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Windows 7: External disk not recognized by Win7/8 and is now in RAW format!?


27 Jan 2013   #1

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 
External disk not recognized by Win7/8 and is now in RAW format!?

Hello,

I recently backed up about 500gb of recent work onto an external drive so I could clean my PC inside and out. I gave it a clean install of windows 7 and when it comes time to get my work of my external, the drive cannot be recognized and requires a reformat.

It was working perfectly fine and I surely did not format the drive into a RAW file system. I tried plugging into my laptop running win8 and still the very same issue. I plugged it into a mac running the lastest mac os 10 and I can browse all my folders and see the files but I can't move/copy or open them. But at least I know all is not lost.

I have been looking through forums and trying everything I could find, which was pretty much what I already knew to try.

Im stuck. I have no idea what's going on with this. I have tons of art work I risk losing if I can't get to these files. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Hi Mconn127,

I am not an expert in this field, just my experience offered.

Firstly, DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE!! (As your probably well aware) If windows ask you to do this when its plugged in then ignore.
The RAW filesystem is just a filesystem that is not recognized by Windows, so it cant access the disk and
as you found out your files are still intact..PHEW!!

I had the same problem a few years back when i just unplugged the USB HDD without "Safely removing Hardware device" first, and ended up with a RAW file system!!

Firstly try plugging the external HDD into a computer running Windows XP or Vista? Give that a try first if possible
and see if you can gain access to your data? With Windows XP theres a good chance you will gain access and can back-up your data and simply reformat the drive.(fingers crossed)

Failing that to try the next part you will need to discover exaclty type of external HDD it is? Make / model / aslo is it IDE, SATA and depending on which one it is, see if you are going to be able to connect it internally to your computer?

There is another way which doesnt involve opening the enclosure, but you risk losing your data and you do so at your own risk:
How To Fix: External Disk Drive Suddenly Became RAW

YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK, IF UNSURE DO NOT ATTEMPT. (This following method also may not work)
The easiest fix for to access your drive, is to remove the drive from the enclosure and install it directly into your computer as almost any external drive can be used as an internal drive. (Ive done it plenty of times)

You will have to find a way to crack open the enclosure and remove the HDD. Hopefully just few screws and
easing the HDD out of the enclosure (Extreme caution advised). If you post the Make and model I will see if I can find a guide to do this.

Then once hooked into your computer, boot it up, (you may have to goto boot options and select the HDD that has windows installed), then from your desktop click:

Start > Computer and see if your drive has been recognised and that you have access, do not write to the disc at all, back up your data to another spare drive immediately.

If your drive is not listed in "Computer" please follow these instructions:

Start > type in search manage at top click Computer Management.
Then double left click on Storage in the centre box.
Then double click on Disk management.

You should hopefully see your newly installed "ex" external drive (if that makes sense)

If you can see your new drive it probably hasn't got a drive letter assigned to it?
If this is the case then right click Change drive letter and paths then click change and assign it a drive letter, click ok and exit.
Goto Computer and you should now see your drive and should be able to access your data? Again back-up immediately.

This method has worked for me.

Hope one of these methods helps you out, Good Luck

Cheers
Dave
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #3

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the response!

The drive is a LaCie 500gb. Some specs can be found here: LaCie - Big Disk Extreme with Triple Interface - USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800

It is IDE, and it's a 500 gig external but when I took it about it is actually two western digital IDE drives 250gb each.

I did try to plug them in internally but it was before this issue, and when my computer was having issues so I figured it was my computer. But I also thought that because how these disks are set up they must be plugged in together? I'm going to try this again with both plugged in.

I'm also very interested in trying a boot from linux to read the raw file system, thanks for the post and links! I will let you know if any of this works!

Also, if you check the link on the drive and find anything, then please let me know.

Thanks so much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Jan 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mconn127 View Post
Thanks for the response!

The drive is a LaCie 500gb. Some specs can be found here: LaCie - Big Disk Extreme with Triple Interface - USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800

It is IDE, and it's a 500 gig external but when I took it about it is actually two western digital IDE drives 250gb each.

I did try to plug them in internally but it was before this issue, and when my computer was having issues so I figured it was my computer. But I also thought that because how these disks are set up they must be plugged in together? I'm going to try this again with both plugged in.

I'm also very interested in trying a boot from linux to read the raw file system, thanks for the post and links! I will let you know if any of this works!

Also, if you check the link on the drive and find anything, then please let me know.

Thanks so much.

No Problem, if I find out anything I will let you know.
Did you try plugging into Windows XP btw?

Cheers

Dave
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi mconn127,

Restore the external drive back to its original condition and plug it into your PC.

Confirm in Disk Management that the drive appears as RAW 500GB. ( I wish you hadn't taken it out.)

Download and install MiniTools Partition Wizard Home Edition 7.7 Best Free Partition Manager Freeware and free partition magic for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista and Windows XP 32 bit & 64 bit. MiniTool Free Partition Manager Software Home Edition.

Then just follow the recovery process under the heading "Recovery with Partition Wizard: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB" in the thread Recover a flash drive turned RAW Partition Wizard and TestDisk. ( In your case instead of the pendrive, it will be your external drive.)

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #6

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Few points from my own experience with this problem ...

Just because you can see the files and folders on a Mac actually means nothing. Sorry. Had the same happen to an external drive, loaned it to a friend who has a Mac, he was able see all of the stuff, too, but when he copied the files off, they were all zero-length!

Second, Linux is not going to be of any help. If the drives were formatted NTFS, Linux will detect a corrupted filesystem and refuse to allow you to mount the filesystems. If your try to FORCE a mount, you risk completely trashing the files.

My suggestion is that you remove the drives from the case, hook them up to a PC, and download the trial version of RecoverMyFiles from Runtime software. Run that in deepest discovery mode against the drive. Then, probably HOURS later, see if it found the files you wanted. You will have to register and purchase online to actually recover the files, but at least you will then have them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi mconn127,

I was expecting a feedback from you.

You have two physical drives which are possibly spanned to appear like one logical drive. Part of the files may reside on one physical drive and the rest on the other drive. For a successful recovery, you must restore the drives back to their original locations. Reason why I emphasised to restore the external drive to its original condition. I hope you have marked the positions of the drives when you pulled out those from the case.

I generally abhor any tendency to pull out the drive/s from its case.That should only be the last resort when all other non-invasive procedures fail and we begin suspecting a defective case. Unnecessary manipulation of the drive/s should be avoided. It should never be the first resort. Reason why I wished that you hadn't removed the drives from the casing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 External disk not recognized by Win7/8 and is now in RAW format!?




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