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Windows 7: External HDD suddenly requires formatting, read as RAW instead of ntfs


17 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 
External HDD suddenly requires formatting, read as RAW instead of ntfs

Hey guys,

I use an external HDD (4TB Seagate) connected with a USB docking station to my laptop. In there are all my back ups, movies and everything ....

It used to be a mess so I take some time to tidy up (simply moving files and renaming them). Next thing I know when I try to access the drive, Windows asks that I format the drive. Disk manager shows the drive as a healthy partition but the format has changed from NTFS to RAW.

I tried to use Seagate software to fix my problem, to no avail.

I obviously made a mistake, please tell me I do not have to format and loose all my data ...

Thanks for your help,

flows69

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Welcome to SevenForums.

Download and install Partition Wizard Home Edition 8.1.1 Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online and run Partition Recovery Wizard. For help go to the topic Recovery with Partition Wizard: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB (In your case it will be your the currently RAW external drive) in Recover a flash drive turned RAW – Partition Wizard and TestDisk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #3

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 

Thank you for the quick reply. I am letting the recovery wizard run through the night and will keep you posted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Oct 2013   #4

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 

I made a mistake and have to rerun the wizard ... I would be interested in what caused the problem. If I am to prevent it from happening in the future, what did I do wrong ? WHat could cause an HDD to suddently be read as rar instead of ntfs ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

What mistake did you do? It will help us to know where and why people went wrong.

Were you able to rescan, recover the partition, restore the HDD to its previous condition and access the files?

If yes, please mark the thread as solved.

When the first sector in a HDD known as the boot sector containing the MBR Code and the partition table gets corrupted, Windows is unable to see and read any file system. Since Windows sees no filesystem in the partition, it prompts you to format it in order to create a filesystem on it.

The most common cause of external hard drives suddenly becoming RAW drives is if they are disconnected from a computer without using the “Safely Remove Hardware” option. This can happen in many ways such as a power failure, unplugging the drive from the USB port or from its AC adapter, a problem with the computer that causes it to temporarily disconnect the USB hubs and many more circumstances can lead to this occurring.

Always use “Safely remove hardware” to disconnect the drive. Left click the icon on the taskbar, select the device from the menu, and wait for the confirmation message.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2013   #6

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 

Alright, now I am getting worried. The first time I ran the partition recovery wizard, I didn't read the post you referred me to carefully enough. I had to take my laptop with me so cancelled everything before doing anything wrong. I reread the post, reran the scan. When it was done (4tb sorry it's a bit long), The Partition wizard displayed several partitions on my HDD. One was 128mb, that's the systered reserved one. Another was 2TB, I assume that is where my data is even though I had more than 2tb and I couldn't see what was inside. There were three very small partitions (3mb), I don't know how they got created. I select the 2tb one, the software indicates that the other partitions may be deleted in the process. I go through.

Now the HDD is still read as RAW, the partition wizard reads it as a 2TB HDD and I fear I lost some data ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Things are getting a bit curiouser now.

First thing is that it was not a branded OEM external drive. You had perhaps put in a used HDD and that what was a system drive before, inside an enclosure. If it was such an used HDD, you must have known what all partitions it had.

The second thing is that, after rescanning the Partition Recovery Wizard should have shown you all the partitions it found and if all of that did not add to 4TB and right clicking and exploring the partitions did not show all the data in it (you must be knowing what all data you had in it) you should have stopped at it and asked for help putting a screenshot of how your drive appeared after completion of scanning.

Can you please post a screenshot of the external drive in Windows Disk Management?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2013   #8

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 

Sure, here it is:
I bought the HDD brand new on Amazon, the docking station is also pretty recent. I could try with another docking station if you think the problem comes from this. I never divided the HDD into several partitions.


Attached Thumbnails
External HDD suddenly requires formatting, read as RAW instead of ntfs-screenshot-disk-management.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2013   #9

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 

Thank you very much for your help, it is really appreciated. ;-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2013   #10

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bits
 
 

Here is the screenshot of the partition wizard that only see a 2TB partition:


Attached Thumbnails
External HDD suddenly requires formatting, read as RAW instead of ntfs-screenshot-disk-management-2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 External HDD suddenly requires formatting, read as RAW instead of ntfs




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