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How to Fix: You Need to Format the Disk before You Can Use It

شنبه, ۷ مرداد ۱۳۹۶، ۰۱:۱۷ ب.ظ | افسر سایبری | ۰ نظر

My Seagate External Hard Drive Shows Not Formatted

External hard drive is very useful when you want to copy large files between computers, or back up your important files like photos, videos, documents and other data. They typically have large capacities and can be connected to computer via USB sport or FireWire. External hard drives enjoy different forms, such as SSD, USB flash drive, Sony pen drive and so on, and vary a lot in their capacities from gigabytes to terabyte…However, you may see external USB hard drive not formatted error, saying you need to format the disk before you can use it; considering there are important files on the hard drive, you feel uneasy. 

Phenomena: After you have plugged your external HD into a computer, you can’t open it to access the files because the Windows pops up an error message which reads: You need to format disk in drive before you can use it OR The disk in drive X is not formatted (appear in Windows XP)

disk needs formatting 

Q:

"So I have a Seagate 3TB External Hard Drive that all of a sudden tells me it needs to be formatted. All I did prior to this happening was restart my PC, the same way I do every day. I have 2.8 TB of files, pictures, videos and more on that drive with no backups of it anywhere. So basically, when it is plugged in, every 10 seconds or so it disappears and then reappears with this pop-up message: "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?

Obviously I don't want to format it as that means I lose all my data. Any help will be greatly appreciated…" 

--from Tomshardware


It seems that such kind of data loss problem happens every day in our daily life. In fact, not formatted error not only happens on external hard drive, but also appears on almost all storage devices such as hard disk drive, USB flash drive, pen drive, floppy disk, memory card, memory stick and so on. When not formatted error happens on those devices, a similar error message saying "disk in drive is not formatted, do you want to format it now" will pop up. Facing such situation, what should you do? Are you going to format the hard drive as you are told? 

Next, we will tell you more about this error message. 

Why My External Hard Drive Keeps Asking Me to Format It


why disk needs formattingNow you know it's better not to format the external hard drive directly. However, since your external hard drive keeps asking you to format it, what can you do under such condition? Before answering this question, we would like to show you the reasons that may lead to this error. In this way you can avoid the improper operations to your external hard drive OR prevent the terrible things from happening. Below are the possible factors: 

1.The external hard drive suffers from sudden power outage when it is used to transfer files or something else;
2.The external hard drive is improperly pulled out or forced to pull out;
3.The external hard drive gets virus attack;
4.There are bad sectors in the external hard drive.
5.More for discovering… 

Misunderstanding on External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error

When running into not formatted error on external hard drive, most users have such misunderstanding: they think they have to take Windows' suggestion and have to format the hard drive without other solutions. Because in their minds, only when they can open the external hard drive, they are able to access files stored on the drive. However in this situation, formatting seems to be the only solution for them to access the external hard drive that has a lot of data inside. 

The reality? It is true that formatting may enable you to regain the access to the external hard drive, but have you ever think about the consequence once you have formatted the external hard drive? Yes you will find no files on the drive after formatting. 

Therefore, no matter what action you are going to take, keep this point in mind: DO NOT format your external hard drive before you take out the data in it. Formatting is a bad idea if the drive is failing, and that procedure means you will lost the file structure (folders, organization, file names…). As a matter of fact, the data in the external hard drive may get recovered as long as they are not overwritten. So remember the more changes you have made, the less chances you have for data recovery. 

So how to fix the external hard drive not formatted error and recover data on the hard drive? Well, you need to use the software without altering the data on the drive or get it to someone who can help you out technically. And this article will show you what to do step by step. 

Solutions to External Hard Drive Not Formatted

Solutions to external hard drive not formatted based on the whether you have made a full back up of your external hard drive. If you have made one, then congratulations! You can go ahead formatting the external hard drive and then make a data restore. But if you have not made a piece of backup, you'd better go ahead reading the following content. What should you do to recover data from not formatted hard drive without data backup? 

You can try the following methods, maybe they will help you open your hard drive. 

1 Try the easy things first.

  • Connect it to another USB sport or another operating system and see if you can read the files.
  • Take your chance to restart your computer and see if God opens another door for you.
  • Run anti-virus software to check and kill possible virus on the external hard drive.


These may seem meaningless but sometimes they do help people get out of trouble. If no miracle happens, try the second solution. 

2 Check your hard drive for errors.

  • At the Start button, click Run.
  • Type “cmd” into the blank and hit Enter key.
  • Type “chkdsk o:/f” (if your external hard drive is Drive o:) into the Command Prompt window, you can replace the letter "O" if your external hard drive is not "O". Then click Enter button.
  • Press Enter key and it will start repairing damaged files and you will see some of your filenames before it finally asks if you want to save lost chains into another location. Click "Yes" just in case.


If CHKDEK can run this process normally, you can try again read your external hard drive after restart your computer. CHKDSK usually takes some time to fix the error, so please be patient. When it is finished, your external hard drive may become normal as before. 

However, if you are unable to go through this process, and encounter the following message: the type of the file system is RAW, CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives, what should you do? 

chkdsk raw 
raw drive 

Any other tips for how I can restore these files from not formatted external hard drive?

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