Clear all

Hard Disk Problem

Junior Member

Hello friends, I have a hard disk with 4TB capacity and data in it. When I insert this disk externally into my computer (laptop) with win7-64, it appears as unformatted. How can I make my computer see this disk that I cannot format due to the data in it, and how can I access the data in it? Thanks in advance…

Topic starter Posted : 26/01/2022 8:44 am
Active Member

Do you have access to linux or macos systems?  It may be that the data is stored in a filesystem that windows doesn't understand but that MacOS or Linux does understand.  Do you have any idea what filesystem is in use or what computer system saved the data to that drive in the first place?

Posted : 26/01/2022 12:05 pm
New Member

I second what AmNe5iA suggested. 

9 times out of 10 I’m able to see drives that windows can handle on a Linux machine. 

you could also use a tool like FTK imager to load the physical drive and see if it also shows you as an unrecognized file system. 

if it does, then it could be an issue with the drive or something corrupt within the MFT. 

in the past, I’ve been able to use FTK imager to access a drive that Windows did not want to read and I exported all of the contents out. 

there are tons of videos online on how to use FTK imager and it’s a free tool by Access Data (now Exterro) 



Posted : 26/01/2022 12:19 pm
Active Member

Most of the serious forensics software available (running on Windows) will read Mac and Linux drives no problem.

But there are also other possibilities. e.g. the drive was part of a RAID set, or has full disk encryption, or is corrupt.

Posted : 26/01/2022 10:05 pm
New Member

Thanks for the helpful information

Posted : 27/01/2022 10:27 am
Senior Member

Most data recovery programs will show you data.  As long as the PC can see the physical drive, eg with the Computer Management function, the a good software product will allow access.

Access will be as a Physical Drive, rather than a logical drive.

If Computer Management does not see the drive,  you probably have a hardware issue. 


Do not be tempted to format the drive.

Posted : 28/01/2022 10:09 am
New Member


It may be because of a driver issue or connection issue. There may be a chance of incorrect BIOS settings. Try to check them at least once. 

Posted : 09/03/2022 7:26 am
Junior Member

Sorry for the late reply, but yes, you can format this drive in "quick format" mode, and then any professional data recovery program will be able to find your files back.

Unless, of course, when it concerns a damaged disk etc.

Try it out on an old disk if you have doubts with this procedure.

Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Posted : 18/04/2022 4:46 pm
Senior Member

@p38cyq Please don't do a quick format,  Proper data recovery programs work on the raw disk and don't require a formatted drive.  A quick format will still overwrite many possibly useful MFTs.  Ideally, always use a write blocker with any disk you are investigating or recovering.

Posted : 20/04/2022 1:16 pm
p38cyq liked
Share to...