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I have a brand new Toshiba 3Tb external that I used once to store by back-ups while I gave my computer a clean state, (after a couple years she was starting to lag.) After backing up, I tested the drive and information on it before formatting my laptop and loosing my only other copy of my files.

When I went to put my files back on Windows said the drive is not initialized, when I go to do so, it will not allow any kind of initialization, even with under a terabyte of information on it. I've tried to initialize the drive on multiple systems and 3 different types of Windows (7 Professional, Vista, and XP) and nothing. Now I'm stuck with a clean laptop without any access to the files on the drive.

Is it possible for a drive to just become uninitialized on its own? If yes or no, is there any way to retrieve the files still on the drive?

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Why are you trying so hard to reinitialise the drive if it contains your important data? If Windows fails to read the drive for some reason, you can see if your data is accessible via Linux. If not, there might be a hardware issue with the drive, the cable, the enclosure/case... –  Karan Mar 29 '13 at 9:41
    
Not a bad idea with the Linux, I've got an old laptop collecting dust somewhere around here. Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a shot. –  Clee Mar 29 '13 at 15:22
    
In case the old laptop doesn't work, any Linux LiveCD/USB will do just as well. –  Karan Mar 30 '13 at 9:05
    
Linux got my information off, was a fault with the drive. I'll return it and stay away from the cheap Toshiba drives this time. Thanks for the help. –  Clee Mar 30 '13 at 15:07
    
Clee - glad to hear you solved your problem. @Karan - Would you care to add that as an answer? –  Robotnik Nov 11 at 22:19

1 Answer 1

From Karan's comments:

Why are you trying so hard to reinitialise the drive if it contains your important data? If Windows fails to read the drive for some reason, you can see if your data is accessible via Linux.

(Any Linux LiveCD/USB will do, In case your old laptop doesn't work).

If not, there might be a hardware issue with the drive, the cable or the enclosure/case.

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