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Windows 7: External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system

26 Oct 2014   #1
gd5583

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 
External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system

I have a Western Digital 2TB desk top hard drive which is almost three quarters full. It has worked fine up until yesterday.

Today however it was causing windows explorer to stop responding. I tried to use task manager but explorer did not close until I physically unplugged the hard drive from USB, at which point explorer instantly closed down again. I rebooted the PC and successfully reconnected the hard drive, only for Explorer to stop responding again after just a few minutes of use.

I repeated the above process with the task manager however now I have no access at all to the hard drive, in computer management and my computer it shows as local disk (J) with no meter underneath to indicate how full it is. Computer management shows the file system as RAW, I believe before it was NTFS. Device manager shows the disk does exist with its full name of WD 1021 Elements.

I have tried a few recovery programs, firstly test disk. This however looks like it is going to take potentially a few days to complete. I have also tried the free version of EaseUs. This program found three lost partitions, but none were anywhere near as large as 2TB. Does the paid version find more? I don't want to spend money if it won't work. I have also tried Pandora Recovery but this could not access the drive in question, probably due to problem I am having.

My questions are:

1) Will test disk work if I leave it long enough? And has anyone used it on a 2TB volume and know roughly how long it takes?

2) If I was to say do a quick format on the volume (which I believe just clears the file allocation system on the drive without deleting the data) could I then use a program like Pandora to access and recover the files?

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Oct 2014   #2
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

1. If possible, please post a screenshot of Windows Disk Managemnet with only your problem external drive connected. Make sure that you hide the Console Tree and Action Pane by clicking on the Show/Hide icons in the top Menubar so that we can see the full screenshot of the Window with no truncation. Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

2. Install MiniTools Partition Wizard Home Edition 8.1.1, run it and post a screenshot of the Main screen with your external drive connected. Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online

We will first explore the possibility of Recovering the Partition/s with Partition Recovery Wizard, the tool most widely used here for recovering partitions on drives that had turned RAW.

Further instructions only after your response to this post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2014   #3
gd5583

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi Jumanji

Thanks for your help, here are the screen shots as requested. I have not tried to run anything in minitools yet I have just launched it with the disk connected. I used the Partition Wizard option (left button) when I launched minitools however there is a button on the right to launch a data recovery option, should I have used that one?


Attached Thumbnails
External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system-disk-management.png   External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system-minitools.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Oct 2014   #4
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Partition Wizard showing it as a Bad Disk is not a good sign.

Ok, download, install and run Western Digital Data Lifeguard diagnostics for Windows. Run as Administrator. Do the Quick Test and then extended test. Post the results.

How to test a drive for problems using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows

Note: When running Extended Test, please note the time taken to scan the 2TB drive from start to finish and let us know that also. Normally it should take a considerable amount of time. If it finishes it off in a jiffy, then we may not rely on the test result.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #5
gd5583

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

I have downloaded the Data Lifeguard diagnostics but can't even run it on my RAW drive, as its not listed in the top window. It is only listed in the bottom window but I am unable to click on it. Its not one of the four generic drives, as these relate to a memory card reader installed in my PC.


Attached Thumbnails
External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system-wd-lifeguard.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #6
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

You have to decide now.

1. If your drive is under warranty, you can RMA it.

2. If your drive is not under warranty, you may decide to open the external case, take the HDD out, connect it as a second internal drive and check whether the drive is Ok.

In some Western digital external drives the SATA to USB card is integrated into the HDD. In such a case, you won't be able to do that.

3.You may rope in a Data Recovery professional service.

Please read this thread carefully. External Hard Drive failure. "Bad disk" after power failure

This is one rare case where Partition Wizard as well as DataLifeguard found the drive defective. He was lucky. When he opened the case he found that the HDD and the interface card were separate blocks. And so he was able to take it out and plug it into a desktop motherboard Sata port and was able to recover the data much to the surprise of everyone.

But how it will turn out to be in your case, none can predict. Facts of life.

You may wait for some more time to see whether there are any suggestions from other experienced users.

In a desperate situation you may have to try all suggestions - though it is going to be a time-consuming exercise..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #7
gd5583

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Thanks for your help with this, I will await to see if any one else posts anything and explore other forums before taking it apart, as it looks like the only way to open it is to break the case.

If I am able to successfully install inside my PC, will it be a case of re-attempting the above data recovery options?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2014   #8
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

External RAW is still lettered as J!
Open Elevated Command Prompt and do:
Code:
chkdsk/f   J:
Many errors? Repaired? run it again to be sure all is fixed.

$MFT corrupt? ntfs boosector?

Post results
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2014   #9
gd5583

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
External RAW is still lettered as J!
Open Elevated Command Prompt and do:
Code:
chkdsk/f   J:
Many errors? Repaired? run it again to be sure all is fixed.

$MFT corrupt? ntfs boosector?

Post results
I tried this but chkdsk is not available for RAW drives


Attached Images
External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system-chkdsk.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2014   #10
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Try this Advanced NTFS Boot and MFT Repair - CGSecurity
$MFT and $MFTMIRR and ntfs boot sector are correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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