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Formatting External Hard Drive


Alright so, i have a backup drive that i've been using for around six months now. It is a wd smartware mybook essential hard drive. Somehow. It managed to un-format itself. I've been trying to format my f: drive myself, but every time i try to the computer says that if i try to do a "ntfs" format, i will lose everything on my hard drive. I want to know if there is any possible way to fix this problem by formatting it and not losing my data on the external or just completely fixing this problem. I've asked around (as you can see, i'm not very computer savy) and everyone says to back up the things on the hard drive and just format it. Well, i can't. I cannot even open up the files on my external hard drive until it is formatted. The reason that these files are so important to me is because i store all of my pictures, music, movies and documents my external. My computer does not have enough memory, so i store them onto the external. Every picture i've ever taken for about the last five years is on this hard drive, and i'm a huge memory person. Let's just say if these pictures are lost. I will be very upset.

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I recently purchased a new ps3 and would like to transfer some audio and video files to it from my external hard drive. I ran into a problem, however, in that my hard drive is formatted in ntfs and the ps3 can only read fat32. I have about 260 of 300 gb filled, and not enough space on my pc to hold the files while i reformat my external. Is there any simple way for me to somehow format the hard drive in fat32 and still be able to restore all the data that's on it afterward?

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