Corrupt/lost data on NEW external HDD

Hi, Firstly sorry for long thread but i thought it best to give as much info as possible....... I recently purchased a Barracuda ST3000DM001 HDD for use as storage within an external Thermaltake 5G USB3 enclosure. I connected it directly to one of my PC's and installed Win 7 (32bit) onto a 1.4TB partition with the remaining space partitioned up to the 2TB limit, therefore making the partition approximately 600GB; (I was not aware of the limits at the time!!!), to be used as a data with no operating system installed. The remaining data above the 2TB limit did show up within the Disk Manager! I transferred all of my data onto the drive and decided then to do a fresh install of Win 7 on all of the other drives. Once I had done this I connected up the external HDD only to find that the data could not be accessed; Win 7 was saying that the HDD needs formatting. I then tried it on a different PC with the same results. I also tried it within a Startech USB2 enclosure and directly connected to SATA (on two different systems) all with the same results in addition to trying it on a Win XP system. One thing to note that the 3TB HDD DID boot several times prior to the HHD’s being reformatted and reinstalled with Win 7; I only checked the data was there, I did not check that anything was corrupt at this point. The fact that it started and everything was present without any obvious errors was enough at the time (hindsight’s a wonderful thing!!). Finally I have used Get Data Back (GDB) software to try and recover the contents, which I was able to partially do but there seems to be extensive corruption with many files unreadable. I am currently running GDB under XP (it takes 30+ hours!) having already run it under Win 7; just to try and see if there are any different results obtained. I have also tried Recuva and Panda Recovery which neither work as they both claim that the drive needs formatting. An extremely curious issue is that within the photos that are recovered via GDB, many of them are not the original photos but the same photo four times (but not always!!) i.e. the correct photo on the first file and then three copies of the same photo BUT with the original (correct) file name. Also the preview image of the file when going into is quite often incorrect; corrected by deleting the Thumbs.db and then refreshing though. The same effect has happened with my MP3 files; the song playing matches the track name but then the same song for track 2, 3 and 4; again with the track name being the correct one. Then it starts again with song 5 matching the track name but then track 6, 7 and 8 still showing the correct track name but upon opening playing song 5. Excel files upon opening are, generally but not always, not the files that they should be but a different file maybe that was next in the list or nearby, with many being corrupted. The files contain accounts data for a friends company so are rather important; as are the personal photos. I do have some backups (made with Genie Backup) and these were moved temporarily onto the 3 TB drive (hindsight again……..) for the short time that I formatted the other drives. It will take a long time to sort through the current files and the backups (the ones that haven’t become corrupted), to find what is and isn’t useable; and I know that some of the data is older than the current data that has been lost. Please can anyone advise what can be done to safely recover the data. Thanks Neil


Essential Member
When using a hdd bigger than 2TB and depending on age of mobo, you have to have AHCI enabled to use 3TB drives or larger. Some newer mobo's have this option built in specifically for larger drive usage. Then when installing a new drive, it's always best to format the drive first before use.

As far as recovering you data, you might be SOL on that. If there is nothing of value or important, I would go ahead and format it and take it as a hard lesson learned.

There is things that are of personal value otherwise i would just have reformatted it straightaway.

But i don't think that the data can be recovered; i have tried Recuva (found nothing as the it said that the HDD wasn't formatted) and Get Data Back which found files but many were corrupted.

But hopefully someone will come up with an idea how to get things back..................


Essential Member
There are some professional data recovery services out there but you have to send of your drive to them and there is no guarantee and it's very expensive.

Have you tried Seagates website for your hdd, I think they might have a recovery tool that could attempt to recover your lost data.

File Recovery Software | Seagate


Senior Member
There is things that are of personal value otherwise i would just have reformatted it straightaway.

But i don't think that the data can be recovered; i have tried Recuva (found nothing as the it said that the HDD wasn't formatted) and Get Data Back which found files but many were corrupted.

But hopefully someone will come up with an idea how to get things back..................
I would like to recommend the MiniTool Power Data Recovery software. I've used it several times and the way it recovers files is amazing. You will recover your files in the same way they are named and organized in folders before you lost them. I am just not sure about corrupted files but the problem I had was about lost and deleted partition. You have to get the premium version but it's a very good investment. The free edition only lets you recover 1GB of data. You might wanna give it a try first with a 1GB hard drive if you have a spare before getting the premium version.


Hard drive data loss is a major problem for all kind of user's, if you want to resolve this type of issue, so suggest you get Recover Data Hard Drive Recovery Software that can easily remove or get rid of your all data loss issues as fast as possible.

This is a really old thread that seems to have been bumped up by what I assume is spam (sorry if not, Lusy Armitage). However, I think it's worthwhile putting the following information in here in case someone finds this thread via Google:
  • If you're trying to recover data then stop attempting to access the drive. Certainly don't write any more data to it (this includes browsing internet, trying to open files, etc). This risks further data loss. If you can, use an entirely different computer and keep the drive inactive (until you attempt recovery of course).
  • Never, ever open the drive up to check the internal components. The dust in the air will literally damage the internals of the drive.
  • Do not reformat the drive, even if some recovery programs are asking you too. They shouldn't be. A reformat is the opposite of what you want -- it'll give you even less chance of getting data back.
  • The original poster mentions using a program called Get Data Back in order to recover data and that it takes 30 hours to scan. This is an insanely long time and data recovery tools should be much quicker than that. I haven't used Get Data Back myself, but that sounds poor.
  • The original poster also mentions his recovered files showing wrong thumbnails, repeated files, etc. This is a common symptom of data loss and recovery. The program has tried (and failed) to rebuild the data, but it just couldn't find enough to complete it fully. You'll often notice files lack the proper file name when recovered.
  • You can send your drive off to recovery professionals, as bassfisher6522 mentions earlier in the thread, but these are better suited to when the drive is physically damaged (e.g. in a flood or the internals have come loose). As noted, this is a highly expensive procedure. The situation described in the original post is what's called a logical failure and can usually be repaired using downloadable tools (just as well as professional companies).
  • Tools I've found that work in the past: R-Studio, Recuva and PhotoRec.
  • Remember: whenever using a recovery program, like those above, NEVER recover the data to the drive you're recovering from. As I said earlier, you should not be writing any new data to the drive.

Hope that helps whoever may find this thread. Good luck in recovery!

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