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I have an external HDD. Suddenly, I got the message to format the harddisk in order to use it. I clicked on format. I accidently aborted the format as it was taking hell lot of time. Now that I plug in the HDD, it could not be detected, though disk keeps spinning. I am not sure what has happened to the HDD - if sectors have been corrupted?

I am looking for someone's help on how to proceed further.

  • Can my data still be recovered? high hopes i believe :(
  • If not, how can I proceed with format, as it can not be detected. When plugged in, it hogs my PC and My computer Window continues to load for hours.

Please help.

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As long as you haven't written to the drive, you should be able to use some recovery tools to get back what you formatted over. –  Kruug Jan 4 '13 at 18:22
    
When plugged in, does it show up in the Device Manager? What shows up in Disk Management? –  David Schwartz Jan 4 '13 at 20:34

3 Answers 3

It's worth noting that this could be a problem with the computer itself, or the cable you're using, or even the power connection. Try swapping all those things around and see if you can get this to work on another system with differing configuration.

If it's not detected at all after all that, there's almost certainly something wrong with the controller on the drive. You're probably out of luck unless you want to look into professional data recovery - that's expensive, and if you started to format the drive may be nontrivial to boot (although it can probably be done). The fact that you got the message randomly to format the drive makes me think it's a controller problem as well - you should never be asked to format an already-formatted drive out of the blue.

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"The fact that you got the message randomly to format the drive makes me think it's a controller problem as well - you should never be asked to format an already-formatted drive out of the blue." - Unless it was formatted and used on Linux/MacOS prior getting connected to Windows :) –  grs Jan 4 '13 at 18:36
    
That's a very good point, but I wouldn't quite call that "out of the blue" :) –  Shinrai Jan 4 '13 at 18:55

It is possible that a diagnostic tool from the drive vendor may assist in troubleshooting. Most are free to dowbload.

Also try the drive on another system and see if it can be "seen" there.

Add the operating systems and that might add more info on a possible fix.

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You had data on your external drive, attempted and aborted format operation and hope to get your data from that same drive back? I would say your chances for this are pretty slim, although is possible if you get it detected.

As for the drive detection - unplug it, reboot your Windows (just in case), open Disk Management from Administrative Tools in Control Panel (or type diskmgmt.msc in Command Prompt), plug the drive back in different port and see if it shows up in the Disk Manager window. If so, just right click on it and Format to reattempt the format operation. If you prefer to try rescue your data do not format the drive.

If the drive still cannot be detected look in the Event Viewer for related messages about it. Also, if you have second computer try to detect it there.

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