Windows wants to format my external USB hard drive!

By bigwat
Feb 13, 2011
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  1. The other day i turned it on and connected it to my computer(running win 7), Unfortunately a message came up that windows needed to format the hard drive(200 GB) before it could use it, In my computer it is named as local disk(drive name) which use to have the externals name.

    I have too much needed files to lose or to be formated, I checked disk management and the drive was healthy but the file system was RAW,I checked it with the chdsk(spelling) but all checked files were unreadable.

    Is there any way that i can use my external again? I appreciate any help at all.
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Your file system on the external drive has become corrupt. You could try to run chkdsk /r on it which may fix the problem but, and this is a big but, it might damage some of your files.

    The safer bet is to use an Ubuntu Live CD, follow this guide.

    After you have rescued your files you should then run the hard drive diagnostics for windows which you can download from the drive's manufacturer's site. If all is well you can then reformat to the NTFS file system and it should be usable again.

    I just found this which you may find easier and it says it can be used on a drive that has changed to a RAW file system. (It appears to be free but no guarantee)

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