Help with TestDisk - Recoving LaCie Hard Drive
November 20, 2007 6:06 PM   Subscribe

My LaCie 500 GB external hard drive is being uncooperative today - its main partition was deleted somehow. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, just plugged it in and Windows saw it as a blank disk. Although I see the lost partition in TestDisk, repeated attempts to recover it have proved to be fruitless. What should I do now?

I have found the partition in TestDisk and I've even written the partition table (through TestDisk). But every time I reconnect the drive, "My Computer" shows it as "Local Disk" and I'm asked if I want to format it.

For what it's worth, I downloaded the demo of Active@ Partition Recovery 5.0 and could also see my lost partition - but I don't want to waste the $35 to buy it on the off chance that it has the same trouble as TestDisk.

Any cheap and easy fixes to this problem?

I'll be up all night working on it - have to get a project off of it.
posted by charlesroper to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For what its worth.. ive seen 3-4 'lost partitions' in my days as a consultant. Everytime it was a damaged drive. Never anything else (not that it cant be something else.... just saying...)

eventlog show any errors from the drive?
posted by SirStan at 6:36 PM on November 20, 2007

Have you tried connecting it to another computer? There might be some things you can do in Disk Management (My Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management) to fix it. ISTR having a similar problem that was easily fixed there by "reactivating" the volume or somesuch thing.

Also, you could pop the drive out of its enclosure, install it internally (temporarily), and run the manufacturer-approved diagnostic program/bootdisk.
posted by hjo3 at 6:37 PM on November 20, 2007

Also, you could pop the drive out of its enclosure, install it internally (temporarily), and run the manufacturer-approved diagnostic program/bootdisk.

This will probably void your LaCie warranty.
posted by SirStan at 6:40 PM on November 20, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for your replies so far. This is a LaCie Big Disk and it has 2 hard drives in a RAID array. So taking the disks out of it would not help much since it would just destroy the array.

I've checked out Disk Management but it sees the partition as empty.

Both TestDisk and Active Partition Recovery can "see" all of my files, but TestDisk just isn't doing for this drive what it has done for many other IDE hard drives in the past.

As far as the drives being damaged - one very well could be. I do hear a faint clicking sound every so often (which is never a good thing). Regardless, I'm convinced that there still must be a way to recover this lost partition. Any other advice?
posted by charlesroper at 7:09 PM on November 20, 2007

You might try going to the command prompt (if you're using Windows) and using the chkdsk command. If you're not sure how to use it, you can type in "help chkdsk" at the prompt to get the skinny on the syntax and options and whatnot. You'll probably want to do "chkdsk /f D:" (if it's the D drive, for example), and it'll go through and fix the errors. If you're using Linux, you'll have to wrestle with fsck - "man fsck" at the command line will get you the info on that one. These options are definitely worth trying out before formatting!
posted by phfor7ckqueboy at 9:09 PM on November 20, 2007

Best answer: Knoppix.
posted by charlesroper at 11:16 PM on November 20, 2007

I had pretty much the same problems (blank disk, etc.) with a LaCie 250GB USB desktop hard drive, tried with knoppix with mixed results (most of the drive wasn't readable and knoppix would hang). In the end I was able to recover most (if not all) data using this freeware.
Oh, and the drive was 2 days out of its warranty.
Best of luck.
posted by _dario at 1:26 AM on November 23, 2007

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