[SOLVED] 3.5" External Drive Issue

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
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Turning to the forums here to help me with an issue I am having with a 3.5" external USB drive. My wife found an old 3.5" floppy that had some great old memories on them but someone used the disk and either erased or formatted the thing leaving an old resume .doc file. I immediately thought that all is not lost, maybe there is a chance to undelete any files but I am running into issues, as to be expected in this situation. Windows Explorer can see the drive and I can read the contents but Disk Management does not see it nor can I see anything under Device Manager. I was able to see it is using a generic Windows Driver (via Properties while in Explorer):

TEAC USB UF000x USB Device

and the device in question is a simple 3.5" external drive made by the company Chuanganzhuo (no further model numbers or identifying information). I tried different USB ports, disable then re-enable the driver with a fresh restart, different undelete applications, and so on all to no avail. Closest I got was with RecoverIt where it can see the drive but will say the drive has been disconnected even though Windows Explorer can actively read from it. Out of ideas at this point so I am hoping the community can help me get a scan ran on this old drive (Windows 10 OS environment) to hopefully save those memories for her.
 

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
30
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Just wanted to update those that are kindly responded, I found a workaround to the issue. Obviously those old floppies are problematic at best and modern PCs look at them like they are from museum so I did a lot of research and found an application that actually is really good at handling odd FATs and situations like this, AccessData FTK Imager. That application is simply incredible and it did indeed pull up files from near 20 years ago but alas, someone used it as a boot floppy so the only recoverable files were those. At least I learned a lot here about proper data recovery with old formats (and in general for that matter).

Thank you all for trying to help me with this issue. I love the community here and I am grateful for it. Happy PC'ing and take care.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
From this link, download Driver Version: 6.2.8400.0 and install the drivers in compatibility mode, i.e Right click installer>Compatibility Tab>Windows 7 or lower from the drop down menu, apply and OK. Then right click installer again and run as Administrator and see if that helps you out.
 

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
30
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From this link, download Driver Version: 6.2.8400.0 and install the drivers in compatibility mode, i.e Right click installer>Compatibility Tab>Windows 7 or lower from the drop down menu, apply and OK. Then right click installer again and run as Administrator and see if that helps you out.
First, thank you for the reply and help.

I did install the driver in Win 7 comparability mode, restarted, and still the same issue. Explorer list the driver as TEAC still, I can open and copy to from the drive if I want (although I am not so I do not overwrite sectors on the floppy, I did copy from it though). It shows still in RecoverIt but still gives the error that it was recently disconnected and still no joy with Disk or Device Manager. Really hope I can just get one pass on the drive as there is a lot of irreplaceable sentimental stuff on there that my wife wants.
 

lolnole

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Oct 2, 2018
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Please clarify something for me. Is your files/deleted files contained on a 3.5" floppy disk? Are you using a Chuanganzhuo USB floppy drive to read from the disk? The software RecoverIt does have ability to recover data from floppy disk.

If the answer is yes, then I suggest checking out this article:

https://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/07/23/digital-archaeology-recovering-your-digital-history

I recommend doing the first step in creating a disk image of the floppy. This will allow you to back up the data before attempting any recovery. When you attempt to recover the data, you will use a copy of the disk image as the source. Do note that the cloned data will contain the remnants of delete files if present.

If the data is very valuable to you and your wife as you may be implying, you can also consider an outside data recovery service.

If the answer is no, then disregard everything above. Is it safe to assume that you are attempting to recover data from an external HDD?
 

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
30
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Please clarify something for me. Is your files/deleted files contained on a 3.5" floppy disk? Are you using a Chuanganzhuo USB floppy drive to read from the disk? The software RecoverIt does have ability to recover data from floppy disk.

If the answer is yes, then I suggest checking out this article:

https://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/07/23/digital-archaeology-recovering-your-digital-history

I recommend doing the first step in creating a disk image of the floppy. This will allow you to back up the data before attempting any recovery. When you attempt to recover the data, you will use a copy of the disk image as the source. Do note that the cloned data will contain the remnants of delete files if present.

If the data is very valuable to you and your wife as you may be implying, you can also consider an outside data recovery service.

If the answer is no, then disregard everything above. Is it safe to assume that you are attempting to recover data from an external HDD?
Correct, the information is indeed stored on a 3.5" floppy and I am using the Chuanganzhuo 3.5" USB Floppy Disk Reader to read said floppy and doing so from a desktop and not through any other interface (the Chuanganzhuo reader is connected to a USB port directly on the mobo in the back and I have alternated ports there to rule out USB port issues).

