How do i format my HD without losing data?

  • Bluedemon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I recently got a old computer of a friend, and when i tried using my HD it says "Hard Drive is not formatted, format now?" and then it says that it deletes all my data on there, so i was wandering if there is a way of formatting it without deleteing all the data on it? i dont have a another computer to put all the data on and i also cant back it uo to disks because it wont let me get into it, so is there a way?
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

1. what kind of computer did your friend give you and what did you have before? Your drive shouldn't need formatted unless he gave you a MAC and you had a PC
2. is the computer where your drive came from no longer working?
3. are you using this in your friends computer as the primary drive or a slave drive? Was it the primary drive in your old computer or a slave drive
4. Was your drive formatted FAT32 or NTFS?
5. What OS is your drive?
6. Is your drive ATA or SATA?

the more details you can provide the better chance you have of getting help.

As it stands right now from your description formatting your drive will wipe all data. And since you have no way to copy it, you are currently screwed.

Additional info about your hardware could help you get "un-screwed".
  • Bluedemon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
1. what kind of computer did your friend give you and what did you have before? Your drive shouldn't need formatted unless he gave you a MAC and you had a PC
2. is the computer where your drive came from no longer working?
3. are you using this in your friends computer as the primary drive or a slave drive? Was it the primary drive in your old computer or a slave drive
4. Was your drive formatted FAT32 or NTFS?
5. What OS is your drive?
6. Is your drive ATA or SATA?

the more details you can provide the better chance you have of getting help.

As it stands right now from your description formatting your drive will wipe all data. And since you have no way to copy it, you are currently screwed.

Additional info about your hardware could help you get "un-screwed".

I forgot to mention its a external HD

1. its a intel celeron 400, i had a laptop before this desktop.
2. yes its working
3. im using it as a slave drive, as it was on my computer before this
4. it was formatted FAT32, and it wants me to format to NTFS
5. this drive doesnt have a OS
6. i dont know what ATA or SATA is (im a noob)
  • lindsay
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Post 3+ Months Ago

transfer all the data from the another hard disk. you can also take the back up of the data.

after that format the hard disk and the reinstalled the windows again.

when the windows will installed transfer the data from the hard disk and the data will not loss.

you can repair the windows so that the no need to format the hard disk and the data will not loss.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You really don't read posts thoroughly do you.

First, the original poster said he doesn't have a way to transfer the data to another drive.

Second, the computer he got as a gift does not have an operating system installed.

What I am confused about is you mention this is an external drive but you say it is hooked up as a slave drive. External drives are usually connected via USB or Firewire and aren't really considered slave or master.

ATA and SATA are internal hard drive connections. Based on the fact that you are running a Celeron 400 I would go ahead and assume it is an IDE ATA drive since SATA wasn't around at that time.

But for your question, you cannot format a drive and retain the data on it. Formatting deletes all the data.
  • lindsay
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if you can not format the hard disk of the computer reapired the windows with the help of the recovery disk. so that the data will not loss. and the windows will reinstalled.

if your hard disk has more than 2 or 3 partiions and there is no data in the c drive than you can format only the c drive and installed the windows in the c drive and all the partitions are keep on it. and data will not loss.
  • warley[1111]
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
You really don't read posts thoroughly do you.

First, the original poster said he doesn't have a way to transfer the data to another drive.

Second, the computer he got as a gift does not have an operating system installed.

What I am confused about is you mention this is an external drive but you say it is hooked up as a slave drive. External drives are usually connected via USB or Firewire and aren't really considered slave or master.

ATA and SATA are internal hard drive connections. Based on the fact that you are running a Celeron 400 I would go ahead and assume it is an IDE ATA drive since SATA wasn't around at that time.

But for your question, you cannot format a drive and retain the data on it. Formatting deletes all the data.


I know the thread is old but I was thinking ... if his hard drive was originally formatted then shouldn't you be able to use some form of disk editor to find the lost clusters? Probably not a good thing for someone who refers to themselves as 'noob' but still I think it's the answer to his original question?
Also, if you perform a quick format from DOS shouldn't the data be retained and only the FAT changed, therefore applying a format without fully deleting the data?

This post is mostly for my benifit, not the orignal posters as I am currently enrolled in a tech/networking program in school. Thanks in advance for any response.

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