Trying to Recover Drive With "This disk must be formatted to be used"

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Joined: 13 Jun 2018, 18:16

Trying to Recover Drive With "This disk must be formatted to be used"

#1 Post by JimGoose » 13 Jun 2018, 18:28

Hi all, i'm new here and found TestDisk while frantically trying to find a way to recover an important work drive that just failed today. I have no back ups... The drive was almost entirely used internally on a laptop that began exhibiting problems. I put the drive in an external enclosure that I was using with my new laptop for a month or so... and had to boot up the old laptop with the external drive connected to it to export some important projects. The drive started acting up today with "errors detected, scan to fix'' which i did once - and after during an export from the problematic laptop to this work drive i got a pop up "this disk must be formatted to be used" in Windows 10.

I followed a TestDisk guide to recover the partition and detect the drive, oddly I think two partitions of identical size show up in TestDisk, I go ahead to do a Quick Search - it shows up those partitions with "invalid ntfs or exfat boot" - i don't recall ever using that drive as a boot OS disk... At that final menu I have no "p" option to enter the drive to view files, but some kind of partition(s) is showing up. I am going to do a "Deeper Search" and hope I get somewhere. The last time I backed up this drive was 2 years ago, and I've been delaying backing it up to the new laptop which is now turning out to be a very costly and stupid decision... i'm pretty desperate and if i lose these files i'll be dead meat from a few angles :( The drive is 2.5" WD Black with manufactured date March 24th, 2013. It was working fine internally, until i reconnected it external to my old problematic laptop. I suspect the USB ports were acting up and it disconnected the drive or gave it a surge or something while I was exporting / writing a file to it.

If anyone has advice I'd be very grateful, in the meantime I'm going to see if I can find a similar situation here that was resolved with TestDisk... Thanks in advanced. :cry:

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Re: Trying to Recover Drive With "This disk must be formatted to be used"

#2 Post by cgrenier » 14 Jun 2018, 06:14

Using TestDisk, go in the Advanced menu, select the partition, choose Boot, RebuildBS, List. If you can see your files, choose Write and confirm, Quit and restart your computer.
If it doesn't work, try PhotoRec. It will recover your data but without the original filenames.

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