troubleshooting Question

Hard Drive not formatted error

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wcolwell88 asked on
Storage Hardware
7 Comments1 Solution1558 ViewsLast Modified:
I have a Seagate 160 GB External Hard Drive that I've been using for about 2 years or so. Recently, I ran into a problem accessing it. When I turn it on, Windows assigns it a letter and I can see it under My Computer like normal, but then when I click on it, it says the drive is not formatted and asks me if I want to format it. I assume reformatting it would erase all of the information I have on it so I didn't do it. I tried plugging it into a different usb port and using a different usb cable.  I'm using a desktop computer with Windows XP.

I downloaded a program called Test Disk which is made to find damaged partitions and read the drive. The harddrive has no partitions though, its just one big drive. I had the program display the list of files on the drive and all the folders and files appear to still be on the hard drive. The TestDisk program also came with a data recovery program. I started using it to recover the files, it estimated about 16 hours to move the files. After about 1 hr 40 min., I stopped it. It had recovered 366 files, all music files except for 2, but when I looked at the folder it was putting the files in, all the file names had been changed to f########. This wouldn't really be that big of a deal for my pictures, but I also have a lot of audio samples and things in there that are useless without the names.

I think I know what caused the problem. I usually turn off the hard drive when I'm done with it and I didn't know that I'm supposed to click the little button in the bottom right of the screen before turning off the drive. I found the problem at Seagate's help site:
http://seagate.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/...p?p_faqid=2526
It tells what can cause the problem, and what to do to keep it from happening again, but it does not tell how to fix it. I'm basically looking for a program that will read the hard drive and allow me to copy all the files and folders to a different hard drive without losing the names and folders. I don't really wanna spend a lot of money for this, but I need the files so I'm hoping for something as cheap as possible but whatever will work. Any suggestions?
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