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Help recovering my backup drive info


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I am running  WHS 2011 SP1 64 bit on a Gateway Core 2 quad with 4GB and a single seagate 2TB drive.

My backup drive is a  WD 2 TB USB.


I have been running successfully for over a year and backups have worked. I have even restored some files in the past few months.


My seagate 2TB internal drive has been acting flaky, and their tool showed it was failing so they shipped me another one under warranty.


when i went to check the backups, and run one last time,  but the backup failed.


the drive was not seen.


in the past i couldnt browse it anyway, so i wasnt too worried, but it kept wanting me to format the drive.


i did see some errors around the backup service not starting, i started it, but it didnt seem long lived.


i installed the new HDD and ran setup, it couldnt find the backups to restore from, so i just did a fresh install.


now i cannot access the drive info at all.


when i plug it in, it wants to format

when i try to add it to backups, it wants to format

it cannot find any backups

i tried mounting the VHD in WHS and Win 7 with no luck.


Disk management shows the drive as Healthy, Active and Primary, 1863.00 GB RAW and online

it did come up ad Drive E:, so i manually changed it to Z:


tried different cables, ports and rebooting.

i took my server off of the homegroup after reading here about the bugs.


i have since formatted the original internal drive as i need to send it back.


any help is appreciated.





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Since you reloaded the OS, are you sure you have the correct USB Drivers loaded for the MB?  


BTW...you might want to think about getting another smaller drive to separate out your data from your OS drive.  You can see why right here.  Just a suggestion as you are going thru the process now.

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I think your data is gone since it is showing up as a raw partition. I had the same thing happen when I was trying to remove a drive from StableBit DrivePool. We blamed it on the Startech USB to ESATA converter. I'd use diskpart to clean the drive before using it for Server Backup.

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Please tell me you had you data backed up to another drive or to the cloud somewhere?  3-2-1?  

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Have you tried mounting the drive in a non-Windows system?

If it is asking you to format, Windows has issues with the format on the drive.

I have had some success with Knoppix boot disk.

Its worth a try.

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If you really need this data I would look at 2 things:

  1. try running CHKDSK on the drive. This most likely will not work because I suspect the drive isn't even getting a drive letter from Windows;
  2. SpinRite the drive. If you don't own SpinRite, the unfortunate news is that it costs $90 (no, there is no trial version). There is no absolute guarantee that SpinRite can get your data back but, at this point, I think it's your best option.
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Wow, thanks for all the replies.


first off.... Yes, i was able to to a disk to disk copy from my bad HDD, saved me a ton of time over USB 2.

I also do manual backups to a separate ext drive as i do not trust backups that i cannot see all of my data (internally i am high-fiveing myself)

i believe i am going to upgrade my HTPC HDD and setup a synctoy pair moving forward as well as the system backups.


I do believe i have correct drivers as all my other devices work correctly.

I was thinking about buying a decent SSD as a boot disk, but i am probably going to get some new boxes soon as these are all older.  

i try to stay under $400 for all my computers. my one splurge is my Ativ 700T.


I tried checkdisk, and "windows cannot access the disk"


i will try a knoppix boot disk tonight and report back.

i was hoping to hear someone recommend that before i invested the time.


the data backups are not worth $90 for spinrite as i believe all my data is there.  i just want the piece of mind that i do have any missing files just in case.


thanks again.

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