[SOLVED] Failed external drive blocking recovery programs from opening (on Win 7)

Aug 6, 2020
Hello all,

I've got a external usb drive which failed or got corrupted some time ago. I've been trying to figure out how to recover data from it in vain for months now and it's been a real headache.
You see, the problem is that I CAN access it with recovery programs like Recuva, EaseUS etc on my old Windows XP machine, but strangely NOT on my regular Windows 7 pc which is also my regular everyday laptop.

When I plug it into my Windows 7 laptop it behaves as follows:
with the drive plugged in data recovery programs simply refuse to open
as soon as I disconnect the drive, the program immediately pops open, as if by miracle
if I open the recovery program first and then plug in the drive, the program freezes or crashes
if I shut down the pc with the drive plugged in, it seems to just stay in the shutdown process forever, but when I plug out the drive it is suddenly able to complete shutdown

I have figured out that the drive is not loading up in Windows Disk Mangement. It literally just stays stuck on "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service" or"Loading Disk Configuration Information" forever. I have left it like that with no other programs open, came back several hours later to check and there was no change.

I've been searching for solution to this in various forums all over online for months now and to be honest, I'm pretty sure I've tried most steps but hoping there is still something.
Here's a summary of what I've tried so far:
Tried over 10 different recovery programs, none of them open on Win 7 pc with drive connected.
CHKDSK utility - did not work, no results, it didn't proceed
SFC utility no difference
Renamed drive letter - no difference
Bought new usb cable (gold-plated) - no difference
laptop battery was beginning to fail and thought the issue could be power-related so replcaced the battery - no difference
needless to say I've restarted the laptop serveral times - no difference
(almost forgot the killer step) I've even gone as far as restoring/resetting the laptop to factory state (did this more than once)! - no difference :-(
(I may have forgotten something here but I've tried almots all the commonly-mentioned solutions from the online forums on this topic)

Some extra information: it's a 500GB HDD "Core by CnMemory" usb (2.0) external drive but internally it's apparently a Toshiba MK5059GSXP SATA drive.
I wasn't able to find a speciific driver or repair tool, even after contacting Toshiba directly.
The drive was formatted FAT32 before it failed. It now seems to be RAW, though before this gets flagged, this in itself should not be the reason it is blocking on my Win 7 machine because it can be opened by reovery programs on my old Win XP machine.
I tested the disk in CrystakDiskInfo which threw up a poor rating, and repored many "bad sectors" which is a strong indicator the drive is damaged, but again since it's not freezing on my Win XP, this alone should not be the reason for it causing programs to block on my Win 7 machine.
I am aware that if the disk is damaged (quite likely) then I might be causing further damage by plugging it in and trying out all these steps, and I am OK with that!

I have been able to recover some files from the drive with progams on my Windows XP, so thverifies that it can work. But that's very old pc, whose hardrive is full, and it has other issues too, it's basically semi-dead as it is and it just would not been feasible to restore the whole 500GB onto there. And connecting another external hard drive, and transferring the recovered data to that would just be too awkward, annoying and painstaking. I don't want to go down that route. Finally, sending the drive to a physical repair/reover service is financially out of the question for me.
I must stress that I literally just wanted to make it so that I can recover the drive to my Win 7 pc. Since it's doable in theory (shown by my Win XP pc) it should also be doable in reality.

So long story short, the question is why am I able recover data from this failed hard drive on my Win XP pc but not on my Win 7 pc?
And how do I get that resolved?

Would greatly appreciate any advice or tips!

Last edited:


Mar 16, 2013
If the data is in any way "important", find a way to do it on the XP system.
"awkward, annoying and painstaking " may be a better path than "none of it".

The more you mess with it trying to get it to work on Win 7, the less likely you are to getting anything more from it.

Bottom line - It is at least 8 years old. Seen better days. Get what data you can, and then worry about trying to make the drive "work".
Reactions: boyfromtomorrow
Aug 6, 2020
Hey USAFRet,

thanks for your advice!
The thing is though, that's precisely what I want to avoid, and that was actually the whole point to my post :)
Please don't get me wrong I totally get where you are coming from and appreciate the advice.
It's just that I've already tried it several times on my XP, that machine is a mess and on its deathbed, prone to crashing and other issues so it's just not realistic to do the recovery on it. But the fact that I am technically able to recover on my XP machine, makes it all the more frustrating that I am unable to do the same on my Win 7 machine. Should be possible somehow. Key point is, I accept the risking in trying.

I appreciate your warning though.

Thanks again!