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So I really thought this question would have been answered already... but I can't find it.

One of the drives I had in my system had a single partition on it. When I turned my machine on recently it no longer works.

At first it did not even show as a drive in explorer, now magically it does but when I try to access it windows prompts me to reformat it....

My iTunes library is on there and I would really love to recover it. What is my best option? Or what kind of tools should I be looking at to recover the data?

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IS the HDD making a clicking sound? If so this could indicate a physical(mechanical) failure. – djshortbus Jul 27 '10 at 14:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Testdisk is the specific tool i'd try for partition recovery though i have no idea if it'll work on windows 7 NTFS partitions.

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Hmm running Testdisk, finds the partitions, then when I try and rewrite the partition table I get read errors :( I think it might be dead folks... next stop either knoppix or the freezer. – JimmyP Jul 29 '10 at 3:50
Didn't fix my problem but help confirmed the drive is in fact dead :( – JimmyP Aug 13 '10 at 7:00

Does it pass a scandisk? If not, you may need to do something drastic. An unlikely solution that has worked a lot for me in the past is to FREEZE it overnight, then try to access it. This is a temporary solution, but it can make unreadable drives readable for a short time.

Beyond that, format or pay a professional recovery company to scan the platters and see what they can get. That will be VERY expensive.

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Yeah chkdsk ran when I rebooted but I still can't see the partition. Didn't appear to correct any errors either – JimmyP Jul 27 '10 at 2:45

Knoppix live cd is an open source Linux variant specifically designed for data recovery. i would suggest download and burn the ISO from another computer and then boot to it from the computer you want to recover data from. I have used Knoppix for many years with a great deal of success. The worst thing you can do is run scandisk or chkdsk on a HDD you think maybe failing with out a backup. If the HDD has a physical(mechanical) failure JNK is right it would have to be sent to a Professional Data Recover center that would cost thousands to get you data back.

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