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bad mbr on usb 2.0 hard drive

I have a problem with my usb extrenal drive;

After a recent formatl I re installed my 250 gig WD external HD; windows device manager sees it there, but I cannot access the files through explorer or any other way..I think I mayhave messed up the MBR..
There is critical data on that drive, and I need to recover it..How can I do this?

thanks so much!
3 Solutions
why would your mbr be bad?

Are you saying thes external drive has been overwitten, formatted?

If so then

Take look at these.


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Norton Utilities/SystemWorks
The Norton Protected Recycle Bin helps you recover deleted and overwritten files.
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Fast File Undelete


File Recover 2000


File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
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Disk Commander
In virtually any situation where you need to recover lost data from a Windows system, Disk Commander is the solution. Disk Commander performs a wide range of data recovery operations.

As a tool to 'UNDELETE' files that have been accidentaly deleted.
This feature is implemented for HPFS and NTFS only.


Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP


Hard Drive Mechanic
It's true. Even if you just re-formatted your entire hard drive, you can still get all of your data back because, unlike what most people believe, formatting does NOT erase your files! With Hard Drive Mechanic's Unformat Feature, you can restore all of your valuable data in about 10 minutes!
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Filerecovery for Windows
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A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.

File Scavenge
File Scavenge is the most comprehensive, award-winning file undelete and data recovery for NTFS volumes on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Active UNERASER is a compact and powerful undelete utility that can recover deleted files and folders on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS systems. It can even restore files from deleted and re-formatted partitions.

Undelete 3.0
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FinalData Data Recovery
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by   quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory   destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

Or Data Recovery Services
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ESS Data Recovery
ESS Data Recovery, Inc. has been removing barriers in the data recovery and computer forensics market ever since its inception
wase4711Author Commented:
Well, what happened was that somehow, while formatting the pc, the attached usb hard drives had their MBR's corrupted; now, even though windows deveice manager shows they exist, I  cannot access any files on them, either in explorer or any other way...I need the files very badly, so somehow, I have to repair the MBR's without formatting or deleteing any files off these external, USB drives...

Any suggestions would be greatly appriciated!

thanks again

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ChipM0nk JGLeaderCommented:
The tools above should do the trick.  If you have problems accessing the disk, due to the USB interface, I would suggest removing the disk from it's case and installing it as a normal internal EIDE/ATA drive so that you can access the disk using the native controller.  Then the tools above should do the trick then.  Personally I've used File Rescue and found it to work well.  

Of course, you will need another disk in the system to copy the data to and then I would suggest that you burn it from there to CD-RW.  

Then you can put your disk back in the USB case, repartition, format it and copy your data from the CD-RW backup - that you might want to keep up to date so this doesn't happen again.
wase4711Author Commented:
Well, I got the data back, thanks to the tools above..Now, I need to make the USB drives useable again, which will mean formatting them...
There MUST be a way to do it, without removing the drives from the cases and installing them in a "regular" pc...They show up in Device Manager, but NOT in Explorer or My Computer..

Any ideas ??
thanks so much!

and if you hook the usb drive up on another pc (or laptop)? can you format it then?

wase4711Author Commented:
No, I cannot see it on another pc...either the MBR is messed up,. or something...
I was able to recover the data,.but any pc I plug it into will show it in the Device Manager, but NOT in Windows Explorer or MY Computer...

I just want to some how format it to its clean, NTFS state, then I can use it again..But its impossible to format it unless you can "see it" in Explorer or My Computer..


wase4711Author Commented:
can I use these tools on an EXTERNAL USB hard drive? It looks like this is for a installed local hard drive...

wase4711Author Commented:
Nope, wont do it, since I cannot "see" the drive in My Computer....

wase4711Author Commented:
i thought the last option might work, but the wizard did not come up when I tried to write a signature..I guess I will have to contac WD to see if they have an answer..
thanks for your help !

wase4711Author Commented:
i think one of the options you suggested worked!
It appears the drive is now formatting, and if it goes to 100% I will post it here!

thanks again for all your ideas!

let me know what did the trick plse; always good to know

....and glad to be able to help you out (from Europe)

wase4711Author Commented:
well, going through the my computer/manage window, I was able to click on the drive, then "make it active" thAT  point, I restarted, went back tot he same window, went through the wizard that makes a partition..then formatted, rebooted, and was back in business!
thanks again from over here in chicago, USA!!

best wishes,

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