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External Hard Drive Directory Issue


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#1
cleanprophet

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I know this is quite a common problem, but when I try to access my external hard drive I am told that the file or directory is corrupt and unreadable.

It says that the device is working fine. Yet it is telling me that it needs to format the drive to be able to access it. Naturally, I don't want to format it and lose all my data. Is there a way to fix the directory or remove and save the data and then format it?

EDIT: Having looked at the hard drive via Power Data, it seems that all the files are there (NTFS) and the drive is working. It's just that Windows can't read/access the data because of the directory issue.

Edited by cleanprophet, 05 December 2013 - 07:45 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hello cleanprophet

See if Puppy Linux can access the drive and back up the data;

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-528.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

    There are instructions on how to boot from flash drive with puppy here; http://www.pendrivel...e-from-windows/

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!



Posted Image

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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#3
cleanprophet

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Thanks. I'll give that a go. I've got the Puppy Linux Live CD ready to go. Before I do this, I just wanted to clarify that you know the problem I have is with an external hard drive that I have connected to a USB port? Will I be able to transfer data from the external hard drive onto my main hard drive?

In this section:

At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.


I assume I simply open the external hard drive (the drive with the directory problem), if I can, and then open the main hard drive - then drag whatever is on the external hard drive onto the main hard drive?

EDIT: It looked reasonably straight forward so I went ahead and tried it all, but ran into a problem immediately. I can't enter BIOS. On starting up, I am told that I should click on TAB to enter BIOS. But doing that takes me to a page that on stays for a second before moving me onto the Windows screen. I tried F2. That didn't take me to BIOS. So finally I went with delete as this seems to be standard for most people. However, after pressing delete and I am asked for the BIOS password, which I don't have.

Is there anyway around this? I read something online about "removing jumpers" from the motherboard, but opening it all up and messing about with the motherboard sounds risky for someone with no experience of these things.

Edited by cleanprophet, 06 December 2013 - 09:06 AM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Can I ask why you need to enter the BIOS

Is this a brand name computer such as Dell, HP etc, if yes can you tell us the brand and model name or number.

Just a FYI, the BIOS password, we cannot help with bypassing these but if you have never set one leave the field blank or try admin
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#5
cleanprophet

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I got hold of my brother's laptop and was able to use that instead. I entered BIOS, changed the boot priority and began the Puppy Linux program.

I linked the external hard drive to the USB hub and it was detected as sdc1 (as a flash drive icon). However, when I tried to open it to remove data I was told that it could not be mounted ("Error - unable to mount").

It detected the external hard drive and confirmed the amount of data on it, but could not access it. On the Power Data program I used, the details of the files could be read. So the data is still there, I just don't seem to be able to access it with Puppy Linux.

Edited by cleanprophet, 07 December 2013 - 05:24 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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I thought I need to enter BIOS and then advanced BIOS to change the boot priority?

Only if the computer does not boot straight into Puppy as opposed to your OS (meaning the optical drive was booted from first) possibly a blip on my part as I may have incorrectly assumed that you had already loaded Puppy Linux, if you have you need to identify which device is the external HDD, it could be sda2 or sda3 for example depending on the number of storage devices that you have connected.

I've never set a password for BIOS. Perhaps it is just the manafacturer that has set a password. I'll have a look in admin to see if there is anything there that can help.

I was suggesting that you enter the word admin in the password field, this is as much as I am permitted to offer regarding bypassing passwords, a phone call or email to Zoostorm may be in order here, I am aware of the Zoostorm company but have not encountered them entering passwords but if they do they should most certainly provide the purchaser of the computer the relevant password details.
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#7
cleanprophet

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As I've tried Puppy Linux on a laptop, is it still worth trying it on my main computer? As I mentioned earlier, the laptop showed the external hard drive but the Puppy Linux software was unable to mount the external hard drive. Is it possible that it would be able to mount it on my main computer or should we try some different software?

Can I load and use Puppy Linux without going through BIOS? Do I simply load the CD and run the program?

In the meantime, I will try to contact Zoostorm and discover the password so that I can access BIOS.
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#8
phillpower2

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As I've tried Puppy Linux on a laptop, is it still worth trying it on my main computer? As I mentioned earlier, the laptop showed the external hard drive but the Puppy Linux software was unable to mount the external hard drive. Is it possible that it would be able to mount it on my main computer or should we try some different software?

Please stay with a computer that will boot from the DVD/CD drive.

Can I load and use Puppy Linux without going through BIOS? Do I simply load the CD and run the program?

As above, use a computer that will boot from the optical drive please.

:thumbsup: contacting Zoostorm
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#9
cleanprophet

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The computer I used earlier today booted from the disc drive. I followed all those instructions (changing the boot priority to DVD/CD drive), insterted the Puppy Linux Live disc and booted from that disc. I followed all the other instructions but when I tried to access the external hard drive (the drive with the corrupt file/directory) to move the data I was told that it could not be mounted.
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#10
phillpower2

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That is not a good sign :(

What is the brand and model name or number of the external HDD please.

Another program to try is Ddrescue
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#11
cleanprophet

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In the end I found some other data recovery program (Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery) and have been able to recover the data from the external hard drive.
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#12
phillpower2

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Great news :thumbsup:

Do you intend on formatting the drive now.
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#13
cleanprophet

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Yes, it will take a while to get this data off the hard drive, but once it is done I will format the drive.
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#14
phillpower2

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Good idea to format the drive and the reason why I asked was I was going to suggest that you run the HDDs diagnostic tool so that you can be sure that it is safe to save your data to it in the future, please see below;

Run the HDDs diagnostics tool;
Make sure you select the tool that is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Depending on the program it'll create a bootable floppy or a bootable DVD/CD.
If the downloaded file is the .iso type use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn the .iso file to a DVD/CD disk depending on your OS (select "Write image file to disc" option) and make the disk bootable.

RE ImgBurn: please use the custom install and uncheck the attached foistware such as "Install Entrusted Toolbar etc

A handy program for formatting the HDD is DBAN if you need it.
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#15
cleanprophet

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Thanks. I'll check all that out. Chances are, I won't use this hard drive again. It's a good few years old now and it will be much easier to get a new flash drive rather than risk storing data on a drive that's a good 5 years old. But, I will check it and see if it is still in good order as my brother will probably take it off my hands.
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