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Demonperformer

The parameter (there's only one?) is incorrect

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I have a 250GB usb hard drive that has stopped working. I have tried it in several machines and the result is always the same. The light comes on and it appears on the drive-list in powerdesk, but when I try to access it, I get the message:

   Location is not available
   F:\ is not accessible
   The parameter is incorrect

I would have thought a hard drive would have more than just one parameter, but then what do I know?

When I click on the dialogue box, another one appears saying: "You need to format the disk in drive F: before you can use it" ... that is not going to happen!

So my question is: can I (how do I) "correct" the parameter?

If it comes to it, would something like https://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizardpro/ (the link for some reason goes somewhere else, but if you copy/paste it it seems to work) work when the parameter is incorrect to recover the files I have on the drive? (No, of course I didn't back it up!) There is a lot of rubbish on this drive, so getting data-recovery done professionally might not be cost effective, because I could not tell them exactly what is important and what can be lost with no great loss without seeing the list of what is there.

Worst case scenario: I'm sure I could rebuild anything I desparately needed, but I would rather avoid that if possible.

Thanks.

Edited by Demonperformer
weird link problem

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You've already answered your own question. No magic solutions here, you need some disk recovery software as something will be screwed up in the disk partition table.

Edited by IanL
  • Thanks 1

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Thanks.

Even for this layman, a message saying "the disk partition table is incorrect" would have told me more than "the parameter is incorrect" - at least I would have had some idea what I needed to ask. Now I know what the specific problem is, it might be worth me contacting a local pro to see how much that would cost.

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Silly but have you tried unplugging and re connecting the drive while the pc is on with device manager visible. I did this with an older drive and it gave me a different drive letter...

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Just use the disk manager built into windows 10, to re partition the drive and then allocate the space and then format....job done

Just type “disk” into the search box and the tool will be near the top of the list....

Click on the correct drive in the list, then delete the partition, then create partition, and it should sort it for you...

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49 minutes ago, fwm891 said:

Silly but have you tried unplugging and re connecting the drive while the pc is on with device manager visible. I did this with an older drive and it gave me a different drive letter...

Not silly at all but yes I did that.

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If there's any data you want on the drive, then re-partitioning will wipe it....

There are a number of disk repair tools available, but I find the better ones work under Ubuntu\Linux e.g. CloneZilla, GParted (only for partition repairs), and maybe Diskdrill (Wndows)...

What does it say in Disk Management, for the drive? as that will give you more info...

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Don't worry, Julian, I have no intention of doing anything that destructive!

Attached is a screenprint of Disk Management ... not sure how much it is going to tell you ... it is the drive that does not appear in the top part and is labelled "Disk 3" in the bottom part.

Thanks.

diskmanagement.png

Edited by Demonperformer

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this is the long winded bit, but if you right click the Disk 3 & select properties, then select volumes tab, in the box, select the drive & click the properties that has just lit up. A new window will open, select the tools tab, then perform an error check....

You can also use the in-built tool 'diskpart' (I find, best run from an Administrative, Powershell window) It has an inbuilt help system, and is very powerful, so you have to take care. If none of these work, you can try some of the other tools, but....

How old is the drive ?  if more than 3 years & used a lot, then spinning rust will be coming to the end of its life anyway. I've recently had similar problems, but using Clonezilla I was able to clone the disk to a new one, before doing any repairs on the old...

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Thanks for the detailed routine. I will give it a try when I have a bit more time ... don't want to rush it.

I would guess the drive is closer to 10 years old than 3 ... certainly over 8 as it contains all my tax records going back to 2011/12 ...

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That does look like it’s already been wiped unfortunately, maybe by an error... :(

Edited by LightBucket

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Assuming the partition or drive is u/s - Where's is your backup ?

Hard lesson but for most of my IT career I kept banging on about "back ups" (even if you have Raid etc - senior management would rarely listen hence TSB fiasco comes at no surprise! ) - sorry no backup then you have just learn't harsh lesson!

As Julian tried to point out there is software and professional services (ouch! the cost) to try and retrieve data from damaged hardware.

Nothing lasts forever!

A warning to all maybe ?

If you cherish/need/cant live without it and its on  IT media - BACK IT UP !!!!!!!!!

P.S. I take no glee in what has happened - please learn by it.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Dr_Ju_ju said:

this is the long winded bit, but if you right click the Disk 3 & select properties, then select volumes tab, in the box, select the drive & click the properties that has just lit up. A new window will open, select the tools tab, then perform an error check....

Right, I followed your instructions and attach a screenprint of the result - doesn't look particularly hopeful!

