External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 11-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

Hello everyone who may read this. I have a relatively specific problem that I cannot find the answer to elsewhere.

I woke up one morning to find that my external hard drive had disappeared from my list of drives. I cannot access it at all. There was approx 2TB of data on it that I would really like to recover.

When I open the disk management window the disk in question does appear, but it is uninitialized. If I initialize the disk to bring it back online, will I permanently lose the data I want to recover?

Specifics:
Windows 8
Faulty disk is western digital mybook 3TB external HDD. The HDD inside is WD's green drive

Thanks for any help!
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

Does the drive still have a filesystem (i.e. NTFS) or did it get set back to RAW?
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

I cannot tell. In the disk management window the faulty disk is named "disk 1". Under the name it says "unknown" and "not initialized". When I click on the properties it appears to be working properly, but it does not give any indication of the file system. I cannot see the drive in windows explorer to check there.

It says that the disk is actually online in the command prompt when I list the drives there (see picture). It also says that there is a total of 0 bytes free, which I know not to be true.

I have tried to plug the ext HDD into my laptop but it does not appear there either. Neither computer acknowledges the existence of my HDD, except in the disk management window. And even then it appears as empty with 0 bytes free.
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File Type: jpg disk1.jpg (48.7 KB, 3 views)
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

Before doing anything else with it, you could try booting off of a Linux LiveCD (such as Ubuntu) and see if it will recognize it or not.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

Yeah I just burned ubuntu actually haha. Going to give it a try. I'll update in a few minutes.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

The drive is not seen in Ubuntu 14.10.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

Have you tried removing it from the enclosure and hooking it up directly to your system? I've seen controllers go back on the enclosures themselves and causes funky issues with the drive being recognized.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

If you controller fails, your screw'd. WD encrypts the drive with their Smart Ware software. that mean that if you attempt to move the drive from it's current controller to another HDD controller, it will not be able to read the drive
Basically WD wants a massive amount of your $$$ to recover your data for you
http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/librar...779-705106.pdf
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
If you controller fails, your screw'd. WD encrypts the drive with their Smart Ware software. that mean that if you attempt to move the drive from it's current controller to another HDD controller, it will not be able to read the drive
Basically WD wants a massive amount of your $$$ to recover your data for you
http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/librar...779-705106.pdf
I'm assuming you mean the HDD's controller?

I was talking about the enclosure's controller.

Either way...sucks they're doing that.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: External HDD uninitialized on its own. Can I recover data?

From what I read It looks like the software ties into the enclosure's controller, Even so if you pulled the drive from that enclosure and used another WD enclosure, it'll see the drive but won't be able to recognize the file system...part of WD'$$$ security. The drive will still work but WD has you by the short and curly's with your data
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