Default partions for an WDBCKA0040HBK

Does the external 4 TB drives come with any defined partitions? My neighbor has a 4 TB with four partitions:

1 - 32 GB Fat32 - Active primary
1 - 396 GB - Unallocated
1 - 1619 GB - Unallocated
1 - 1678 GB - Unallocated

I do believe he got this new and he didn’t create this partition setup himself. In my mind, it isn’t something that you can do by accident either.

He was using this as a the single copy backup and lost a great deal of files. I did the recovery using Hiren’s Boot CD but 99% of the files came back as 0-bytes in size. I already advised him of a different backup strategy and have another post for the 0-bytes issue.

All new drives come pre-formatted with a single partition of maximum size.

Thank you for confirming that. That is what I thought initially but wanted to get a 2nd opinion. So since this drive has 4 partitions, 3 of them being unallocated, we can assume my neighbor did this himself or he received a refurbished or a returned drive from wherever he purchased it. Can anyone recommend a process or software that would be successful in recovering the data? Data recovery services would most likely not be an option based on the prices I have heard of in the past.

The clue is the name of that partition “ESD-USB”. That’s a Windows Install Media partition – the drive was used to install windows, or was reformatted by Windows Installation to be external recovery media.

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Try this https://www.powerdatarecovery.com/datarecoverysoftware/convert-external-hard-drive-to-esdusb.html

I got this link from https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-files-winpc/revert-esd-usb/2ab6dd8c-f27f-4b2a-a231-e547412aa47f

I haven’t test it out myself yet.