laptop which I connected by a USB 2 adapter to my windows 7 pc. Windows 7 is detecting the disk, but I can't do something with it. I tried patition wizard, but it sees only my internal disk. I got also the message: virtual disk manager incorrect function
It's there but how can I get my data. Its important business related data.
please help

bpm120- Mar 1, 2010 10:02PM
I am having the same as the above (elleboef ). Wondering if you found a solution?

In short,

1. USB attached harddrive.
2. The drive does not show up in my computer
3. Shows up in windows 7 computer management -> storage management as "unknown disk" but does not show up in partition wizard.

A little more ... while trying to find a solution windows 7 did ask if I wanted to rebuild the MBR but at that time I thought "no" then I read the posts and I can not get windows 7 to give me a pop up in the computer management - > storage management asking this question again.
bpm120- Mar 11, 2010 01:00AM
My problem seems to have corrected itself after several reboots and plugging the drive into another usb port.

I think windows 7 fixed the master boot record on its own.

Unfortunately that does not help the others who have written in recently but perhaps it will help someone else in the future who reads this thread.
moins plus
i have a wd external usb hdd 250gb, my computer gave a blue screen while moving information from my computer on the external. After the bluescreen i had to reinstall the operating sistem and after that it said that the hdd data is undreadable or corrupt (on winxp). i also have a laptop with windows 7 and when i plugged the external hdd on the laptop it said it had to format it in order to access. so i tried various software, i have dealt with this sort of problem in the past and used data recovery software with great success. however this time it would only see part of the data, not all of it (after a deep scan, not a quick scan), and most of it could not be used. for example i had about 10gb of personal stuff (pictures, pdf, word, etc) in a folder, i managed to save it back in my desktop but not a single file was usable. the pictures couldn`t be viewed, the music and the videos couldn`t be opened, same for the other files. so basicly 10gb of junk, the files did have the exact size as the ones in the past, just unable to be opened.

i read many forums on this issue and tried the partition magic method. needless to say it came to no result, so i played a bit and found the "fix partition system" option. i didn`t know that fixing would result in deleting files (it started "deleting orphan files" with various numbers following). So i closed the process with task manager and tried accessing the hdd again. this time it worked without prompting for format, and there was some data on it (the data that i had previously recovered using data recovery software) and the rest was no more.

now i`m convinced that maybe an expert could have saved the rest of my +50gb of data that have been lost, but by my own strenght using free software found on the web (such as active undelete, get data back, etc.) i don`t think it would have worked either way.

now i think it`s 2 late, but i`m thinking that if you can recover data after a format, i might have a chance of salvaging something and i`m pursuing this further (but with very little chance of victory). i`ll update if i manage to save something.

moins plus
I have the same problem with my external hard drive (1tb) I followed the instructions and it seemed to work on the Partition wizard program, I can right click on the selected drive and see all my data is still on there. The only problem is when i try to open the drive via my computer, it does not open. "Location is not available - The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" error message >.< any advice would be greatly appreciated.

tarama_23- Jan 2, 2010 12:06PM
Hi there!
I also have a problem with my external hard disk (500gb WD in a 3,5' case). It also fell off the table by accident.. Afterwards, i plugged it in my laptop and it never worked again.. What i mean? I plugged it in, for few seconds you can hear it "working" inside, then it stops and of course no disk drive appears on My Computer. In Computer Management -> Disk Management, i can see my basic disk (Disk 0), which is online, and another disk (Disk 1) which is unknown and not initialized (that it says!). I believe this is my external drive. I right click on this disk, no Initialize Disk option available, i can click either Properties and see that my disks' capacity, unallocated space and reserved space is 0MB and Partition Style: Not Applicable, or i can click the Offline option and get the message from virtual disk manager: Incorrect Function. I really don't know what to do!! One option is format the disk (but this is not an option for me since i have all my work from 7 years studies :-( ). I 've tried the partition wizard home edition but it can't find any external disk. It can only recognize my basic disk.. I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA... Please, please if anyone knows anything that might help me and not erase my data... say it... Thanks anyway!!
moins plus
when i open the properties of my flash memory 500g it gives no space available such as 0 free space and can't open it it gives me to format it but i can't format it

moins plus
you have to click the folder option on the toll bar Then in the right side your hd will show you YOu have to click tthat usb drive then only it will be open ..

moins plus
I too am having the same problem. My Seagate 500GB HD was unplugged before ejecting and now comes up that it isn't formatted. I took it to the Geek Squad and of course they want $100 to restore it for me. I figured if they have some kind of program to be able to see the files on there and get them back for me, then there must be something out on the market (for way cheaper) that I can get to do it myself. Or that someone might have a trick up their sleeve for me to be able to access my files once again?

moins plus
helllo to every one kashif here from pakistan.
i also have a problem which i want to discuss is that my usb has a problem. the problem is that i delete all my data from usb. but still they show full storage and all folders and files are hidden due to virus.and still can't format also. if any one have a solution then plz give me a proper ans so that i solve this problem.
thank you .

moins plus
hello, i have a similar problem. when i open my Kingston data Traveler 4GB, all the file was gone. but the drive properties show that there is my file and i tried to compress it, the drive contain 'FILE000.chk' it was a Recovered file fragmens. So, can i have back my files? i hope for an answer that would help me in this problem. thank you

moins plus
I have the same problem. I was able to recover most of my files using "PC Inspector File Recovery" (free, (Some files were damaged, but they might have already been damaged when my hard drive crashed.) I'm surprised they didn't get higher ratings, but it worked for me!

moins plus
I try to copy some datas in external drive, while copying it got some error msg suddenly I removed the usb 320gb hdd with unsafe condition. Again I tried to reconnect it, its not detecting sometimes the system gets hanging after long time or when i try to eject it show the drive with 0 bytes. i have max no. of datas how to recover it. pls do needful

Rao- Jul 14, 2010 01:10AM
Your hdd could have been damaged mechanically in which case there is no alternative except sending it to a professional recovery service usually the disk manufacturer for recovering the lost files which may cost you more than a new disk. Assuming that is not the case you can do two things,

1) If the disk is recognized by the windows ->go to command prompt and type "chkdisk X: /f " and correct the errors in the disk (X is the drive letter of the disk). Now you should be able to see your files except those which are removed due to errors (the lost segmented files are kept in hidden folders which can be safely removed to claim the space).

2) If you feel that the data is very important and want to first look at the data before you attempt to correct the disk errors, then you have to extract the useful data to some partition on the fixed disk or another usb disk using recovery software. I can recommend 'Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional'.

moins plus
Well, technically speaking formatting won't make the data in your usb deleted permanently at least for the short term. But the best way to access your data before formatting is get the data back safely. You can use some data recovery software to do the job for you.


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