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Thread: Hard Drive error in file sizes (all files show 32Kb) - Any ideas?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2008
    Hard Drive error in file sizes (all files show 32Kb) - Any ideas?
    Hi, I have an external Western Digital 2.5" 320Gb hard drive.
    I am running OS X Leopard on a 17" MacBook Pro.

    I received an error that disk utility had found and corrected drive error.

    When I look at the drive all files on it show as 32Kb (even ones that were 2Gb in size), and none can be opened.
    There are a lot of photos which I now cannot access.

    I looked at the disk with Drive Genius 2, which did not detect the disk except for when I looked at the sector edit option (I did not do anything with this, as I didn't want to mess it up further.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get the Mac to read the correct file size? I thought that it was formatted as HFS+, but it is now showing as MS-DOS (FAT32).

    Any suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks for your help,
    Ian M

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    A 320 Gb hard drive will have 32 Kb sector clusters if the drive is formatted to FAT-32. It appears your drive somehow was changed from HFS+ to FAT-32 during the disk utility error correction process. What kind of error was it and how did you correct it? The only way that drive could be changed to FAT-32 is if it somehow was re-formatted.

    I don't know of a way to change it back and recover your data at the same time. You can change it back to HFS+ but the data will be gone.


  3. #3

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2008
    320Gb Hard Drive - HFS+ or FAT32?
    I'm not sure how it happened. The strange thing is that I can see all of the files that were previously on the drive.
    The file structure is intact, just all of the sizes are incorrect.

    I can't remember 100% whether it was HFS+ formatted, as the fact that I can see everything is making me wonder. It is definitely showing up as FAT32 now, but some of the files remain intact, with file sizes of 700MB.

    The funniest thing is that I didn't actually initiate the error correction. I think it may have occurred when I was running Windows XP under VMWare Fusion and had to reboot after updating the antivirus program. I think Win XP found the drive and did an auto repair.

    The drive had 180Gb of data, but now is showing just 12GB of data, and 285Gb free
    I don't have access to the OS X disk utility log, as I rebooted to try to fix the problem, so am lost as to solutions. Obviously reformatting and losing everything isn't really an option for me.

    Thanks for your help.
    Any other suggestions?

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Not many options to recover. As it is right now you might want to try:

    Boot to Windows XP and mount the drive. Open up a command prompt
    (cmd.exe) and run chkdsk on the drive. DO NOT at this time use the /F parameter. If chkdsk reports back with a bunch of errors, post the errors here so I can get a look at them.

    If that drive was originally formatted as FAT-32 it may be possible to recover the file structure using chkdsk /F. If chkdsk reports that the FAT (file allocation table) is damaged it should be able to recover by using the backup FAT. If it's just a matter of cross linked files, (unlikely) that can easily be repaired by chkdsk.

    Anyway, post back and let us know. If you wish, send me a personal email using the forum option.


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