Why can’t I access my external hard drive’s files after it was detected as another device?

Jan van Greunen October 29, 2012
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While my external (A) was connected to my laptop I connected another external (B) to my laptop also. I got some data from B and saved it on my desktop. Then I removed B and turned off my computer with A still connected. The next morning my laptop recognised A as B and all the data that was on B was automatically transferred to A but none of the files that are now on A are accessible.

All the files that were originally on A are now gone and there are a bunch of new files with symbols as file names, for example, “” “ ” “÷ ”.
Furthermore, it’s a 1TB external hard drive and only about half of the memory was used, now its showing that it only has about 600mb left.

Any help to fix the problem and get all my data back will be greatly appreciated.


  1. Jim Chambers
    November 3, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Was A drive formated with FAT32? This looks like the primary file allocation table has been corrupted. The secondary FAT may be intact so a file recovery program should have no trouble finding your files.

  2. dhanunjayarao chunduri
    November 1, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Wow, it’s a weird problem. I’d suggest trying Recuva. Maybe you accidentally copied B’s content to A? Or perhaps you’ve been a victim of virus/malware/suspicious program

  3. Nikhil Chandak
    October 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

    refresh ur computer
    or ask an computer engineer
    or use recovery softwares such as
    Panda Recovery
    ADRC Data Recovery Software

  4. Boni Oloff
    October 30, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I think you must try to open the drive in another computer.

  5. Dave Rimmer
    October 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    What make is your B drive, sounds like you the B drive may have backup software on it and when you connected it with the A drive connected it may have backed your A drive to you B drive and renamed it. It should still be accessible though.

  6. susendeep dutta
    October 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

    It would be useful if you firstly,scan your both external HDDs as well as your laptop with a good antivirus like Avast,Microsoft security essentials,Kaspersky.This will make sure that any possibility of virus,malware or trojan infection is removed.

  7. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Wow, it's a weird problem. I'd suggest trying Recuva. Maybe you accidentally copied B's content to A? Or perhaps you've been a victim of virus/malware/suspicious program

  8. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    October 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

    You can recover your files using any recovery software, just take your time and be patient.



  9. ha14
    October 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

    try recovery software

    Panda recovery



    you can try partition find and mount to see your lost partition

    testdisk has also the same function to recover lost partitions

    • ahmed fouad
      October 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      thanks for these useful links, it is very useful for me

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