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  1. #1
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    Toshiba external hard drive detection problem.

    I tried using Macrium Reflect to backup in preparation for the upcoming Windows 10. Currently have Windows 7 Professional. The backup was to go to my Toshiba 2TB external hard drive. During the preliminary steps, there was a warning box that said something like "This will overwrite the data on the drive" , but I stupidly clicked "Procede" anyway. Now when I open "Computer" from the desktop or the Start Menu, it shows Local Disk (C, but no External Disk (F. I have tried unplugging the Toshiba external drive and replugging it into all 6 USB plugin spots on my Dell Optiplex 780, but it still will not show the external hard drive. Anyone know what went wrong, and more importantly, how to fix it? I tried System Restore but that didn't work.Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by isandman02; 2015-06-26 at 15:39.

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    You attempted (succeeded) to clone your internal disk to the external disk instead of performing a backup. There is no way to recover the old data because it will have been overwritten.
    To use the drive again, open Disk Manager, delete any existing partitions on the external disk, create one new one and format it as FAT32.
    To open Disk Manager click Start > Run and type: diskmgmt.msc

    cheers, Paul

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    ...format it as FAT32...
    Shouldn't that have been NTFS Paul?
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Your problem is probably that your external drive has lost the drive letter associated with it, a problem which I have occasionally encountered when cloning. The solution is to open Disk Manager, right click on the drive and allocate a free drive letter to it. It will then appear in explorer.

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    FAT32 supports up to 2TB and anything will be able to read it. If you are only ever going to use it in Windows you could use NTFS.

    cheers, Paul

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    If you meant to create an image of your internal HD OS partition, something went wrong. I'm not sure if MiniTool Power Data Recover will work or not; the previous FAT and DIR tables probably are non-existant.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by isandman02 View Post
    I tried using Macrium Reflect to backup...The backup was to go to my Toshiba 2TB external hard drive. During the preliminary steps, there was a warning box that said something like "This will overwrite the data on the drive" , but I stupidly clicked "Procede" anyway. Now when I open "Computer" from the desktop or the Start Menu, it shows Local Disk (C, but no External Disk (F. I have tried unplugging the Toshiba external drive and replugging it ....Anyone know what went wrong, and more importantly, how to fix it? ....
    I do not know. I can guess sudo is correct you cloned your C: drive image rather than saving your data. Plug it into another system: is ti recognized there?

    Was anything on your 2TB external that was not on your PC?

    • If no, then I would save an image of your C drive to the 2TB disk. If you cannot see the drive them I would use Disk Management to delete all partitions and repartition and format the drive.
    • If yes, then sudo is correct that anything overwritten by Macrium Reflect (MR) is lost for good, but because the default of MR is to do a "Intelligent Sector" clone rather than a sector by sector clone only the space needed would have been overwritten. Anything outside the area is recoverable. I would use photorec and testdisk booted up on system rescue CD or other suitable boot disk and see if it sees the external drive and can recover files. Copy recovered files to a PC drive.



    I am unsure why your external drive is unviewable by Windows. It would be a external Win7 boot drive and Win7 doesn't like that at all but it should see the drive. Testdisk may allow you to "fix" the drive. Be very careful. Copying files is fine. But making (writing) changes to the external drive may lose more or all data, or make things worse requiring more tech help $$$ in unwinding whatever is left.

    If you cannot see the external drive with system rescue booted something is fundamentally wrong. If this is the case I would go into Disk Manager in Windows and try to see what it reports for the drive. If it does not see it then I wonder if the drive has coincidentally failed.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-06-27 at 18:55.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    FAT32 supports up to 2TB and anything will be able to read it. If you are only ever going to use it in Windows you could use NTFS...
    Correct, FAT32 supports up to 2TB partition size but has a file-size limit of slightly less that 2GB, which is likely to cause problems if the drive is used for storing backup images.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Thank you Paul T. and everyone else who replied. I opened Disk Manager but it did not show any F drive where the Toshiba external drive is plugged into, so that didn't work. Looks like the Toshiba external drive is now trash and years worth of data gone. Rest assured that I will never go near Macrium ever again. I am also ready to give up on backups. Anyone know any free backup software that is simple and easy to use and that won't cause any more damage?

