External hard drive is not accessible. Don't want to lose data. URGENT AND IMPORTANT. HELP.

I backed up all of my data into this external HDD. 500 GB. Everything important that I have is in there.

I was using it all these days without any issues. But now, I am getting this error:

F:\is not accessible

data error (cyclic redundancy check)

It says:

"You need to format the disc in drive F before you can access it"

I can't format it or I would lose all of my data. I don't have any other backups. I can't access any of my data.

Please help.
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does the HDD make strange noises (eg. clicking noises)?

you could try a chkdsk on the drive

open command prompt

chkdsk F: /F /R

warning: this will take some hours to complete.

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A good thing is that the HDD is still recognized by the system.

Try a data recovery tool end specially tools for recovering lost partitions.

There are recovery companies all over the world. Use Google to find a company in your area. But this could be expensive.

you should use a data recovery software like "easeUS Data Recovery".
using this kind of tools upon will have a chance to recover, even if the drive is physically damaged.
If this tool does not work, should get a professional services company
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
<Sigh>   r.e. "I backed up all of my data into this external HDD"  ==>  It's a BACKUP.   You're not supposed to destroy (delete) the data from its main location.

The whole idea of a backup is that ALL important date should be stored at LEAST two different places.    "Backing it up" to an external drive;  then deleting it is NOT a backup ... it's moving the data to another place without a backup !!

But since you apparently don't actually have a backup, remember the #1 rule of data recovery:  STOP !!    Do not do ANYTHING to that drive that may cause ANY write activity.

You can try a good data recovery tool like Runtime's GetDataBack [http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm ] ... but if that doesn't work, it's time to use a professional service.    This is a very good recovery company with (by data recovery standards) reasonable pricing (and a "no recovery, no fee" policy):  http://gillware.com/
EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
It's quite possible that the partition has been damaged and the data is okay. Try this excellent free utility, which has saved me on a few occasions.


This only take seconds to run as it does not scan the entire HD, so I recommend runing this before any utility that can take hours to run.

If testdisk locates your lost/damaged partition, you actually have to select "write" to bring it back to life. This only writes to the boot sector of the disk. I recommend a careful reading of the online documentation before you use the software.

garycase said ....
Do not do ANYTHING to that drive that may cause ANY write activity.
This is spot on advice and the only time I ever ignore it, is to recover a lost partition as described above.

If you get your data back, back it up to one (or 2) locations immediately.
if you want to try yourself, i suggest to run a disk diag (short diag) to ensure the disk is working ok - otherwise, all software cannot run as supposed to, and may create more problems.
if the short diag passes, i would run hddregenerator; it fixed many drives for me

here is how i handle bad drives : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
smuralisankarAuthor Commented:
BTW...I wanted to post information about the external hard drive that is causing issues:

I am using windows 7.
About the external HDD: Seagate freeAgent goflex 500 GB File system: NTFS
It has about 45Gb free.

There are no sounds coming from the hard drive. I don't think it has any mechanical /moving parts.
smuralisankarAuthor Commented:

I tried running that but I don't think it works for EXTERNAL hard drives. Not sure how to use that for my case.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
If you're going to try to recover the data yourself, the first thing I'd do is remove the disk from the external case, and attach it to an internal SATA port on a PC.

This will eliminate the possibility that the external drive's circuit board has failed, and focus your efforts on the drive itself.

Remember my earlier caveat:   You do NOT want to do anything that writes to the drive ... although if the utility suggested above indeed finds a defective partition table you may want to take a chance on that.    But ANY writes to the drive can reduce the likelihood of successful recovery.

I'd attach the drive to a PC;  then try GetDataBack and possible OnTrack's Easy Recovery Pro.    Both of these are excellent ... and both are free to try -- the free version will show you what can be recovered, but you have to buy a license to do the actual recovery.
There are no sounds coming from the hard drive. I don't think it has any mechanical /moving parts.

Open in new window

okay, just for the record: if your drive is not an SSD or RAM drive (which it is not) it is an HDD and therefore of course has mechanical parts moving in its interior which could break. in this case i suppose we can rule out the possibility of a head-crash or platter failure.
EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
I tried running that but I don't think it works for EXTERNAL hard drives
Testdisk definitely does work on external HDs

It's great software and I really recommend that you try it one more time.
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