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Windows 7: 3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection

16 Sep 2015   #1
Angar

Vista Home Premium 32bit
 
 
3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection

Hi people!

Following Jumanji's instructions in another thread, I come here to post a help request about the issue I'm
currently having with one of my storage hard-disks.


1- The story:
Currently at my parents, using their old laptop.
I recently bought a huge USB hub (13 ports, no less!) to connect the gazillion USB peripherals I use (some of
them on a daily basis), like scanner/printer, Master MIDI keyboard, MIDI controller, joystick, driving wheel,
gamepad, digital joysticks adapter, several memory sticks and external enclosures for 2.5" and 3.5" Hard-Disks, laptop cooling fan, and not forgetting mouse dongle and retrolighted keyboard, etc.
I suspected 13 USB ports might cause trouble in terms of alim so I bought an external power supply for it (5V,
2A) instead of relying on its 2 USB plugs.
It went ok for a while (say, a couple weeks), then trouble finally came a few days ago: I only had 2 USB slots
working, out of the 13 of the hub (one was an external enclosure with 2,5" HD labeled under the drive letter J: by Windows, the other was another external enclosure with a 3,5" HD of 3 TB capacity, labelled O:\AudioContent" under Windows), when suddenly, the external 3,5" HD got disconnected under Vista for no apparent reason (no USB cable was even slightly moved, and no special operation on my part). I should add that I was only browsing the 3 TB hard drive when the disconnection happened. I was not doing any writing action (copying/moving/renaming files or whatever else). Of course, Windows on the other hand seems always eager to write to sensible sections, making a hot or unexpected unpluging always very perilous.

And sure enough, when I tried to connect the drive back (having removed the big 13 slots USB hub of course!), the drive was corrupt: it goes for about one minute with the external enclosure's LED blinking before the drive is finally detected under Windows as "O:\ Unknown Filesystem", followed by the classic message asking to format the drive in order to use it.

My first reaction was to try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to check what was still foundable on the drive: much (if not all...?) of its folders arborescence and many files (can't say whether they were ALL foundable, since the deepscan would have gone for more than 24hours to check it all).


2- The details:
- Computer: an old Compaq/HP Presario C750 laptop (2GB RAM) under Vista Home Premium Edition.
The Internal HD of the laptop is partitioned in 3 (partitions C:\, D:\ and E:\ are all the same internal drive of
the computer)
- Faulty HD: a Western Digital (WD30EZRX, cf. screenshot), 3,5" format, 3 TB capacity (actually made of 2 disks inside: one of 2199 GB, the 2nd of 801 GB -- only the first one of 2199 GB was ever used, formatted as NTFS GPT partition, and written to. The 2nd smaller one was left to be formatted for later once the 2st would have been filled up). This HD was connected via an external (openable) SATA USB enclosure, and labelled as "O:\AudioContent" (Now "O:\ Unknown Filesystem"). This drive should be in perfect shape still (Hard Disk Sentinel still reports it as 100% healthy & performance), it was bought about 8 months ago and was ONLY used as storage (ie. plugged, copied to, unplugged), hence very short total powered on and working time.
- In the Disk Manager: Filesystem appears as RAW (please check the attached screenshot -- sorry, it's in french because french Windows version here). Faulty drive is Disque 2 (O:\) _AND_ Disque 3 (Unallocated).
- In TestDisk: (please check the corresponding screenshots -- very last screenshot is when choosing Drive O: instead of disk /dev/sdc)


That's about it I guess (hopefully I didn't overdo it with all the screenshots!). I'm waiting for your advice and skillful help (as eagerly as you can imagine -- for about 2 TB of collected data over the last 5 years are stored on that drive!) as to what are the best steps to take now.

(NB: Please note that I'd be able to image my drive in the state it is now (with DD under Linux) so as to revert back to it (in case things go wrong with further steps taken), if you deem it useful... ?)


Now standing by for further intructions... (^_-)
-- Angar




Attached Thumbnails
3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-wd30ezrx.jpg   3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-windowsdiskmanagement.jpg   3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-testdisk_1.jpg   3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-testdisk_2.jpg   3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-testdisk_3.jpg  

3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-testdisk_4.jpg   3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-testdisk_5.jpg  
Attached Images
3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-testdisk_-disko-.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Sep 2015   #2
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

OK, So the current position is that the 3TB HDD is put inside a third party enclosure and plugged into the Vista PC.

Now do not do anything with TestDisk until further instructions. Just close it.

Download install and run Minitool Partition Wizard Free Edition. Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free Post a screenshot of how your 3TB external drive looks in it. Your time is 20:15 now. My time 23:45 and hence retiring for the day. I shall see the screenshot after another 10hrs and we may continue thereafter.