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    I opened Disk Manager but it did not show any F drive where the Toshiba external drive is plugged into

    That was the point. It should show the drive, but with no drive letter.
    If the drive has failed, as all drives do eventually, its unlikely that the software itself caused it.
    As for the warning message, all cloning software reformats the drive its cloning to before writing the clone. You cant clone to a drive if it already has data on it.
    If you have data you don't want to lose, its always a wise precaution to have multiple backups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isandman02 View Post
    Anyone know any free backup software that is simple and easy to use and that won't cause any more damage?
    Macrium Reflect free is very good and doesn't damage your hardware.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post
    I opened Disk Manager but it did not show any F drive where the Toshiba external drive is plugged into

    That was the point. It should show the drive, but with no drive letter.
    If the drive has failed, as all drives do eventually, its unlikely that the software itself caused it.
    As for the warning message, all cloning software reformats the drive its cloning to before writing the clone. You cant clone to a drive if it already has data on it.
    If you have data you don't want to lose, its always a wise precaution to have multiple backups.
    When I click "Computer" it does not show the drive or the drive letter("F") for the external drive now, only the local "C" drive. As for multiple backups, I would like to have one that works and is easy to use. After what happened, Macrium is out of the question. Anyone familiar with and able to recommend any other free backup programs?

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Now I'm confused and it sounds as though you may be also. You said you opened Disk Manager, then you say you clicked on Computer, which is in Explorer, a completely different utility. Look in Disk Manager. The drive wont show in Explorer if it doesn't have a drive letter allocated to it in Disk Manager. Open a Command Prompt and type diskmgmt.msc to access Disk Manager

  14. #14
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    Blaming your tools (Macrium) is not the way to fix your problem. Get your PC back to a point where you can see all the disks, then work quietly through the backup possibilities, without actually performing the backup. Then ask any questions you have.

    cheers, Paul

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    My personal experience is that Toshiba drives are amongst the least reliable but, unless it has committed harakiri, you may well be able to recover your data.

    Before you bin the Toshiba drive I suggest you try to recover the original, overwritten partition Ė if that is indeed what has happened. The best tool I know to achieve this is the excellent Partition Wizard (free).

    Download Partition Wizard v9 free:
    http://filehippo.com/download_minito..._home_edition/

    Download Partition Wizard Bootable CD v9 free (runs in RAM at boot)
    http://www.minitool.com/C3883AF0-D8F...CC/pwfree9.iso

    You may be able to recover keeping the Tosh drive in its USB case but Iíve never done this myself and the last thing you need to do at this stage is muddy the waters even further.

    So I recommend you open the Tosh external drive and remove the ordinary HD drive thatís in there.
    If you are dealing with a Desktop (or have access to one) connect the Tosh drive to a spare SATA port. Note that, if you have actually cloned you main drive to it, you may need to go into the BIOS/UEFI and make sure the Desktop doesnít try to boot from the cloned Tosh drive.

    Install Partition Wizard v9 free on the Desktop, run it. Find the Tosh drive and choose the Partition Recovery Wizard Option. Sit back and keep your fingers crossed - Iíve seen PW magically save the day on numerous occasions. If the Tosh has been cloned to multiple partitions you may need to choose the ĎRecover all partitionsí options.

    If you are trying to do this on a laptop, burn the bootable CD iso version and then temporarily replace your the laptopís internal drive with the Tosh drive (Iím assuming the Tosh is a 2.5). Then boot from the CD drive and proceed as above.

    To be honest, most people will find the CD version the most reliable to use as itís Linux based and runs in RAM before Windows has a chance to boot.

    If it all works, reassemble the Tosh external and off you go.

    Good luck!

    And take my tip: Do NOT 'upgrade' to Win10 until it's at least 12 months old - we've all been here before and, from how Win10 performs at the moment, it sure ainít looking any better this time!
    Remember rule #1: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Industrial electrical engineer, running a system building/repair business in Cornwall UK, for the last 15 years.

    Built my first computer in 1978 - in the days when you had to hand-solder in all the components
    and 16k RAM was considered extravagant!

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