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Will Initializing Drive wipe out data

This is a discussion on Will Initializing Drive wipe out data within the Computer Data Recovery forums, part of the category; Before I do anything that will prevent me from being able to recover my data, I am checking with you ...

  1. #1
    Ahroo is offline Junior Member
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    May 2005
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    Default Will Initializing Drive wipe out data

    Before I do anything that will prevent me from being able to recover my data, I am checking with you first! Here is some background on my problem:

    80 gig Western Digital external firewire drive was working fine for several years - for unknown reason, stopped last week (I have confirmed that the port, cable, A/C adapter, etc. are fine). It is showing up in Device Manager, but not in Windows Explorer or My Computer. In Disk Management: In the bottom part, it has a little red symbol on the disk icon, next to the icon it says Disk 2, and under that says "Unknown", then shows disk capacity of 74.53 GB, then under that says "Not Initialized". In the right pane, it says 74.53 GB, unallocated. Under Volumes tab, it shows partition style=Not Applicable. Under System Information (under System Tools on Start menu) the drive is not listed at all under Drives, but IS listed under Disks. However, it shows Partitions = 0. I was able to run Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tool - it passed both the Quick and Extended tests, which according to WD's tech support means that "the drive is mostly likely still running fine." They are recommending that I "initialize" the drive, but I don't want to try that until I know how that will affect my ability to recover my data.

    I tried to run Version 3.4 of Recover My Files several days ago (just before release of 3.54), but it did not see the drive (I only tried Fast and Complete Search - I was afraid to try the Format Recovery in case it reformatted the drive and wiped off the data).

    So, here are my questions:
    1) Should I initialize the drive? Will that wipe off my data? If it DOES bring the drive back to life but data is missing, or if the drive is still not working, will Recover My Files be able to recover the data?
    2) Or should I try something else first - such as the Format Recovery? Will that be able to see the drive that is not being seen otherwise by Recover My Files?
    3) Or am I totally out of luck and will forever be kicking myself for having been lazy about backing up the files I really wanted?

    Thank you very much in advance for any help you can provide.

    Laura

  2. #2
    GDH
    GDH is offline Administrator
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    Feb 2005
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    3,047

    Default Data Recovery

    Do not do anything to the drive. Do not initialize it.

    Install Recover My Files 3.54 on your good drive and then run a Fast Format Recover. If this does not get results, run a Complete Format Recover.

    I dont think the logical drive letter will show in the drive selection window so you will probably be running on the physical drive.

    Recover My Files will not change the contents of the drive in any way, so you can be assured that running the program is a safe process.

    It sounds to me like you will get all you data back. Please let us know what happens.
    Graham Henley
    GetData Support Staff
    www.getdata.com
    www.recovermyfiles.com

  3. #3
    Ahroo is offline Junior Member
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    May 2005
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    Thumbs up Success!! - mostly

    I did the Fast Format first - nothing at all. So I ran the Complete Format (took almost 18 hours for 80 gig!!) - and it found most of my files! Some of my graphics files are unusable, but there were enough saved intact that I don't have to rescan most of them. It found all of my music files - interestingly, some of them were duplicated 3, 4, and even 5 times. Many had file names, many did not. Some showed file names when I played them in another program, so I knew what to rename them. It's a little cumbersome, in file view, to have to go through directory after directory to find everything, but considering the alternative of losing everything, I'm not complaining. Overall I am THRILLED at how well it worked and how much it was able to successfully recover. So thank you VERY much to the creators of this program and to Graham for your quick reply and helpful suggestions. It was well worth the purchase price and I will definitely recommend this program to anyone caught in a similar dilema!

  4. #4
    Ahroo is offline Junior Member
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    May 2005
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    Default Update

    Everything on my computer froze up so I had to close (end task) the recovery program before I had finished saving files. So, I had to re-run the entire Complete Recovery Format - this time, the entire process took only a little over 3 hours!!! Not sure why (different selection of files to search for? Had already searched and retained info - like in a browser cache?), but I was very pleasantly surprised.

  5. #5
    Brett Hunter is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Default

    Hi Ahroo,
    We are trying to improve the filename property when no filename is located. This way you would get the song name (for example) as the filename instead of Recovered_MP3_1093.mp3 etc. This feature is still another month away.
    When doing a Complete Format Recovery it is best to only select a few file types (as it is only used to regenerate the partition boundaries).
    Hope that helps.
    Best Regards
    Brett

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