I note the following (not sure how relevant they are!):
Yesterday, it didn't appear in the top part of the screen and the hatched area merely said "232.88GB". Today it has appeared in the top part of the screen and mor info is provided in the hatched area including "Healthy (Active Primary Partition) - this I found encouraging until I tried to access the drive in Powerdesk and it still said it could not read it.
Despite it saying that it has 100% free, in the general tab on the properties window, it showed as being 100% used (0% free)

I am inclined to just try for a clone and had a look at clonezilla. I will be using a windoze7 machine, so am thinking I might try an alternative that is listed - AOMEI Backupper, looks simpler - as long as doing so is not going to make things worse (not sure how much worse they could get, but ...) Have you any experience of this one? Do you think this would be ok to try?

One good thing is that I have four spare 4TB drives, so I don't have to buy another drive to try ...

Thanks.

diskmanagement2.png

Edited by Demonperformer

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Yep, me thinks the disk is dead, but you could try one of the recovery\cloning tools. For Clonezilla, you install it onto a usb stick & boot from it, as it runs from a very cut-down Linux.

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1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

Right, I followed your instructions and attach a screenprint of the result - doesn't look particularly hopeful!

I note the following (not sure how relevant they are!):
Yesterday, it didn't appear in the top part of the screen and the hatched area merely said "232.88GB". Today it has appeared in the top part of the screen and mor info is provided in the hatched area including "Healthy (Active Primary Partition) - this I found encouraging until I tried to access the drive in Powerdesk and it still said it could not read it.
Despite it saying that it has 100% free, in the general tab on the properties window, it showed as being 100% used (0% free)

I am inclined to just try for a clone and had a look at clonezilla. I will be using a windoze7 machine, so am thinking I might try an alternative that is listed - AOMEI Backupper, looks simpler - as long as doing so is not going to make things worse (not sure how much worse they could get, but ...) Have you any experience of this one? Do you think this would be ok to try?

One good thing is that I have four spare 4TB drives, so I don't have to buy another drive to try ...

Thanks.

diskmanagement2.png

Try the software I linked to above it really is good, what you got to lose...

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Well the backupper program achieved absolutely nothing. Clonezilla did exactly what it said on the tin and copied the disk to another drive - including whatever it is that is stopping the old drive being read! It put it in a 232GB partition (which I could not access) and I then had fun getting the drive back into a state where all 3.76TB were available ... it kept wanting to ignore any request for anything bigger than 2TB. Managed it eventually.

What I have noticed is that I keep getting different excuses from Windoze as to why it won't read my drive. Maybe this is straw-clutching, but maybe if I keep plugging it in I will eventually hit the sweetspot and it will offer me my files again - in which case I shall copy everything hurriedly before I switch off again. In the meantime, I have started rebuilding what I have lost ...

Thanks for you help.

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Just a guess here, i had that same problem with a cheap external usb case that i have. The usb cable that came with it was not giving enough power for the disk, even tho the dusk was on and recognized by windows. The original cable was a Y shaped cable, is yours the sane? I solved my problem using the cable that came with my canon dskr, it was the same type. Another thing you could try is check if the hard drive is not soldered to the usb converter board , if it's not, you can remove it and attach to a computer. 

Hope that you get it working again. 

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Hi

Not quite sure what you mean by a Y-shaped cable? It's a seagate freeagent goflex. Here are pics of it in bits and whole. I'll look out my canon cable and see if it might fit.

Thanks.

20190220_060636[1].jpg

20190220_060616[1].jpg

Edited by Demonperformer

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It was a nice thought, but the cable from my canon (which does fit) did not produce any better result. But thanks for playing :D. I can't see a way to get into the casing to check what is attached to what and how.

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If clonezilla was able to copy the disk, then a 'live' dvd\usb stick of Ubuntu Mate with appropriate tools, should be able to read the drive, & copy the data to another computer\external drive etc.

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I may have spoken a little imprecisely, so here are a few details of what I have actually got.

When I start clonezilla, and "enter" through the first screen, it is obviously doing some sort of check

0.thumb.jpg.d49fd4a91d153fb744e0164985021736.jpg

The options I select are:
Device-Device
Interactively check and repair
use partition table from source disk
clone boot loader
create backup boot sector

Back in windoze, the message in powerdesk is

1.thumb.png.cb6eea5af1e1520f8885e791f67c69c8.png

In disk management, when I click on G I get the message

2.thumb.png.3f3fd366dd5a4c15fb55001720f56e2b.png

When I access properties, as per procedure in previous post, I geet result

3.thumb.png.1e71a8a945508ec9df0f6b4a118f535f.png

Not sure if all this means there is hope ...

Thanks.

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nope sorry, the spinning rust has gone to the great scrap heap, don't waste more time on a fruitless exercise, just live & learn & TAKE BACKUPS....

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Slightly different question:

I know my xp machine cannot read 4TB, but I have formatted one 4TB physical drive as 2* 2TB logical drives. When I plug it into my w10 laptop both are recognized. When I plug it into my xp machine zilch. I know that this USB port recognizes other (<2TB) USB drives. What am I missing?

Thanks.

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