External USB drive problem

  Housten 17:02 12 Feb 12

Good afternoon,

I have, apparently, gone and committed a stupid and now need some help to enable me to get back a USB external hard drive that has been compromised!

What has happened is that I use my Seagate USB drive as an external backup, because all I have ever wanted from any backup was that it have everything on the partition being backed up and to be done as quickly as possible. After quite a lot of testing – which I won’t bother detailing – I settled on two programmes. The only one that is of concern here is Macrium Reflect. For some time I have been wondering about the difference between cloning a disk and the backup that I was doing. This morning I googled this and it seemed to me that the inference was that cloning was fast and included everything.

So I decided to use Reflect and do a clone!! What a disaster!! What I only found out after the programme finished was that it gave the drive a different letter ( changed it from R:\ to F:\ ), wiped out the sets of backups ( by both programmes ) already on the drive and reduced the available size of the drive to give me a partition F:\ on it with 163 GB of unallocated space. It turns out that this ‘new’ drive F:\ ( which is allocated to a pen drive already ) is now 194 GB of which 153 GB are used, whereas thee partition I was trying out the cloning was my C:\ partition and this has 148 of 193 GB free!!! So what the cloning did I just do not have a clue, except for severely mucking up my external drive. I have managed – using Mini partition tool – to get the drive renamed as R:\ but it is still showing it as 363 GB whereas it should be a 500 GB – or thereabouts anyway – drive. I have since used it to make a backup using the other programme – no compression and C:\ and the backup both being about 48GB in size – but what I want is to get the rest of the drive back as well. I have tried a quick format – not very successfully and would like to know if anyone has any ideas as to how I can get the balance of this drive back. I am not worried about losing my current – and now only – backup on this drive as I have another drive I use alternately so can quite easily backup to that drive if it means I can get the balance of the Seagate back.

Any help/advice/information that anyone can give me will be very gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.

  rdave13 17:32 12 Feb 12

I'm afraid I know nothing about Reflect but on the software I use, if you clone a drive then the clone won't show up as a drive with a letter as you already have a drive allocated as c:. If you follow. Now if you removed the original drive and installed the 'clone' drive the PC will boot up as normal as it will 'see' it as the C: drive.

  Housten 12:05 13 Feb 12


Thanks for your reply, but I have - fairly obviously, I see now - not made myself clear. I am not interested in the particular backup - by that I mean I may make a CD clone at some point in the future - but what I am interested in is getting back the balance of my USB external drive. It appears to have been reduced to some 363 GB from its original size of 500 GB ( or thereabouts ). I do not know why - and more importantly, in some respects - or how this has happened. All I really want to know is how to get it back to its original size.

  robin_x 13:12 13 Feb 12

Start Run Diskmgmt.msc to re-label the partitions and resize as necessary. (right click a partition for options)

If anything is greyed out, use Partition Wizard or Easeus Partition Master instead.

  Housten 12:05 14 Feb 12


Many thanks for your tip about using Partition Wizard. I already had Minitool Patition Wizard which turned out - at least to me - to be the same. After some considerable time fiddling around with stuff that I was not 100% sure of what I was doing I have got rid of the 5 - yes 5, and I don't know how they all appeared - and now have 2 partitions. I am not really too worried about this as one is 467.8 GB and the other is 7.8 MB! I will try to get rid of the 7.8 MB but with the size of the other being, apparently, the total available I will not let this worry me. If I can get rid of it then well and good, if not I don't care. So problem sorted and settled and I am sorry I didn't thank you last night, but I was so glad to get the drive sorted that having completed it I just switched off my computer and it wasn't until a couple of hours later that I realised that I hadn't thanked you, so, as I said, many apologies for that and your tip.

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