Also tell me whether you have at anytime before put this 3TB drive in this particular enclosure and were able to see all the data inside. This question is important. Some of the older enclosures may not be able to deal with >2TB drives. Provide the manufacturer/model No of the enclosure. (Just for info see speedlever's post here. We were struggling. He bought a new enclosure and put it in and it resolved the problem. Solved Win 8.1 x64 and raw file system on external USB drive - Page 3 . Please do not do anything with TestDisk after reading that thread. Each case can be different. We have to dig out and find.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2015   #3
Angar

Vista Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
OK, So the current position is that the 3TB HDD is put inside a third party enclosure and plugged into the Vista PC.
Precisely.

Quote:
Now do not do anything with TestDisk until further instructions. Just close it.
(Wouldn't have dared to go any further with it before getting some expert "green light" to do so anyway...)

Quote:
Download install and run Minitool Partition Wizard Free Edition. Post a screenshot of how your 3TB external drive looks in it.
I attached the resulting capture (which makes total sense to me BTW, as it totally matches what I know of the drive, in particular the 1444 GB used / 603 GB free out of 2047 GB for "Disk 2", as I remember quite well noticing there was still 613 GB free on the drive short moments before it got disconnected and failed).

Quote:
Also tell me whether you have at anytime before put this 3TB drive in this particular enclosure and were able to see all the data inside. This question is important. Some of the older enclosures may not be able to deal with >2TB drives. Provide the manufacturer/model No of the enclosure.
The external enclosure is from Advance. I can't tell what model n unfortunately, since its metal case and packaging would be somewhat hard to put my hand on right now (I commonly remove the casing of all external enclosures to make it quicker to swap drives with it and help with the cooling). I can only say that it is indeed quite old: I bought it several years ago, something like around 2007 would be my best guess.
That being said, I can also confirm that the current unknown filesystem issue definitely occured because of the unexpected disconnection (most likely due to that low quality 13 USB ports hub!): I have been accessing most of my storage HDs (including that 3 TB one and another Western Digital of 4 TB) using that very enclosure for years now, without ever having a problem until now -- in fact, the 3 TB drive we're dealing with was even formatted and filled with data via that same enclosure.

Quote:
Please do not do anything with TestDisk after reading that thread. Each case can be different. We have to dig out and find.)
I appreciate how delicate such matters are, believe me. And I certainly fully appreciate how thorough and serious your approach is (and once more: THANK YOU for that! ). I'm in no hurry and ok to do whatever tests you may deem necessary, if it means increasing the chances for recovery.

-- Angar


Attached Thumbnails
3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-partitionwizard.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Sep 2015   #4
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

As you have rightly seen all your data is there. So you need not worry on that count.

Where exactly are you situated now?

Where exactly is your own PC and when will you have access to it?

In your current location, do you have another larger than 2TB external drive?

Now right click on the O: drive in Partition Wizard and explore. Do you see all your files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2015   #5
Angar

Vista Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Where exactly are you situated now?
You mean geographically? I'm at my parents in NorthWest France.
My own PC is in Paris, and I'm gonna have access to it this sunday when I go back.

Quote:
In your current location, do you have another larger than 2TB external drive?
Yes, I also have the 4 TB I mentioned before here with me right now.

Quote:
Now right click on the O: drive in Partition Wizard and explore. Do you see all your files?
Hard to tell for 100% sure as ten thousands of files (mostly RAR archives) are stored in there, but as far as I can tell, yes they're all there!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2015   #6
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Is that 4TB drive a branded external drive or again a bare drive that you shove in into an external casing? To do a partition copy with Partition Wizard you need an empty external drive apart from your faulty external drive.

If you do not have an empty external drive then we shall do a test recovery using TestDisk. You need another external drive to be plugged in with adequate space - in your case 1.5GB data? - if you want to copy all the files. Or we will try to copy only a few files into available space. You can do a full recovery later when you have all ready if the test recovery is successful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #7
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hello Angar!

I'm sorry for the issue with the 3TB drive! :/

I would listen to Jumanji, he has quite some experience with MiniTool Partition. Do as he details, coping the partition with your data from the 3TB.

After this is done, and you have your partition copy made, I would suggest you taking the 3TB WD Green drive and plugging it internally. Was there any specific reason you chose to connect it externally? Using the third party enclosure on a USB hub with so many ports, with at least another device connected, and performing reading processes on that problematic drive could have caused it to become RAW somehow. Nevertheless, I would try and connect it internally and even on another system, as common troubleshooting steps, to see if may be the drive wouldn't show up as it is supposed to.

After all this is done and tried, post back with the results!


