Portable HD Missing Files and Folders

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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Joined: 28 Apr 2012, 01:17

Portable HD Missing Files and Folders

#1 Post by John3753 »


I have a wd passport 320 GB hard drive where I have multiple folders and thousand of files. The format is Fat32 and I use it primarily on my mac computer. Yesterday, plugging in my mac computer I lost almost all the files and folders with a few files remaining. I had used approx 170/320 GB and now my hard drive says 298/298 free. It is like it reformatted automatically. I used testdrive to recover most of the files. My question is can I "fix" my actual hard drive without reformatting and copy the files back over.

I tried to rebuild BS with no luck. I can see my partition and when I press P to see the files and folders most are red. I tried to repairfat with no success. Don't want to waste time if it is not possible what I am attempting. Thanks!

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Re: Portable HD Missing Files and Folders

#2 Post by Fiona »

Red files are deleted files.
If there is no need for, you can hide them by pressing h.
But in your case, it could be helpful to check them.
My question is can I "fix" my actual hard drive without reformatting and copy the files back over.
Despite that, it's always advisable to copy/backup files first.
Afterwards you can try to rebuild your boot sector and check if there are more files listed.
There is a note about Repair FAT at the bottom of the screen, that's very dangerous.
I don't suggest to change anything to a file system.
TestDisk doesn't change anything to the file system.
It only writes the partition table as a part of the MBR and has 64 Byte.
Also it's possible to repair the boot sector.
Boot sector is only 512 Byte and the first logical executable sector of a partition.
So TestDisk doesn't touch any data within the file system.

Repair FAT/NTFS is an exception and should only be used in conjunction with chkdsk if chkdsk hangs or failed to repair the file system.
It was in many cases succesful even if datarecovery software wasn't able to recover all data because of errors of a damaged file system.
But it's only if you're at the dead end and you decide not to use a datarecovery professional.