External HDD to New Enclosure, Need to Format?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by strobetrope, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. strobetrope macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2013

    The pins of the usb connector from my 1TB Buffalo external hard drive broke, so I decided to simply change the enclosure in hopes of still accessing the files. Was able to do that today, but when connecting again to my MacBook Pro, it says I need initiate the device - which I assume requires formatting. Any insight on this will be much appreciated, as I've got very important files on the drive (this is where my back-ups are stored).

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Fishrrman, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Some random thoughts…

    The drive that broke, was it USB? Is the new enclosure USB, as well? USB2 or USB3?

    Do you have a USB/SATA "docking station" available?
    If so, how does the drive behave when placed in the dock?
    BTW, these are VERY useful devices to have around, and sell for less than $30.

    If -- after you try different enclosures, etc. -- you STILL receive the "this drive is unreadable, do you want to initialize?" warning, don't give up hope. There is still a way to "get at" that data. Put the drive aside UNTOUCHED and post back about it.

    Doing so will take some time and money, but there's a good chance you can do it. The strategy worked for me, when nothing else would...
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Simply moving a drive from one enclosure to another would not require a reformat. When did the connection break, when there was a write activity per chance? If so the drive could be corrupted. There are several disk recovery tools available that should be able to recover the data, including perhaps the disk utility. Do not initiate the drive as that will just make it harder to recover data.

    Otherwise the new enclosure could be defective... or if the pins broke because you dropped the enclosure... the drive could be damaged... or the cable could be bad. Is the enclosure powered from a power brick or from the USB port?
  4. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    I just ran into this EXACT issue with a USB3 external drive on my computer that only supports USB2. The data is there, but for some reason the controller for the enclosure makes it so that it can't see the partition.

    With the drive in the enclosure, hook it to your computer and run a partition recovery software. If you have a windows computer, Easus Partition Recovery free trial works perfectly(that's what I used). It will take about a half hour to run.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT FORMAT the drive.

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