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Question Hopefully an easy one, what do do with 3tb loose HDD which I ran on a 2tb max controller, did a CHKDSK, now unallocated

Apr 13, 2019
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Had a 3tb HDD from a previous system and wanted to use it with a standalone controller card which I'd taken from another HDD enclosure.

I plugged it all in and could access it OK but a number of files appeared to be corrupt so I ran a chkdsk /f on it.

Still found corrupt files but on further investigation saw the drive was not recognised as a 3tb. Found the controller interface I'd used was for a maximum of 2Tb which was the problem.

I could still access the files on the HDD and many would work fine (mostly vids) but now is showing up as 2048Gb unallocated and a separate partition of 746Gb unallocated.

This is the same on a different controller which is fine for 4tb+ and for the original 2tb controller I used.

I'm pretty sure the files are all on there but don't really know what to do to get them back? (hence my question here).

I do have some partition software, Paragon I think.

I did search for ages to try and find someone as stupid as me who had done the same thing and got an answer but couldn't.
 
I ran a chkdsk /f on it.


is showing up as 2048Gb unallocated and a separate partition of 746Gb unallocated.
Well that's checkdisk fixing your problem for you,you had a 2Gb limit so now it's fixed, you have a 2gb partition and what's left over....

If you are lucky you can run testdisk,or any number of free partition recovery tools, to scan the disk and restore the previous partition table,do this while having it connected to the controller that can see 4TB+drives.

If you are unlucky and you can't recover the partitions you can run any file recovery software and recover any files it finds ON A DIFFERENT DISK.

Any files that were written beyond the 2TB limit are gone and got garbelled up during the write operation so you won't get any of those back.

I can't really remember if beyond 2Tb it loops back to the beginning of the drive in which case any files written beyond 2tb would also destroy files on the beginning of the drive...anyway good luck!
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
If you hadn't run that chkdsk with the fix flag you still had a chance. However, now you have permanently corrupted who knows how many files and altered the partition table. The only two possibilities here is to stop everything and get that drive to a recovery service (big bucks) and lose that HDD enclosure, or, connect the drive to a proper interface and restore from the backup that you made before you started. You DID make a backup yes?
 
Apr 13, 2019
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Thanks guys. Interestingly I'd named this drive as SAFE as it was used to save stuff I wasn't THAT bothered about but wanted to save, mostly old Motorsport videos but knowing me and how I run out of space often, there is probably some stuff on there that I would LIKE back, but not going to cry over it.

I'll try and recover the old partition table first as TerryMaze advised if not will try file recovery. I have used file recovery programs before and had some success, will probably try RECUVA which i've used before (surface scan?) does that sound reasonable or is there a better program out there?

I can't remember precisely but i've an idea I figured something was wrong with chkdsk and aborted it, would that make my situation 'a little better'? I'm thinking many of the files wouldn't have been overwritten so a good surface scan recovery app should recover them?

I do have a new 6tb to restore onto.
 
Apr 13, 2019
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Morning. Have had some success with testdisk in that it 'seems' to recognise my original 3tb partition. I am able to list files and copy them. This is great as I can see what is on there.

As I said it was a bit of a dumping ground disk for some old stuff and some copies (i.e. backups). It did get me thinking that I may well have put some stuff on there just to clear space elsewhere that I would still like to have access to.

Having listed the files 80% are backups of files I have elsewhere. I do a lot of video restoration and processing as a hobby and had my complete Star Trek TNG and DS9 collection cropped and stretched (slightly) to widescreen and with some contouring, smart sharpness etc. added which I've watched bit didn't want to throw away. Not bothered about them now as video processing has moved on leaps and bounds since then and AI based video upscaling and quality 'improvement' is amazing so all my old stuff is obsolete.

I am most definitely a 'digital hoarder' though so still copying a fair bit of stuff onto a new HDD 'just in case' i need it one day :)
 
Apr 13, 2019
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Can you show us the Partitions window in DMDE?

https://dmde.com/

If you can see your original partition, double-click it and expand the Root. Do you now see your original file/folder structure?
Thanks for responding. I did try DMDE and indeed it did see my HDD and report a 3tb partition.



I'm nervous of just trying to overwrite/write the partition as it 'could' corrupt all data on the drive and, as said above, I am able to access it with testdisk.

I did opt to do the FULL SCAN however as the file structure may be easier to navigate than the CMD window of testdisk. May regret it yet as it looks like it will take a very long time.
 

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