CK_WD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #8
Angar

Vista Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Is that 4TB drive a branded external drive or again a bare drive that you shove in into an external casing?
It's another bare Western Digital drive (about the same exact model as the 3 TB, "WD Green" and all, but 4 TB).
I did quit buying complete branded enclosure+disk drives a long while ago (sth like 6-7 years ago), especially since most of them are purposely made unopenable, and I got tired pretty quick having to crack them open everytime any problem occured -- also, buying bare internal HD and using them in my already purchased enclosures is way cheaper!. Nowadays I always do this.


Quote:
To do a partition copy with Partition Wizard you need an empty external drive apart from your faulty external drive.
Well, guess what: the 4 TB is brand new (purchased it less a couple of weeks ago) and still empty! So that's perfect! May I ask you to provide the best/safest way to do it using Partition Wizard? (I mean I can find my way around most software fine enough usually, but I would take even the slightest chance here, as you can guess! Not when I have more pro people ready to monitor my actions, hehe).

Quote:
If you do not have an empty external drive then we shall do a test recovery using TestDisk. You need another external drive to be plugged in with adequate space - in your case 1.5GB data? - if you want to copy all the files. Or we will try to copy only a few files into available space. You can do a full recovery later when you have all ready if the test recovery is successful.
Not sure about that last part. Do you mean to say that the partition copy using Partition Wizard is the better alternative? I can do it. So I assume that will make the test recovery (copying all or part of the fles) using TestDisk redundant, exact? (Or is it like the logical next step to jump to anyway even after the partition copy was performed?)
Remains the full recovery process which we can move on to once the partition copy was successful, still right? I hope I don't misinterpret anything here!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #9
Angar

Vista Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CKWD View Post
I'm sorry for the issue with the 3TB drive! :/
Thank you CKWD, I appreciate the concern believe me!

Quote:
After this is done, and you have your partition copy made, I would suggest you taking the 3TB WD Green drive and plugging it internally. Was there any specific reason you chose to connect it externally?
I can't plug it internally, as it's a 3.5" drive and all I have is a laptop these days (I'm pretty sure I'll go again for a desktop for my next PC purchase though!).
Apart from that, the reason I chose to plug it via external enclosure is simple: I have a total of 8 HDs like this one (most are 2 TB, plus this one 3 TB and a 4 TB), which would make it uneasy to plug them ALL internally anyway, right? Hehehe...
Also, all these are used as _storage_ devices only, the idea being to have them connected and working as little time as I can to ensure them as long a lifespan as possible (and hoping for a brighter future when a clever company would finally deliver the very first _long-lasting_ lifespan media to simple customers! )

Quote:
Using the third party enclosure on a USB hub with so many ports, with at least another device connected, and performing reading processes on that problematic drive could have caused it to become RAW somehow.
I hear you. Except the drive was never faulty in any way, until that sudden disconnection (which happened once before BTW, because of that hub -- at the time I didn't recognize it as a nasty side effect of the hub though -- fortunately not causing any damage that previous time). I'm still convinced the origin of it was that disconnection, let alone how weird it was: Windows didn't acknowledge it instantly, instead reporting some error about a missing path or whatever when I tried to access a folder, THEN only popping up the message that the drive was "successfully removed" (but not by me anyway!!).

Quote:
Nevertheless, I would try and connect it internally and even on another system, as common troubleshooting steps, to see if may be the drive wouldn't show up as it is supposed to.
I already did plug it on another laptop (still externally then) under Windows XP, which reported the same issue. I can still try it under an old Ubuntu distri if you believe that is useful?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #10
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

The second one - that is performing a Test Recovery with TestDisk - is an alternative to Partition copy using Partition Wizard in case in your present location you don't have the necessary external drive of required capacity to do the partition copy.

There has always been problems using third party enclosures/docks especially the old ones which can't deal with more than 2TB drives.

So right now you have another third party enclosure in which you can put the 4TB drive and use it as a destination drive to copy the partition on your 3TB external drive.

In this case we can try Copy Partition using Partition Wizard. We are only trying to copy the partition from your source 3TB drive onto the destination 4TB drive. Your source data will still be there even if we are not able to copy the source to destination successfully because of the limitations if the intervening enclosure interface of your 4TB external. The ideal data recovery situation will be to internally connect both the 3TB bare drive and 4TB bare drive doing away with the unpredictable enclosure interface.

Nevertheless, we are not going to lose any data in trying. ( I have just completed an experimental partition copy of a 40GB partition from a 300GB Maxtor external to a 750GB Seagate external. No problems here . Both are <2TB MBR initialised drives.)

3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection-17-09-2015-14-52-43.jpg

But before we start in your case, I would like to see your 4TB bare drive put inside the external enclosure you will be using, in Partition Wizard. So put it inside the enclosure and post a PW screenshot. I am assuming that you have no data whatsoever on your 4 TB drive.

Now and then I will go missing. That is inevitable. We shall go slow. There is absolutely no need to hurry up things.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 TB Hard-Drive: Filesystem Unknown (RAW) after bad disconnection




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