Hard drive shows all free space even though there is data

I have this Lacie 1TB external USB drive. I have some Windows images on it and I just used it to back up about 300GB of data from a users system. I went back to restore the data and about half got done and it stopped with something along the lines of memory full. That was weird since the destination has plenty of space. Well, I was busy so I left that alone until the next day.

I go back to restore more data, and it says I need to format the drive (the backup drive). Tried unplugging and replugging, same thing. So I left the drive off for a couple hours. Same problem. So I took the HD out of the external Lacie casing and popped it into the PC directly. Now it doesn't say I need to format, but it says "access denied". So I tried taking ownership of the content of the drive. Now I can access it, but it reports the entire partition as free space.

The data has got to still be there. Is there a partition table command I can try to fix it with? Any other suggestions? This data was very important.
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noxchoConnect With a Mentor Global Support CoordinatorCommented:
When you took the drive out of the box and connected it directly to machine (different machine?) you could have initialized it. This will erase the partition table but not the data. With Undelete Partition Wizard from Active Disk you can restore the partitions back. Or use GetDataBack to restore the files.
Have had a similar problem, try it with partition wizard
It looks a bit mickey mouse but its saved me a lot of effort in the past.
You may take a try to Recuva.
It can solve problems of lost data and/or partitions.
Please note that there is an option named "Scan for non-deleted files". This should be your case.

If it doesn't work, you may need a commercial product.
In that case I would suggest you UFS Explorer. I found it very simple and fast.

I hope it can help...

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cpeeleAuthor Commented:
OK Great! You know the weird thing is I did try that and left it running last night, but when I came in today, it was not running... I will try again though, thank you!
Sounds like the drive could be failing...first thing I'd do is check it with either the manufacturers diags tool(what make is the drive?) or something like


It will check the drive to see if its on its way out...

For example if its a Seagate they have diags tools - http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/support/downloads/seatools/
i agree that there is a problem with the drive, and running a diag is a first start
i use the UBCD - it has all diags you need :
 i suggest to run some diags first - to be sure about the basics
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD, make the cd, and boot from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download
since the downloaded file is an ISO file, you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section - long diag !
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

you can run a chkdsk on the drive then

when the diag shows the drive is ok, you can also try the HDDRegenerator, it has fixed MANY drives for me (not free) http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
cpeeleAuthor Commented:
I left Recuva running again last night and when I came in today the system was logged off. ????
Now I am running Undelete. It has found 13 partitions so far! Thanks noxcho!
>>  It has found 13 partitions   <<  you never mentioned this...
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Be sure that one of these partitions is yours.
cpeeleAuthor Commented:
nobus - I had not run Undelete until after you posted.
cpeeleAuthor Commented:
All the partitions that Undelete found are small... not mine. Now I am running file recovery in Undelete.
cpeeleAuthor Commented:
Undelete has found and listed my lost folders and files! So I clicked Recover and it says "nope! you're using the Demo!" Guess I'm going to purchase!
Have you tried the "Scan for non-deleted files" option in Recuva?
I think this is your case... You may save some $...
cpeeleAuthor Commented:
I did try Recuva but it was taking so long and I had to leave it. When I came back both times, the program was not running. Now the PC may have rebooted for some reason, I'm not sure. But I ran this one and it worked so fast, but apparently that was because it just indexed everything. I have now paid for the app and it is working on recovery but is taking a long time so I guess I'm still going to have to leave it. I really hope the PC stays up this time.
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Accepted answer: 500 points for noxcho's comment #a39280571

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cpeeleAuthor Commented:
Undelete worked wonders!
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