Why can’t I read data from my external hard drive?

Adei Cervantes March 20, 2013
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Ok I have a external hard drive (Expansion Drive 2tbs) and its not reading on any of my computers and it saying all my folders are empty. I’ve tried it on my Windows 7 computer, Windows Vista, and Xp so Im lost!

I hover it with my mouse and it says the files are there, but empty.

I’ve tried doing the error check it says it cant do it and I tried the command and it says its not found.  I’ve tried defag and its says its read only and I never put it that way!

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  1. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 23, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Ok, Now check for Bad Sectors on the Disk. you can use HDD Scan to get a nice S.M.A.R.T Report. http://hddscan.com/ , Check whether the Hard disk gives any S.M.A.R.T Error.

  2. Adei
    March 22, 2013 at 3:38 am

    I have tried that and it says that I need administer approval and Iam the administer! I have tried it with vista and it finds it, but I click on the file and it says that the I/O is not or not supported its a external hard drive it don't have a OS. SO Im lost!

    • ha14
      March 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      what did you tried? which kind of message you get? is there any number? are you using virtual machine to get DirectPath I/O: Not supported

  3. Abhijith R
    March 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I also faced this prob once.
    I think this a problem with the registry part. I recommend you should run a registry scan..

  4. Alan Wade
    March 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Run a complete virus scan then check again. You say you have tried on Se7en, Vista and XP. Are these three different computers or is it a triple boot setup?
    If it is a triple boot setup then try your drive on a different machine.
    Can you hear any "whiring" sounds from the drive?

    • Adei
      March 22, 2013 at 3:41 am

      I have already and it cant do a check and when it does it comes out clean and no there is no noise that I can hear! I've used File Scavenger and it gives me so much errors that I have to stop the run it would stop! I have tried installing the program to the external and it wont let me neither!

  5. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    This happened to me too. Just keep your Hard disk without connecting to the PC for about 2 days or 24hrs, and then try again.

    Or you can check if the hard disk is spinning by touching, ear etc... If its not, then it could be hard disk failure.

    The Empty Folders could be a Virus too , the virus could have hidden your original folders with that of a system hidden file attribute! So go to Folder options and untick hiding of system files.

    • Adei
      March 22, 2013 at 3:44 am

      Yes I hear it running I feel it when it boots up and I tried changing the status on the folders and it says it is read only I never put it that way and I try to change it and it does it then I go to properties and it read only again so I have no idea what to do!!

  6. Junil Maharjan
    March 21, 2013 at 9:10 am

    your files may have stayed hidden, try viewing the hidden files.

  7. Cindy Young
    March 21, 2013 at 7:45 am

    i just find two articles to Fix External Hard Drive Not Recognized in Windows. wish they can help.

    http://www.goshareware.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=949
    http://www.goshareware.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=943

  8. Imesh Chandrasiri
    March 21, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Try mounting it to a linux pc! if the files are accessible, backup them and do a format! after the format use a disk utility and thoroughly check the disk for corruptions and repair if possible *before* transferring the data back to the disc!

    • justinpot
      March 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      This is something I'd try, and you don't need a separate PC for it: simply boot your current computer from an Ubuntu live CD.

  9. Jim Chambers
    March 21, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Try free partition recovery software such as EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition or Mini Tools Partition Wizard to recover partitions.

  10. Oron Joffe
    March 20, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    One possibility is that all your files have become hidden (this can be caused by a virus). To test, open "Computer", choose Organise=>Folder Options... Click on the /View tab and tick "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and click OK. If the files show up on your HD in a faint outline, then they are hidden, and you should a) find the virus and remove it (if your own antivirus doesn't find it, try using Malwarebytes Free to scan your discs) and b) unhide the files (post another message if you need help with this).

    • Adei
      March 22, 2013 at 3:49 am

      No I have not tried this one Im going to try this!

  11. ha14
    March 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    1) on "Start" -->Run-->type cmd right click and launch with adminstrative rights
    2) if your hard drive as G:
    Enter this command: attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:*.*
    Then check if your real files will be shown

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