FINALLY! An Easy Solution
My Maxtor Onetouch II 300GB HD experience sounds like many others.
Symptoms: One day, worked fine. The next windows explorer couldn't recognize the drive. The drive powered on fine, sounded normal, but wasn't visible. Under the storage manager, it appeared unallocated.
Here's my story...
1. I tried another computer, also running XP. nada.
2. I tried Maxtor Tech Support (they said format, pay for data recovery from 3rd party, or take it to BestBuy/CompUSA and let them try to recover using software).
3. I took it to CompUSA. The kid working the counter SERIOUSLY scared me with his lack of common sense. He thought it was a simple data transfer.
4. I took it to Data Doctors. They took the HD behind a curtain, chatted to themselves for about 10 minutes while I waited, came out and told me it would be several hundred dollars and they couldn't guarantee any results. OR, I could send it to their clean room partner and pay a $250 deposit. It would probably run $600 to $800, they said.
5. I took it to BestBuy, they kept it overnight, and then the GEEKSQUAD said "nothing they could do."
6. I tried Ontrack. They wanted $800 for the cleanroom. Their demo software could scan the drive and found 90,000+ files. The first glimmer of hope! However, it wanted to rename all the files xxx1.jpg, reorganizing the data by in folders by filetype. Plus, the software was at least $200. I was inspired, but since I was waiting for a new drive from Newegg (Seagate this time), I kept hunting.
7. I tried a couple of other data recovery software product demos. They too could read the drive, but could see far fewer files. However, they did keep the filenames intact.
8. After typing in "maxtor, HD, unallocated, one touch" into google I found the best possible solution at this webpage from aaa.computer.com (made tiny for easy viewing): http://tinyurl.com/bfzrc.
The symptoms were exactly the same as mine and the solution seems to have worked flawlessly. The little program (from http://www.cgsecurity.org) worked perfectly. Within SECONDS, my Maxtor HD was visible to windows explorer once again and ALL THE FILES seemed to be there. I'm currently in the process of transfering those files from the Maxtor to the Seagate. Once I confirm the data's integrity, I'll format the Maxtor and send it back for replacement under warranty. Even though it seems to be back and running, I don't trust it now that it bit the dust once.
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