Question How to get an external HDD back to original format

kmham

Distinguished
May 2, 2009
4
0
18,510
I have an external USB 250GB hard drive that I normally just use for backing up pictures. A while back (like a year or so ago) I used this hard drive as an external "boot/recovery" device (I don't recall the specifics of this but the HDD has just been sitting since then). Now I'd like to use it again as a normal External USB HDD. But when I plugged this Ext HDD into my laptop about a week ago it only recognized 32GB. So I followed some commends online to format the Ext HDD, but now I can't even see this external HDD in File Explorer. I don't think I have destroyed it yet as you'll see in the pictures attached. I apologize as my skills with this stuff aren't great. I've tried a few different things and the Ext HDD still doesn't show in File Explorer (Note: I have Windows 10 Home). I've found some things online that walk through various steps using CMD prompt, but I'm stuck/lost.

The picture "DiskMgt" shows disk management without the external HDD plugged in so you can see what drives I have including partitions. The picture "DiskPart" shows the list disk command before and after I connected the Ext USB HDD.

Appreciate it if you can provide easy to follow steps as to how I can get this Ext HDD working again so it shows in File Explorer with its full 250GB capacity.

Link --> Pictures
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Just make sure you've got all data backed up in case the procedure goes sideways for you.

select disk 1
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=NTFS QUICK
assign
exit


For each step above, you hit enter before moving onto the next line.
 
I have an external USB 250GB hard drive that I normally just use for backing up pictures. A while back (like a year or so ago) I used this hard drive as an external "boot/recovery" device (I don't recall the specifics of this but the HDD has just been sitting since then). Now I'd like to use it again as a normal External USB HDD. But when I plugged this Ext HDD into my laptop about a week ago it only recognized 32GB. So I followed some commends online to format the Ext HDD, but now I can't even see this external HDD in File Explorer. I don't think I have destroyed it yet as you'll see in the pictures attached. I apologize as my skills with this stuff aren't great. I've tried a few different things and the Ext HDD still doesn't show in File Explorer (Note: I have Windows 10 Home). I've found some things online that walk through various steps using CMD prompt, but I'm stuck/lost.

The picture "DiskMgt" shows disk management without the external HDD plugged in so you can see what drives I have including partitions. The picture "DiskPart" shows the list disk command before and after I connected the Ext USB HDD.

Appreciate it if you can provide easy to follow steps as to how I can get this Ext HDD working again so it shows in File Explorer with its full 250GB capacity.

Link --> Pictures
As the first picture shows, there is no asterisk in the GPT column for Disk 1. It therefore contains an MBR partition. If you feel capable, I would suggest download a disk management program like Gparted; its an ISO that you mount on another usb stick. If you run it you should be able to create a new GPT partition table on the HDD and format it to NTFS which would give you full access to its capabilities.
 

kmham

Distinguished
May 2, 2009
4
0
18,510
Just make sure you've got all data backed up in case the procedure goes sideways for you.

select disk 1
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=NTFS QUICK
assign
exit


For each step above, you hit enter before moving onto the next line.
This worked perfectly! Thank you so much.