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  1. #1

    Recovering Files from External Hard Drive

    Here's the deal:

    I've got a 500 GB external Western Digital USB hard drive. I've been using it with windows xp sp2 just fine for at least 3 months. I used it to store misc. files and music on. Recently, I got the incredible idea of using it to install linux on it. I wanted to create a new partition as to not affect the data already on the drive. Well, in all my stupidity, I did it. I created a boot, root and swap partition using the disk druid (or somethin like that) that came with fedora core 3 (I had it handy from another old box).

    Now windows does not recognize my device (it does show up in device manager, but not on the my computer screen). I downloaded Stellar Phoenix FAT & NTFS to see if all hope was lost. After a couple days of searching it detected a logical FAT drive, so I scanned it and it found my files! But wait - it wanted $50 to get my files off the drive!

    My question is - are there any free programs to get my files off the drive so I can reformat it? Or, is there an easier way to just fix the partition tables or something to make windows recognize my device? I'm pretty unkowning about partitions and logical drives (yes, It was a VERY dumb move in the first place, but I can't really rewind now).

    I know my last resort will have to be to shell out $50, but I was wondering if there was a free way.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Not sure it'll work, but you could try TestDisk:

    You can also check out or download the (30 MB) Gparted LiveCD that comes with TestDisk included:

  3. #3
    Thanks for the speedy reply! The Gparted LiveCD refuses to boot (i tried it with multiple computers). I kept getting trying to kill init errors or it plain wouldnt boot right.

    I'm searching now with the TestDisk tool, hopefully that will find something.

    I'm confused, and maybe someone can explain this to me, but where is my data at? Is it floating on the drive somewhere random? Is it in the Unalocated space (Using Xp's computer management tool it shows the 3 partitions and then 400 GB of unalocated space)? Whats all this mean? If you create a partition does it delete data or not? What's a logical drive mean? LOL I'm really confused right now.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Well, testdisk did not bring up anything good - it only lists the 3 linux partitions. Any other options?

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