Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


External hard drive shell broke, salvaged internal drive

  1. #1


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8

    External hard drive shell broke, salvaged internal drive


    I have a 2TB Western Digital My Book Essentials, it's filled with tons of old photos, movies, docs, games, and I'm scared to think of what else. The SATA to USB connector broke on it, so I took the drive apart and put it inside my computer. I opened up device manager because it wasn't showing up automatically and the 2TB is showing up as unallocated, I'm freaking out now because I'm scared the data was somehow deleted.

    What do I do?

    edit: I realize also this isn't directly related to Windows 8 (besides the fact it's the OS I'm on), but I don't know where else to post it. I'd also like to say that I had a really deep feeling the drive was going to break continually for about two weeks before it happened, so if you have a similar feeling about something, don't ignore it!

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  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    As long as your hard disk is still spinning & recognized by Windows, the data in your hard disk is still there, just the File Allocation Table got corrupted, You'll have a good chance to recover your data. What you need is a data recovery program, I use this program in the past:

    Data Recovery Software Products - Runtime Software Products

    In the mean time, leave this hard disk alone, do not initialize or format it when Windows offers to do so.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 26 Dec 2012 at 07:29.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Another is using the program, MiniTool ..., mentioned being used in post #20 of this thread--apparently successfully. Check MiniTool out here.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    That is scary crap, as long as the drive is spinning and isn't clicking, data is recoverable. I'd check
    out the data recovery tools others posted. You'll need a hard drive to copy over the recovered data. It's not too difficult, just time consuming.

    I just recently lost my 500 gig hard drive that I'm still realizing what I lost...
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  5. #5


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8


    Thanks guys, I tried a different tool with no success, I'll try the ones posted here and report back. I have two 1TB HDD's that I'll be migrating my files over to, and I will then immediately get another 2TB HDD and use a RAID level, I'll never let this happen again.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by AiO View Post
    Thanks guys, I tried a different tool with no success, I'll try the ones posted here and report back. I have two 1TB HDD's that I'll be migrating my files over to, and I will then immediately get another 2TB HDD and use a RAID level, I'll never let this happen again.
    I would look into Storage Spaces if you're on Windows 8. It's like a RAID, but easier and better to use, as you can use external hard drives with it versus needing to have the exact same type of hard drive. Makes upgrading storage pools better.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8


    I'm using MiniTools, so far it's 7% done (took 2 hours, says 29 hours remaining, not a problem though) but what worries me is it says so far it's only found 21 files... now I had thousands of pictures, hundreds of movies, games, documents, etc.. And after 7% only finding 21 files..
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  8. #8


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by AiO View Post
    I'm using MiniTools, so far it's 7% done (took 2 hours, says 29 hours remaining, not a problem though) but what worries me is it says so far it's only found 21 files... now I had thousands of pictures, hundreds of movies, games, documents, etc.. And after 7% only finding 21 files..
    It'll take a LLOOONNNGG time for it to find everything. Just because it's at 7% and found 21 files, doesn't mean everything's lost.

    Seeing as it's 2 TBs and it was pretty full, it'll take a good while to scan it all.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AiO View Post
    I'm using MiniTools, so far it's 7% done (took 2 hours, says 29 hours remaining, not a problem though) but what worries me is it says so far it's only found 21 files... now I had thousands of pictures, hundreds of movies, games, documents, etc.. And after 7% only finding 21 files..
    It'll take a LLOOONNNGG time for it to find everything. Just because it's at 7% and found 21 files, doesn't mean everything's lost.

    Seeing as it's 2 TBs and it was pretty full, it'll take a good while to scan it all.
    Thank you for the reassurance, here's a screenshot I just took : imgur: the simple image sharer

    I noticed it's saying it scanned FAT folders/files, my HDD was NTFS formatted, will this make a difference?
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  10. #10


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by AiO View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AiO View Post
    I'm using MiniTools, so far it's 7% done (took 2 hours, says 29 hours remaining, not a problem though) but what worries me is it says so far it's only found 21 files... now I had thousands of pictures, hundreds of movies, games, documents, etc.. And after 7% only finding 21 files..
    It'll take a LLOOONNNGG time for it to find everything. Just because it's at 7% and found 21 files, doesn't mean everything's lost.

    Seeing as it's 2 TBs and it was pretty full, it'll take a good while to scan it all.
    Thank you for the reassurance, here's a screenshot I just took : imgur: the simple image sharer

    I noticed it's saying it scanned FAT folders/files, my HDD was NTFS formatted, will this make a difference?
    No, it's not something to be concerned about. If you checked something like Scan Entire Drive or partition, it'll check EVERYTHING, there may be a small partition that is used up for something that is in the FAT system. So far, it's still at the outer edges of the disk and hasn't moved inwards yet.

    Try to be patient.
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External hard drive shell broke, salvaged internal drive
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