Making Windows recognize an HDD again.

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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Posts: 2
Joined: 31 May 2020, 03:01

Making Windows recognize an HDD again.

#1 Post by ReyKenobi »

A little history: The HDD I am talking about is a Western Digital 4TB HDD that was part of their MyBook lineup of External HDDs. Its 5-6 years old, but sparingly used as I only bring it online to add completed projects. So it may be getting accessed once a month, if that. Recently, I plugged it in, and it refused to start (the LED indicator light wouldn't come on) and the disk wouldn't be visible on Windows 10. I recognized it as an issue with the interface hardare, not with the disk itself, so I shucked the disk out of the factory enclosure, put it in another enclosure and tried to use it. But clever guys that WD are, they probably had some encryption or whatever in their interface hardware; the HDD now reads as RAW.

I tried another data recovery software first, but it was useless, as it would show I had 5.7TB data on a 4TB (3.63TB usable) disk!! Then I tried a Partition recovery software, but it spent 23 hours scanning my disk and then tells me I had no recoverable or lost partitions....

Now here comes TestDisk :
I then learned about TestDisk by chance, and you guys are a life saver. The Filesystem repair tool in TestDisk told me that my BootSector, both primary and backup, were Bad. I attempted repair of boot sector through TestDisk, but it did not succeed. Something about mismatch in bytes per sector. Sorry, I overwrote the actual log file during data recovery, but this part keeps showing up in all logs:

Code: Select all

Boot sector
Warning: number of bytes per sector mismatches 4096 (NTFS) != 512 (HD)
Error: size boot_sector 976745984 > partition 4294967295
Status: Bad

Backup boot sector
Status: Bad

Sectors are not identical.

A valid NTFS Boot sector must be present in order to access
any data; even if the partition is not bootable.
I then tried accessing the file list via the partition recovery tool of TestDisk, and it showed me my files with the directory structure intact. I promptly copied all the data to another HDD.

Now for the question:
Now that my Data is all backed up, thanks a million to TestDisk, I want to make the disk usable again. It does not matter if I have to format it. Will a full format under Windows 10 do the trick and write a new BootSector, or is there something else that needs to be done to make the disk available to Windows again? I am a complete noob to Disk issues, so please help.

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Re: Making Windows recognize an HDD again.

#2 Post by cgrenier »

Try TestDisk, EFI GPT, Analyse, QUick Search, use 'p' to list the files.
If you see your files, set the partition as P(rimary). On next screen, choose Write, confirm, Quit and restart your computer.

Posts: 2
Joined: 31 May 2020, 03:01

Re: Making Windows recognize an HDD again.

#3 Post by ReyKenobi »

Thanks! This worked.

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