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A hp simplesave 2TB external HD owner, recently lent it out. When it came back, it couldn't be used with Windows anymore They thought it may have become too full

It went to the 2nd person again with the instructions to fix it! But returned again, still not working with windows (appears as a 884KB drive, & it stalls when using it's launch feature), so it's been given to me to take a look

I'm hoping the person who borrowed it, didn't format/wipe the main partition in an attempt to get it working

GParted can see a 1st partition as FAT32 200MB with error. 2nd partition as unknown format 1.82TB with error. 3rd partition as unallocated 128.02MB Ghost32 about v11.5 can see the drive, but won't access it

Hirens boot cd shows the 2nd partition as hfsx (Mac OS X HFS+) One of the programs (GNU Cfdisk 1.2.4) showing it as this, has a feature to automatically rename/label the file system or a custom option to do it manually -It states it doesn't actually convert the file system

Is the fix as simple as that? Instead of experimenting, I've started searching online for a fix. & posting this, hoping for expert advice So far I've found that this main partition could be expected to be NTFS..

-the owner did live with a iMac user over a year ago

-one partition program lists extras - Partition 17, 18, 19 & 20: off the scale (all 5193206027250381824 bytes!) unknown format. Partition 21: Unused

-I'm aware of formatting the entire drive or partitions to the standard FAT32 or alternative NTFS should give Windows access to it again, as a empty drive with MAJOR DATA LOSS (which I'm trying to avoid) Thanks!

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If you happen to have enough free disk space first make backup (every bit including errors) image and after that just start experimenting. Another reason for this is that it is best to start from clean (partition)table. When data is safe fill disk with null, at least few MB from start and 10MB from end and create new MBR. – Sampo Sarrala May 23 '12 at 9:58

Windows can't 'see' HFS+ partitions unless an HFS+ driver has been installed. The first idea would be to install an HFS+ driver. There are commercially sold drivers available (e.g. HFS+ for Windows by Paragon, Mac Drive)... There is also the freeware application HFSExplorer by Erik Larsson which can be used to access HFS+ volumes and .DMG files: (It's a Java application, so it requires the Java SE Runtime Environment to be installed.) People have also successfully installed the HFS+ driver (read-only) that Apple supplies with the BootCamp Windows support software on OS X install discs (up to OS X 10.6).

Once you have copied the data off the drive, repartition the drive using MBR partition scheme and reformat to NTFS. Don't use the old FAT32 (with its 4-GB file size limit, etc.), unless the drive is supposed to be writeable to OS X and file sizes will stay below 4 GB...

If the HFS+ file system is know to be corrupted, I would connect the drive to a current OS X system, then launch OS X's Disk Utility application (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility), select the HFS+ partition in the sidebar and use the 'Repair Disk' feature. This is like the first aid thing to do with corrupted HFS+ partitions. If there is some fear of malware infection (though it's unlikely that it would spread), it would also be possible to boot the Mac from the Mac OS X installer DVD and launch Disk Utility there (insert disc, restart Mac and keep the C key pressed until Apple logo appears on screen...)

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