WD Drive not working when I changed operating systems

I purchased a WD Elements 1 TB external hard drive about a year ago. At the time, I only had a linux desktop (ubuntu), and the hard drive worked very well with it. I was always able to open and save files to it, and it was free of any problems. Recently I purchased a Samsung laptop that uses Windows 7 as its operating system. I took the hard drive, plugged in the power to the wall outlet, and connected the USB cable to the laptop. Immediately, a message came up that said I need to format the hard drive in order to use it with Windows 7. Because I have many very valuable files on the hard drive, and I wanted no part of formatting, I unplugged it from the laptop. A couple days then went by, and I decided to plug the hard drive back into the old Linux to save some files to it from that. When I did so, a message came up that said the hard drive wasn’t compatible and wouldn’t open, or something to that effect. My goal is to simply be able to access those files somehow, and I have no idea how. Please keep in mind that I’m in a way “technologically disabled”, and a complete computer novice. I don’t know how to use the command line, or anything of that nature to solve the problem. Formatting the hard drive isn’t an option, until the files are safe on either another hard drive or a computer. Any suggestions?

Thank you very much to anyone that can provide some help here!

Charlie Wood

Dude, you need to change the file system. There is not way is going to work unless you format the drive and make it NTFS or Fat 32.

Okay, but I can’t just format with all of my files on it…I don’t mind formatting it if my files are safe elsewhere…

Try booting from a Linux Live CD and see if you can access the drive that way. When the drive is connected to Windows look in the Drive Manager and look down where the bars are . What does it say there? Do you know how the drive was formatted when you were use it on your Linux PC? It sounds like something got corrupt using the drive between systems. I don’t know if TestDisk  http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk will run on your Linux PC. You can do a search on that.


Thank you, and I will try that and report back.