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Clients – Seagate Hard Disk Data Recovery Issues

I’m having a problem and it seems my Seagate hard drive is having some kind of a meltdown or mid-life crisis. I can’t decide which but whatever is going on it is causing me major issues. I’m an accountant and use a variety of pieces of accountancy software as well as CRM databases for my clients. The Seagate drive I’m using is a ST340014AP with 40GB capacity and a 2MB buffer. When I went to use the computer to produce a tax return for a client I was told that the drive was full to capacity. I checked in my computer and it told me the same. I thought this can’t be right so I decided to delete a lot of unnecessary files including *.tmp files etc. After I did this the computer then said I had something like 300MB worth of free space left which although I thought it wasn’t very much was enough for what I needed to do. So I carried on with the job in hand and when I tried to save and print the tax return the computer displayed a message telling me there was insufficient disk space and that the file could not save. It asked me to specify another destination to save the document so I quickly saved it to a USB stick. The problem now though is that I cannot save anything to the drive and it has suddenly stopped allowing me to open or edit any file in any way. I can see the files there but they will not respond and I am at the point of giving myself repetitive strain injury with all the clicking I have been doing on each file. Is there anyway of being able to get the information off this disc as I do a backup once a week and this happened mid-week leaving me with five days worth of files I can’t touch.

First of all I have to say that I am not really a whizz kid when it comes to computers. Anything I know is either because I taught myself or someone has shown me how to do it. That said I am reasonably familiar with certain aspects and can do certain things for myself. One of those things is putting in or changing a hard drive. I had a 20GB hard drive that was full to bursting and I couldn’t afford to buy an external hard drive to copy the information onto. However my dad gave me a Seagate Momentus 5400.3 60GB drive and told me that I could use that to clone my drive. I had never done this before and used a piece of software he had used. The object of the exercise was to allow me to copy my existing drive image across and then have 40GB spare to use on my new drive but what seems to have happened is that I have created an image of the 20GB drive but haven’t allocated the other 40GB. I now am in a position where I have a 20GB cloned disc partition that I cannot get at to access my files and a 40GB unallocated partition that allows me to install Windows but will not recognize the other partition. What can I do? I’ve been told about various other partitioning programs that are available but I don’t see how they will help me access the cloned partition.