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It is regarding my WD 1TB external harddisk.

The issue:- Accidently dropped from my hands(approx 1 feet height).

It worked properly for one day, but since day 2, I realised that my laptop is only detecting the disk and not showing volumes.(I can see in the disk management too). Disk managment is showing an error message called "unallocated".

My findings:

  1. If I navigate to computer management->diskmanagement->I can see the ("unknown disk-label name") of my HD with the size details. Also, I tried to place the cursor on the disk(my external HD) and right click and click any option, it displays "write protected".

My research: I downloaded EaseUS Data Recovery, icare data recovery, wondershare data recovery etc tools. But none of the tool recognized any volume of my HD. "volume not found" msg.(Its only detected External HD name)

So what I was thinking, since it was write protected, none of the tool will recognize my HD volumes? Or any other issues?

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The drop probably created physical damage (head, platter) that has now spread to sectors that stores metadata used by the disk's firmware and/or the partition table.

Since your disk still starts up and can be recognized by your computer, you can try recovering your partition table.

Commercial tools like paragon partition manager is easy to use and works quite well, but you obviously have to pay for it.

Also see Recover Lost NTFS Partition With Corrupted Boot Sector for a free solution.

It might also help to use a SMART tool to access how much life is left in that disk. Sometimes a damaged disk can still be used to store non-essential data for quite a while before it completely stops working.

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Thanks for your response. Will I get my HD data back with partition managr? – ronan Mar 18 '13 at 5:12
@ronan: Why don't you ask Paragon for a guarantee since you're paying for their software? No-one here can state with certainty that program X or Y can 100% recover your data. If such a program that guaranteed data recovery under all conditions existed, we'd all be using it. – Karan Mar 18 '13 at 23:32

There's a good chance its hosed - but I've seen similar drives have similar issues, and I was able to read off the data with a linux livecd and ntfs 3g (that is to say, the 'usual' tools for reading ntfs on linux), when 'normal' windows tools fail. You may need to use the -f arguement to force the drive to mount.

You can probably also give testdisk a shot, while you're at it, though my recommendation would be to do a file level recovery then format the drive.

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Thanks for your response. But I would like to know, will I get my data back from my External HD with the help of paragon partition manager/test disk? – ronan Mar 18 '13 at 5:11
It really depends on the nature of the damage - I like the linux solution cause its stupidly simple, and you can try a different range of tools off it. Different tools are good for different situations – Journeyman Geek Mar 18 '13 at 9:07

Right click on your Disk Drives (in Device Manager) > Propeties > Volumes tab > click Populate Done.

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