Will formatting an external hard drive destroy the data?

Tomgr74

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Nov 1, 2016
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I have a broken Sony laptop, I took out both hard drives and want to access the data on them using a USB connected enclosure/caddy. However, once connected, the hard drive is recognized, but I am being prompted to format the drive before use, won't this action destroy the contained data? Any assistance would be appreciated guys.
 

rgd1101

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greens

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It would certainly wipe the drive.
Check Disk GUI might be able to repair it for you! There are a number of free utlities that could help restore your drive enough to recover the data.
 

Tomgr74

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Thanks for the reply. I have a few additional questions:

Is the data corrupted already if I am being asked to format the hard drive? (the laptop suffered a power surge)

Only one of the two hard drives seems to contain files, the other seems blank, is it possible that only one hard drive contains data, or is that damaged as well?

Can the laptop be repaired in a shop without the two hard drives, do I need to buy new drives, or can the shop fix without the drives?

If the data on the drives is lost, will I need to buy a new Windows software, is everything now potentially lost?
 

greens

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Is the data corrupted already if I am being asked to format the hard drive? (the laptop suffered a power surge)
Probably not, data is a physical thing, and while instructions get messed up, you can usually still recover data.

Only one of the two hard drives seems to contain files, the other seems blank, is it possible that only one hard drive contains data, or is that damaged as well?
Could be any of the above, but its likely a bit of free software can repair the drive enough to recover the data.

Can the laptop be repaired in a shop without the two hard drives, do I need to buy new drives, or can the shop fix without the drives?
Hard drive shouldn't really be needed for repairing the laptop itself. Then again, if the hard drive is the problem - they won't see any issues with it.

If the data on the drives is lost, will I need to buy a new Windows software, is everything now potentially lost?[/quotemsg]
Naw, you should have a windows sticker right on the laptop. If it is Windows 10 you don't even need to enter a key if i remember correctly.

 

mjslakeridge

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Mar 6, 2013
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DId you actually have data on the drive that can't be read now?

The shop can fix the laptop without the drives, but I would think they would want the one with the operating system on it so they could test after the repair (assuming it can be repaired and the power surge didn't fry multiple components in which case you may be better off getting a new laptop).

If you do get it repaired, you may have to re-install windows, depending on which drive the OS is installed. You shouldn't have to buy a new copy, you can download the iso file from microsoft and use the authorization key (may be on the bottom of the laptop, or perhaps under the battery), to re-install and re-authorize Windows. If you had Windows 10 and they have to replace the Motherboard, then this may not work as I believe the auth code for Windows 10 is stored in the BIOS chip (someone correct me if that is wrong).

 

rgd1101

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