After I realized that I am spending 30+ hours a week trying to recover my data - for more than a couple - I bought a 2TB WD today to help give me some leeway to work. Unlike prior drives, I connected it to my system using my Vantec adapter - not enclosure - and XP Home with SP3 saw it with no problems. The Seagate, WD's and Hitachi's all seemed to require I use their software for my computer to even see the drive (even a 500 GB!), so I was surprised. I formatted it, ran some tests, it seemed find.
Since I had 400+gigs of files copied from my -6 month old WD 500GB drive, I connected the new drive to the work computer and once again, it was like playing pinball, the drive would connect and disconnect, etc,. I brought the Vantec unit in, the drive needed formatting - something I had already spent a couple of hours doing - same thing, different refrain. I skipped one part of the Vantec unit and for the past ~40 minutes have been formatting it. The point of my post:
I had time to read WDs site, and it still seemed to be saying that since I was using XP - and possibly Vista - I should really consider using WDs sector alignment software. I'm really quite confident I used Toshiba's Paragon when I added them and they have worked since then - knock on word. The others, based on their instructions, did not stress using the Acronis software other than to clone the old drives contents. And I think that is at the root of the problem with losing the partiton table info or whatever it is. If it weren't for Testdisk at least letting me see that the data was still there all these years, I don't know what would have happened. I haven't been able to recover a drive yet with all this new software, like I had back in the days of smaller, simpler drives, but I continue to hold out hope I'll learn what I'm doing wrong and be able to do so. In the meantime, may I ask: is there anything else that can be done to fight this? I ask because the drive has to be formatted before it can be aligned and supposedly it should be formatted at 4096 per sector? size instead of the normal 512 (maybe I've got the numbers wrong, but the choices in which to format is more than those two and it's up tp the user to decide between them all) and unless you research this, you can't count on the instructions that come with the drives.
I think I may be at the point of upgrading my computer with new everything before I lose it trying to make the square peg fit into the smaller square hole.
How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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