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Maxtor partitioning message

  1. Sep 29, 2012 #1
    After four years of trouble free external backup, my Maxtor 'OneTouch4' external hard drive has been sending me repeated messages for a few weeks or so about not being 'partitioned' with an accompanying warning that to do so will erase all stored information. I can't figure out from the Maxtor [now Seagate] webpage what that even means.

    I've noticed a few other changes as well, like 'bleep, bloop' 'pong' like sounds from time to time which come and go, but when I run a 'test' the result is 'normal operation' for the hard drive.....
    when I place a cursor on the green Maxtor status button at the bottom of my screen, I usually see 'drives connected' but sometimes another message...can't think of the phrase but something like 'undetermined'....The white light on the Maxtor hard drive
    was blinking afew days ago...but is back to a steady oncurrently....

    So do I need to to anything and if so what??

    forgot: in the last few days began getting a message pop up like "access denied for pictures importing, Maxtor in use with Windows'....but there is nothing connected for importing pictures...when I do upload pictures, I use a USB cord connected to my camera....last upload of pictures last week seemed normal.
    Thank you.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2012 #2
    Same thing happened to a Schools Backup drive quite frankly was also a Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus, they are seagate barracuda 7200.10's from memory, they have a very high fail rate after looking into it extensively, also their pcb's can die ect but good news is your at the early stage and your files may still be recoverable!

    Basically to explain what has happend to my schools drive as well as your drive, you plug it in, the white light stays on, you hear strange noises coming from inside the hard drive, it shows up and gives you an "USB not Recognised - USB has malfunctioned and failed to start" or something along those lines, when going to open the drive in My Computer (when it connects properly) windows prompt "drive is not formatted, would you like to format it now?" if clicking yes another prompt shows up "formatting the drive will erase all data" to explain what this is is basically to Delete Everything you have ever put onto the hard drive, this is the last thing you would want to do.

    Now onto recovering all your files!
    There are multiple ways of recovering files from just deleted items to hard drives that cant display any information in windows(your case) to hard drives not showing up at all in bios and finally not showing any signs of life(not spinning up)

    In your current situation you have only one simple solution(that i use on a daily basis for file recovery)

    Download Ubuntu and burn it to disc.
    Ubuntu is a linux operating system that ignores errors in the ntfs file system as well as fat16 fat32 and fat.
    After burning the cd place it into your computer and restart your computer, press F12 to select a "boot device" sometimes this is different depending on models/brands ect. for example on lenovo you have to push Enter first to interrupt startup, on HP you have to press F2.
    You could also go into Bios if your comfortable and change the "Startup/Boot device priority"

    After your computer loads up from the liveCD you can select "trial" or test or something along those lines (the one that doesnt make any changes to your PC) dont install unless you really want to, if you install ubuntu it could make everything a lot more complicated for now.

    After the computer boots to ubuntu click the folder on the left that has a home on it. from there go to computer, its now time for glory plug in your external and hope for the best, it should show up at the top with a little eject button next to it. Copy over all your files from your current external drive onto a new one as it is close to the end of its life.

    This also works for majority of all external hard drives that have issues in terms of windows prompting "drive is not formatted would you like to format it now?"

    If its too late and the above does not work the next step is to take it out of the enclosure and plug it in manually to the comptuer, if that also fails to work the next step is to find someone with the exact same hard drive and borrow the pcb or w/e its called (green computer board type thing) and transfer it to your drive.

    Unfortunately i was given the drive by the school when other IT technicians had already tried all there other crazy ideas for data recovery when it was just a simple task as stated above, the drive i have has a problem with the green thing as it doesnt show up in bios at all.

    one last final thing before you download ubuntu, run a program called SeaTools, it may be able to repair the windows file system on the drive, its a Seagate diagnostics tool for seagate harddrives.

    source: Im a qualified IT Technical Support Officer, and have had similar issues with multiple external hard drives.
  4. Oct 18, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I have been unable to find what's wrong, so I purchased a new external hard drive.
  5. Oct 21, 2012 #4
    There are a few other things to do but are all a lot more technical, Hirens Boot CD for example has multiple tools and programs to fix issues with almost everything that can go wrong with a computer, Hard drive regenerator for example fixes sector errors, if that fails to correct the issue PartitionRecovery 1.0 has fixed a completely unreadable volume for me and both are extremely simple to use, but then again it all comes down to how much time or effort you are willing to place on recovering lost information.
  6. Oct 21, 2012 #5


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    There also the freeware "ultimate boot cd", which includes some hard drive tools including cloning.
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