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Hard drive problem

juliasdream
Grafter
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎09-06-2007

Hard drive problem

I am running win7 on a medion desktop computer which has a 1 Terrabyte external hard drive
The problem at first appeard to be that all the data on that drive has disappeared
When I click on the drive in Windows Explorer it says "This Folder is empty"
This cant be so because the drive is showing that 67.8GB is free out of 931GB only I can't access any of the files on that drive
Could anyone please advise me how I can get to access those files again?
Thanks
15 REPLIES
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,818
Thanks: 315
Registered: ‎13-07-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

I think you can get access with the aid of a Linux disc, Someone will be along to tell you how Its done though as I don't have a clue.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,915
Thanks: 139
Fixes: 25
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

I'm not well-versed in the technical details of hard drives but apart from the actual files, the hard drive has areas where it stores information on what type of file structure is used, how it is partitioned, where each file is located etc.  When the data stored in these "overhead" areas becomes corrupt you get a problem like this one.  As the actual files are likely to be still intact then you can recover them using standard file recovery software.  The problem is that you need another drive of at least the same capacity (preferably more) to recover the files to.  In principle you might think that you can simply repair the damaged areas of the drive but I have never managed to do that.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,025
Thanks: 1,690
Fixes: 20
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Hard drive problem

Download a "Live DVD" from here..... ( either 32 or 64 bit depending on what you want)
http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
burn it to a DVD
put the DVD in your player, then boot up,  ( your boot should start with CD/DVD drive)
when the Linux screen appears, you should be able to access your files that are on the HDD...
when you have finished with the Linux, you shut down as normal, and then remove the DVD to return to your Windows setup..... ( No Linux files are left on your computer unless you "install" it )....
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 258
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

If the Linux dvd shows the files are intact then you can try copying them to somewhere else, however if they are not shown then you need to move into disk recovery mode. A google on this will return some M£ utils along with several Linux ones.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,915
Thanks: 139
Fixes: 25
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

I wonder why Linux should be able to read a disc that Windows cannot?
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 27,339
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Hard drive problem

Lack of arrogance? Wink

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 64.0 (64-bit)

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Hard drive problem

Quote from: Strat
arrogance

More likely permissions.  Wink
I'd bet that the "missing" data is in hidden or system files or folders that for one reason or another Windows thinks should not be shown to that particular user.
Linux is possibly ignoring that aspect of the file system.  Lips are sealed
Changing things in Folder Options in the Control Panel usually magically reveals what you're after.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,915
Thanks: 139
Fixes: 25
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

Thanks HPSauce, that's a more plausible explanation than Strat's.  But if it's a permissions issue then it applies to the whole drive, if I read the original account of the problem correctly.   
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Hard drive problem

I'm not saying it's the answer, but I've seen it many times.
Once you can see there are folders there you still can have "battles" with permissions and ownership, so depending what the objective is a less rigorous operating system may get you to your data.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
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Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

Quote from: HPsauce
is a less rigorous operating system may get you to your data.

Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Hard drive problem

Quote from: Hairy
Grin

Except, with my latest faulty hard disk problem lack of "rigour" didn't help.  Angry
Fairly normal Dell desktop system but with onboard (Intel) SATA raid and 2 drives striped (raid0?) one of which has a fault, flagged at the BIOS stage.
But it starts to boot (XP) but blue-screens before the desktop appears with an inaccessible device (disk 0 in reality).
Hardware tests (quite good on most Dells) showed the fault was limited to a single block, but was fairly severe.
The Intel utilities (direct CD boot) didn't want to know - disk damage too great to even consider repair/bypass - so I thought I'd try Linux to see what was visible.
Used a Mint DVD - it didn't even see the disks at all! I presumed it didn't have 64-bit drivers. Fair enough, lets try the 32-bit one.
No luck, equally useless at even seeing that there was any hard disk storage at all.  Angry
So I popped in a spare SATA drive and quickly installed Vista (Business) which had all the drivers and immediately saw the raid volume.
Anything processing it sequentially e.g. checkdisk would eventually hang but I could get into folders no problem.
The damaged area appear to be in a system folder so I "extracted" several hundred gigabytes of user data without a problem.
Linux 0, Windows 1.  Cheesy
And I might add, I'm no fan of Vista.  Lips are sealed
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,193
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Hard drive problem

Quote from: juliasdream
I am running win7 on a medion desktop computer which has a 1 Terrabyte external hard drive

Doesn't sound like RAID.

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 258
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Hard drive problem

If it was a faulty raid then you will have lost the data on both of them if it was stripped. As to why Linux didn't see the raid set - it was FAILED.
Also your first post suggested it was a fault on the external drive not the internal raid set.
juliasdream
Grafter
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎09-06-2007

Re: Hard drive problem

Thanks to all who tried to help and sorry I left it so long to get back on here to update things.
Well it was a permission issue.
I went to folder options and ticked view hidden folders and voila
I'm back in.
Thanks for the suggestion HPSauce