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When I mount a harddrive to my computer, then it tells me I've got to format it, before using it. I know that I once used it as a normal hd and it still contains data. As I've found out, the mfr could be broken. What else could it be? And still - is there any chance in recovering it on my own?

Edit 1: Further information:

fdisk -l /dev/sdd

Disk /dev/sdd: 400.1 GB, 400088457216 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 48641 cylinders, total 781422768 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x2836e887

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdd1              63    93801897    46900917+   7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sdd2       104857261   781420751   338281745+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sdd5       104857263   314572607   104857672+   e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
/dev/sdd6       314572671   524288015   104857672+   e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
/dev/sdd7       524288079   734003423   104857672+   e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
/dev/sdd8       734003487   781420751    23708632+   e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)

As sdd1 is not a problem at all. This one runs normally.

Now some information after running testdisk:

Warning: Incorrect number of heads/cylinder 16 (NTFS) != 255 (HD)
  HPFS - NTFS              0   1  1  5838 228 54   93801825

As mentioned as a comment a little below, I already made dd on the devices. So I got the binary files now. But what's next? How to find out if there are files inside those copys?

share|improve this question
if you can access the contents, the safe-side would be to backup the contents, format and place the contents on it again. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 10 '13 at 18:10
No Windows does not allow me accessing my data. Whenever I try, it tells to format, before using it. Would make linux a difference? – Peter Mar 10 '13 at 18:12
l in most cases linux can access drives in that kind of state so you can backup your data, yes. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 10 '13 at 18:13
also, chkdsk /f could save your drive. but still, i would recomend to backup your data somehow, if possible. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 10 '13 at 18:18
It did not work. And Linux is also not allowing me to access my data. When trying to mount ... it says something about mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on ... – Peter Mar 12 '13 at 9:55

Then fdisk /mbr might be your friend... I think the repair console on the WinXP install CD lets you run that.

But I'd do a dd backup from Linux before touching it. The command dd can read a drive bit by bit, ignoring all structure, so as long as the drive is actually functioning, it should work:

dd if=/dev/sda<insert proper number here> of=/mypath/myfile bs=4M

The argument if specifies the Input File (or device, in this case), and of specifies the Output File.

I did do copies like this several times. You might have to experiment the chunk size, but 4M works generally nice (disclaimer: I usually do this with the drive under backup connected via an USB to SATA converter, direct connections may benefit from setting higher chunk sizes.)

All Linux live CDs should be sufficient for this, I usually use Knoppix

share|improve this answer
I've got no WinXP install disk. But I did the dd ... (still running atm). How to I find out if the binary file got contents on it? Or would I rather mount it? But how would I. :D By the way ... see my edit on top :) Thanks for the help – Peter Mar 16 '13 at 18:29

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