Hard Drive suddenly says it needs to be formatted and has lost NTFS file system

Posted on 2008-11-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello all,
Yesterday my documents hard drive on a windows xp completely updated PC with two Western Digital raptors took a dive. The drive (D:) still shows in my computer but when I click on it, the computer says it hasn't been formatted and asks to format it. Also, in the storage manager, the drive appears but under the file system column, there is none listed for that drive. I've looked through similiar solutions on EE talking about using the recovery console with chkdsk and fixmbr, etc. Unfortunetly, none of it has worked.
I really don't want to spend the time and money on a recovery program (not sure if it would work) so if there's any possible solutions to this beyond just using a file recovery software, I'd greatly appreciate the help.

Thanks much
Question by:frittonweb
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    have your data recovered first, before playing with "possible" solutions !
    try these (installed on anther disk, or PC :,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery                  pc Inspector -free                                    Stellar                                    GetDataBack                                    Ontrack                              RecoverMyFiles                                    Restorer 2000

    you can also test the disks to be sure about their status      
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    thanks much. First off, i've tried 3/4 of those recovery softwares, unfortunetly they call come back with the partition listed but when I scan for data all report nothing back.

    I used the WD diagnostics and the very first test, the cable test, failed. however, i've replaced the sata cable twice now with no luck.

    I can hear no audible clicking noises or anything mechanical. I finally decided to just try to actually format the drive so hopefull the broken partition would no longer have influence but the drive fails to format. is this a sign of mecanical failure?

    if I don't have deep enough pockets to pay upwards of 800 for recovery, should I try freezing the drive as many suggest works for very short times?
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    ther is a chance that the drive could be suffering with bad sectors on it. The best tool to use for bad sectors is HDD Regenerator, however the full version needs to be purchased. The trial version only repairs the first bad secttor found, you can download the trial version from
    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    >>  the cable test, failed    <<  this means it could not establish a good connection; this "but the drive fails to format" is normal then, you can't do anything.
    If you want to try to use it, you need to replace the logic board with one with the same firmware / code
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks very much,
    I tried everything....and I mean everything. I agree with you nobus about the logic board. I'm just sending the brick into WD for a replacement. All recovery softwares were unable to recover anything.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Try selecting the properites of the drive, security tab,  and you may notice that no one owns the drive.  Allocate yourself, or everyone, as the owner and you will be able to see the drive and its data once again.

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