External HDD coming up unreadable


Aug 17, 2010
So I have an older HDD in a USB enclosure that I've used to back up files to whenever I've reformatted my PC.

Today when I went to turn it on, it came up asking if i wanted to format it. I've of course said no, and have sense been trying to access it w/o any luck. When double clicking the drive it comes up saying not accessible, file directory corrupted and unreadable. Disk Management says that the drive is still healthy, but simply reads it as RAW. And when I go into the disk properties and hit error checking it says it can't be performed because windows can't access the disk.

Obviously I know not to do anything that would try and write to the disk, but I'm not sure exactly how to access it again? It's an old PATA drive, so I can't just install it as an internal disk because my motherboard doesn't have PATA on it. There's nothing actually critical on it, so it's not worth paying to get it recovered, but I would obviously like to get access to it again.



Dec 30, 2011
Check my post as I have a similar problem. I listed the things I've already tried. Your drive may be hidden like mine is. I got it back by connecting it to another computer but then lost it again when connected it back to the original one.

In the end, if nothing else works, I'll have to run Rstudio data recovery. I've used this before to recover data on a disk and it works but it takes a real long time and for my 250g drive it will take many hours. I've already started a scan with it earlier and it showed everything is there.