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Can you fix corrupt files on external hard drive?


nopeda
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I stupidly moved instead of copied about 50 GB of videos and documents to an external hard drive. Everything was in one folder and I just moved it and went away from the computer for an hour or so figuring it would take a while. When I tried to look and make sure everything went alright some things opened up fine and others didn't respond at all and seemed to lock everything down. So I tried moving them back to the computer hard drive with similar results. I posted about this a week or so ago but since then have had some luck getting back about 20 GB by moving them back to the computer hard drive pretty much one at a time. Some of them would work and do fine. Others would seem to be working and then get so far along with the process and quit working. Some of them don't even try but instead everything seems to lock up and that blue circle thing goes around and around until I finally disconnect the external drive. During one attempt and only one of many attempts so far it gave the message: "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error". Since then I haven't tried anything else but in looking at a few things about that message get the idea that maybe the files that don't respond got corrupted or something because I moved them incorrectly and maybe there is something that can clean things up on that external hard drive? When I check the properties on it it says it still has over 30 GB which would be right because what I moved was over 50 GB. So the info is probably still on there but messed up and maybe there's a way to fix it, or at least some of it? Here is information about my computer and the external drive if that can help tell anyone anything:

:Windows 10 Pro version 1903 OS build 18362.720 Installed RAM 12.0 GB (11.8 GB usable)Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3220 CPU @ 3.30 GHz64-bit operating system, x64-based processorFile system: NTFS Used space: 170 GB Free space: 61.6 GBWDC WD2502ABYS-18B7A0 Disk drivesBaseBoard Manufacturer LENOVO Version Win8 Pro DPK TPG

 On the external hard drive it says: 2.5" SATA HDD/SSD External Case USB3. 0 Support 3TB it also has a list of things on the back, here are some of them:
1. During format process, our hard disk will choose exFAT automatically as default efficient format. Please DO NOT select NTFS manually, this format is not supported by our hard disk, will cause disk crash.
3. QC Passed, Hard Disk Formatted already before packing & shipping, there is no need to reformat when first use.
2. Only Data Storage, Read & Write is supported on MAC OS, formatting is not supported on MAC OS otherwise it will damage the disk.
4. Special attention to our products (partitions are not supported), partitioning will cause damage to the hard disk. For safer and longer service life, use it directly as one independent partition.I didn't try formatting or anything and it didn't say anything about it itself.

Some people have suggested it's a PC trying to read MAC formatting or something like that or the cord it bad. But it's not something that is having a negative influence on everything on the drive, only on about 70% or so.

Thank you for any help!

David
USA

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  • 2 weeks later...

So just a few comments on this.

1 - When you move a file to another drive, it's not actually deleting the file on the SOURCE. It's just making a copy on the DESTINATION and then deleting the pointer to the file on the SOURCE. It's still there however, the OS is allowed to write over those files as new ones are created or copied to it.

2 - When you have issues like this in the future - STOP. Don't copy any new data onto the SOURCE because you risk overwriting the old files.

3 - Had you not copied files back to the SOURCE drive, you might have been able to use a data recovery tool to scan the SOURCE and just undelete and recover the original files.

Examples of a few tools: 

Lots of tools out there for this.

4 - Given your current situation.... there is likely no great way to get your data back unless you have an offline backup. There is obviously something wrong with that external drive you have (or cable). Not good there.....  You could probably try the recovery methods above on the source and might get more files back. 

5 - Another option is perhaps the cable is bad on that external drive. Try to plug it into another PC or get a new cable. Never know...

6 - Go buy a real backup tool. I recommend Backblaze. It just works and it's cheap to use.

Sorry..... huge bummer.

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