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Hard disk says not formatted, but is "Healthy", how do I fix this?

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bgc99

Senior member
Aug 13, 2004
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I'm running XP SP3, one of my HDDs gave an error that says it is not formatted but the disk management console says it is healthy. I'm assuming that the partition table or master boot record got corrupted somehow.

Any suggestions on programs I can try to fix this? Will chkdsk fix this type of thing or will it hose the data? I'm hoping there iis a free program that will fill the bill.

Thanks,
BGC
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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If it says it's not formatted, then the filesystem got hosed somehow, not the partition table or MBR. If they got hosed up you wouldn't see any partitions or the partition types/sizes would be jumbled.

Chkdsk may fix it but it may do it at the expense of your data, it's hard to say without knowing how bad the damage is. Ideally you should create a raw image of the filesystem with something like dd and fix that first so you don't risk your data to trial and error.

First, I would try booting a Linux Live CD and see if that can mount and access the drive. The error handling in the Linux NTFS driver is a lot better and can mount volumes that Windows will outright fail on.
 

cheez

Golden Member
Nov 19, 2010
1,589
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^ If you get "it's not formatted", chkdsk won't be able to fix it. Save yourself time by performing either a format recovery or / and raw recovery using recovery program. ;)
 

D3kTrix

Senior member
Jul 27, 2005
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Are you sure the drive isn't failing?
I've seen this happen and the drive was actually failing, mass amounts of bad sectors.
Windows would say its not formatted, and healthy, but a program like "Get Data Back" could scan the drive and recover the data from right inside windows.
And the drive would fail tests from the manufactures software scans.

Like Nothinman said, could also try cloning the drive and then running chkdsk to repair the filesystem on the clone.
 
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GrumpyMan

Diamond Member
May 14, 2001
5,452
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My WD backup hard drive recently did this before going belly up. On XP also on a work desktop.
 

bgc99

Senior member
Aug 13, 2004
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I used a program called File Scavenger to get the data off of the drive. I had forgotten I had it, I bought it about 5 years ago when I had a similar situation. Back then it was Apples Quicktime player crashing that hosed the disk.

After I got the data off, I downloaded a free partition recovery utility from EaseUS, it didn't find any partitions to recover.

I then ran Seatools, it found and repaired 4 bad sectors. After rebooting the drive was again accessible in Windows Explorer. I decided to run ChkDsk which required a reboot, and it froze while running ChkDsk. Another reboot and the drive was gone, not recognized and not listed in Disk Management.

I ran Seatools again and it also could not see the drive, so it was dead.

All this and the Smart status never showed a problem.
 

eddielucas956

Junior Member
Dec 3, 2013
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I guess that you can format it.

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