PLEASE HELP! About to cry here... Can't access USB hard drive with all data on it

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sonictonic, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. sonictonic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2006
    Central Coast, California

    It's 3am and I'm panicking because I just tried to be the nice guy and set up a brand new iMac for my family here for Thanksgiving, and before doing this I backed up all their stuff to an external USB hard drive, NTFS formatted, thinking the Mac can read it just fine. I did it before in Tiger but apparently Leopard doesn't get it. Says it can't be read by this computer! :( I did a lot of searching and installed some utilities to supposedly let you access this windows ntfs 3g or whatever, and coudln't figure it out. Nothing I did got it working.

    Anyway, where I am worried I messed up is that I formatted their old PC thinking I had my backup on the external drive, and now that I can't access this on the mac, I loaded up the old dell I just packed away, and when I plug in this USB drive to it, it loads as a "local hard drive" and when I double click that it says the drive is not formatted???!!!! WHAT?!!? I don't get it. :(

    I forget if before winxp was reinstalled on the old dell if it was under the hard drive section in my computer or a different one. I do rememebr that before when I did the backing up it was F: and now it's loading as G: on this new winxp install. But I can't get this usb drive to load now on either the new mac or the old dell and I'm really scared. Here I am trying to be the good guy and I might have just lost all my family's pics and iTunes collectiion. :(

    I'm so upset here guys. Can someone please help me. I'm not a beginner but I'm obviously no expert either. :( Please tell me there is at least a way I can check to make sure there IS still data on this USB drive, so I can at least try and get some sleep and then sort it out in the morning. But I cant sleep until I know the data is there.

    HELP please please please :(
  2. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    First of all:

    when transferring, single point of failures are to be avoided at all costs. I hope you have learned that.

    Second of all, relax. No matter if the data exists or not on the external, it wn't suddenly disappear. So take you time.

    Regarding the drive letter assignment this is normal in XP, because they are assigned dynamically depending on how many disks are inserted.

    1. Have you tried another computer with xp on it? You can try bootcamping if you have no access to another computer.
    2. Have you tried installing Tiger on the iMac and letting it read the disk? If it works, then transfer all the information and make a Leopard archive-and-install.
  3. sonictonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2006
    Central Coast, California
    Well, all is not totally lost now since I realized the photos were mostly "backed up" - since they are on my sister's iPhone. PHEW! So we're good there. The iTunes stuff, well, gonna have to reimport and get Apple to let us redownload all the purchased content... but I guess it can be done. So all in all, we're ok.

    Still a little freaked though about how this happened and what I can do or could have done. Leopard and Tiger won't read it, and though I wasn't able to try a second XP machine I put it on a Vista machine and it doesn't load either. WTF... It sees a drive but says its "not formatted" but like I said before, this drive was being used, it was to formatted, and all was fine until now with the most recent copy of files from WinXP Explorer to the Hard Drive itself.

    If anyone has any other pointers before I reformat this drive and call it a day, or think about sending it in for recovery (Level 1 recovery is $259 @ best buy and I think I can cover it) I might do that. But then again we might be OK with having most the stuff back so I don't know. Now I'm just rambling.

    Thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion! Thanks!

Share This Page