There is no data currently on the Floppy that she wants to save so making an image of the data would do no good. To be clear, someone deleted or formatted the disk and then put a resume file on it. My hope is that an undelete application can access the floppy and maybe get lucky and recover some of the information maybe still there. To do that I need recoverIt to stop giving the error that the drive was recently disconnected, a snag that I am sure is a simple solution but eludes me currently despite trying fresh TEAC drivers installs, the link provided by Lutfij, and reboots to make sure the drivers loaded properly.

I have used data recovery applications in the past with 3.5" ironically, yes an old PC'r that remembers a 40mb HDD the size of a big DVD drive nowadays or even cassette tapes for storage, but I can not nail down why I can see the floppy in Explorer, but the system is not seeing anyplace else (i.e. Disk Management) and obviously recoverIt sees it but it will not get past the error. A bit of a puzzle to say the least.
 

lolnole

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Oct 2, 2018
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I apologize beforehand if you already know this. When a file is deleted, the data remains on the disk until it is overwritten with new data. The cloning method I recommended will copy all the data, sector by sector, from the floppy disk surface to a disk image file. This includes the deleted data (the random 0's and 1's that entail the files you are hoping to recover).

When we do data recovery, we never work on the original disk (HDD, floppy, etc.) as the source because of the possible risk of permanently losing more data. This is especially true for damaged hard drives. We clone as much data as we can first before working on putting together the files from the cloned image.

If you can get the raw data off of the disk, you will not have to solve the problem with your external floppy disk reader.
 

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
30
1
1,545
3
I apologize beforehand if you already know this. When a file is deleted, the data remains on the disk until it is overwritten with new data. The cloning method I recommended will copy all the data, sector by sector, from the floppy disk surface to a disk image file. This includes the deleted data (the random 0's and 1's that entail the files you are hoping to recover).

When we do data recovery, we never work on the original disk (HDD, floppy, etc.) as the source because of the possible risk of permanently losing more data. This is especially true for damaged hard drives. We clone as much data as we can first before working on putting together the files from the cloned image.

If you can get the raw data off of the disk, you will not have to solve the problem with your external floppy disk reader.
I understand that and I take no offense, my frustration and issue is stemming from not being able to see that Floppy in anything other that Windows Explorer and recoverIt with the later seeing it but giving an error it was recently disconnected. Running CygWin and the mount command again shows just the normal drives and not the USB floppy. The key here is to populate that drive properly so I can indeed then do as you say and make an image. What confounds me is that Explorer can read and write to the drive and populates it under the System.
 

lolnole

Commendable
Oct 2, 2018
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  1. Open a command prompt (cmd) as Administrator
  2. Run the following command:
diskpart

  1. You should see a different prompt: DISKPART>
  2. Run the following commands in the new prompt:
list disk
list volume

See if you can find your missing floppy drive. It has to be mounted because you can access the files through Windows Explorer.
 

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
30
1
1,545
3
  1. Open a command prompt (cmd) as Administrator
  2. Run the following command:
diskpart

  1. You should see a different prompt: DISKPART>
  2. Run the following commands in the new prompt:
list disk
list volume

See if you can find your missing floppy drive. It has to be mounted because you can access the files through Windows Explorer.
Tried those and it is not populating in the list. I did find the Floppy Drive and the generic driver under Device Management but not a lot I can do from there beyond disable/enable, update driver, etc. This is really starting to irk me as you are right, if Explorer is seeing it (and even recoverIt to an extent although other data recovery apps do not) then it should be shown elsewhere. It even has a drive letter assigned to it. I am completely stumped.
 

lolnole

Commendable
Oct 2, 2018
461
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How is this possible? I don't get it either.

Check to see if it's listed in the Windows Registry under the following path:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

There should be an entry corresponding to the drive letter. Windows has to be keeping track of it somewhere.
 

elderdrake

Commendable
Oct 20, 2017
30
1
1,545
3
Just wanted to update those that are kindly responded, I found a workaround to the issue. Obviously those old floppies are problematic at best and modern PCs look at them like they are from museum so I did a lot of research and found an application that actually is really good at handling odd FATs and situations like this, AccessData FTK Imager. That application is simply incredible and it did indeed pull up files from near 20 years ago but alas, someone used it as a boot floppy so the only recoverable files were those. At least I learned a lot here about proper data recovery with old formats (and in general for that matter).

Thank you all for trying to help me with this issue. I love the community here and I am grateful for it. Happy PC'ing and take care.
 

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