western digital mybook essential 250Gb issue, inaccessible file system

Posted on 2007-07-25
Last Modified: 2016-06-26
hey there,

i have a western digital mybook essential 250Gb usb2.0 external hdd.

i formatted it under a sony vaio laptop 4 days ago in NTFS file system.

last time the disk was operational it ran under my winxp vaio system.

then, i connected it to my g5 imac. ever since the drive has been acting weirdly. even though it is detected as a physical device by both the vaio and the imac, i cannot acces its file system at all!

is there something i can do to, at least, recover the data in the hdd??

thanks in advance,
Question by:antiregulator
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution

    You could use GetDataBack ( to scan the drive and recover your data. (Run this on your sony.)

    I would also recommend you use FAT32, instead of NTFS to format this drive, as the MAC will read FAT32, as well as the sony.

    Hope this helps!


    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    Yes, NTFS is your problem.

    You could try:

    HOWTO - Read/Write to NTFS drives in OS X

    But, FAT32 is by far your best bet unless you're working with REALY big files.

    LVL 39

    Assisted Solution

    When you plugged the MyBook into the G5 it tried and failed to read the drive.  There is a danger that OSX may have tried to reformat or if you ran disk utility it may have damaged the data header on the drive.

    You MUST try all repairs on the Sony or under Windows as it is a NTFS drive.  Look for drive repair utilities for Windows here in Experts Exchange

    If you manage to recover the data.. copy it onto the Sony.

    Then plug the drive into the G5 and format it as FAT32 (OSX can read & write FAT32 and so can Windows). Windows will not let you format the  250GB drive as FAT32 by default .. although it is possible.

    Plug the MyBook back into the Sony and copy the files back on.

    It should be OK then to use cross-platform
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    If you can not access the file system on the sony. Try installing the following on the sony to recover your data:

    EasyRecovery Professional - Trial Edition

    It's free to try and charges you only if you like what it finds ... I have used this software several times and have been pleased with it's results.

    Once it is recovered to your satisfaction, I recommend reformatting the drive as FAT32. This way both computers can access (read/write).


    Author Comment

    well, the process of recovery has been completed but in an odd way.

    the restored folders, which are of the same size of the files existing in the drive, have, though, an odd nomenclature in a way that there is no correlation to the previous folder and file names. is this malfuncion permanent or can i restore the correct names for the files and the folders!?

    thanks in advance!


    Author Comment

    i should also note that the files have been sieved into directories according to their file type extension.

    which means different folder for the .exe's, different for the .jpg's and so on!

    please, guide my way, there's half my lifetimes works in these files!  :(
    LVL 39

    Assisted Solution

    One of the first things to disappear when you corrupt the data on a drive is the Directory or index of files.. this is where the filenames are stored and mapped onto the sector on the hard disk where the actual information is stored .. therefore . .the bad news is that it may be almost impossible to recover the filenames.
    Unless you can recover the index.. you are stuck with thousands of anonymous files.
    Certain repair software is better at recovering the header data.
    There are also a range of PROFESSIONAL companies who have more advanced data recovery tools which may be worth spending $$$ if your attempts fail. - One of the biggest companies doing this

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