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I recently had to re-install Windows XP after a failure, and now my 2 TB Seagate external hard drive is not recognised in My Computer. All data is still on the drive, I just can't access it.

I went to Seagate's site and it suggests downloading a program called 7-Zip, get the data off the external drive and reformat. All well and good, but I want it back to where it was before the reloading of XP.

How can I accomplish that?

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Seagate's site recommended 7-Zip for data recovery? Where? –  Karan Feb 23 '13 at 23:21

2 Answers 2

Check Device Manager, Do you see it on there? or the a yellow '!' '?' if so than you might need some drivers from seagate

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Reboot the computer and enter BIOS. Does the disk there reports correctly (model and size)? Now load Windows and right click My Computer, select Manage. You should see the Computer Manager. Now select Disk Manager. What do you see there? If you see an "unknown" partition, don't touch it! Your data are there but cannot be accessed directly as the "table of contents" (MFT table) is corrupt. Use a data recovery utility such as Get Data Back NTFS to read the whole disk and extract your data to another hard disk. Don't use the trial version as it won't allow you saving the data, only view them. Buy the key and unlock it or find another free utility to recover your disk. Since the disk is accessed sector-by-sector the scanning proceess can take hours and then the data copy will be too slow since it will be done in legacy compatibility mode (no DMA etc). Be very patient! Good news it that most of your data can be saved, assuming the disk has no mechanical damage (bad sectors etc), and if you have a backup of some of those, you can skip them to save time. You can also save the recovery state and continue any time is convenient, you do not have to do it in one go. Ideally I would let the disk scan overnight and then in the morning I would restore my data, or save the recovery state to continue later.

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Would you considering using paragraphs for better readability? –  TFM Feb 23 '13 at 23:59

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