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Windows 7: Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated

04 Sep 2014   #1

Windows 7 - 64 bit
Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated

Hello Guys,

I have a Western Digital Mybook 3 TB, less than 1 year old that I was using to store a large amount of data. The drive didn't fall or anything and seems to be perfectly working, the only "possible" issue was a bad unmount after the drive refused to disconnect (while there was no transfer occuring). Of course I don't have any backup 'cause I was waiting at least a year before buying another one for back up.(I guess making mistakes is definately a good way to learn)

When I tried to access it the day after, the drive was recognized as "Mybook 11772" and as "CD drive F" and a 0Bytes drive through windows.
Hard disk Sentinel (free version) saw that the real capacity was not 0 Bytes but 2700GB (or something close) but was not able to identify the problem, the "Western Digital Data lifeguard" gave me mixed results so that this software cannot be considered as relevant.

In the "disk management", the disk (called: disk n°2) was not really recognized as a mass storage and was not initialized. (off course I'd like to avoid formatting the disk) (the first 3 pictures matches with this part)

So at this point I decided to remove the disk from its enclosure because what really matters to me is the data and not the object itself.

I put it in an Inateck docking station (ref: FD1003).

This time the disk is recognized as a mass storage (see the last 2 pictures) but indicates that it needs a format before using, more importantly : in the disk management the disk apperas to be composed by 3 partitions, 1 RAW, and the other 2 as "unallocated".

at this point the situation seems a little better but I would like to know what to do next, I consider buying 2 others 3 TB drives, one for making "some sort of " copy of this one to work on it and to restore the data on the second drive I could buy... but that's just an idea

any suggestion is welcomed.

Attached Thumbnails
Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-1.png   Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-2.png   Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-3.png   Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-wdd-3tb-2.png   Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-wdd-3tb-3.png  

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2014   #2

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there

These large HDD's should be GPT formatted and then it will work just fine - you can then create partitions etc with Windows.

You don't need UEFI to have GPT HDD's - your restriction is that it can't be the BOOT disk.

To convert -- cmd prompt as admin ==>DISKPART
SELECT DISK nn (where nn is the 3 GB HDD)

Now you can play around with it in Windows using Disk management.

This is a well known problem for HDD's > 2TB. In fact even for a 2TB HDD I'd format or convert to GPT.

MBR formatted HDD's (the old system) starts having problems at these sorts of sizes - GPT is the way to do it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2014   #3

Windows 7 - 64 bit

thanks for your reply Jimbo

As you can see the disk is parted and has 3 partitions (raw and 2 unallocated), I think it is perfecly usable but IF I convert it to GPT I guess all the data will be removed? (I think before this problem the disk had 600 or 400GB free, in case of 400GB could that explain the size of the RAW partition?)

(that why I was suggesting to create an image of this disk to work on, so that nothing would be removed)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Sep 2014   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

1. Yes, you are absolutely right. Do not format your drive now. That will make data retrieval all the more difficult.

2. You have connected it to a dock. As far as I am concerned it is an "unknown interface" that can screw up things or give a distorted picture ( not always but unless I know more about the dock - which I do not want to -, I won't look at your post, read/infer anything out of it or suggest anything.)

3. You will be better off presenting a picture with the regular interface known to everyone - that is directly hooking up your drive as an internal drive on your desktop. Post a full screenshot of the Windows Disk Management only and not your entire Desktop. Follow the guidelines here Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
to hide the console tree and action pane so that no information is truncated or obscured.

How many partitions were there when the drive was working?

Did you format it? If so you must be knowing all details which you may present.

In any case download, install and run 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 post a screenshot of PW screen to see how your drive presents. Again only the PW Window and not the entire desktop.

With both the Windows Disk Management screenshot and PW screenshot as above you can hope to get a better targeted response to your problem from the many experts here. ( me excluded. )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #5

Windows 7 - 64 bit

Thanks for the reply Jumanji,

So I hooked up the drive into the computer, the result is nearly the same. there is still a RAW partition and 2 unallocated partitions.

I don't remember how many partitions were on the drive when I formatted It. I also tried Partition wizard which shows 1 RAW partition and 1 unallocated partition.

Attached Thumbnails
Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-int-drive-5.png   Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-int-drive-4.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, PW screenshot does confirm that you had formatted it as a GPT drive.

Now let us see whether we can recover the partitions.

Run the Partition Recovery Wizard in Partition Wizard selecting the 3 TB drive.

Follow the process as outlined in the topic Recovery with Partition Wizard: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB ( Here it will be your 3TB external drive.) in the thread Recover a flash drive turned RAW – Partition Wizard and TestDisk.

After the Quick Scan, if it could find the partitions, post the screenshot showing the partitions. Select each partition by ticking it, double click on it and check whether it shows your files.

The general process you would follow is to select only those partitions ( shown as existing as well as deleted ) as would make the preview disk map at the bottom full and shows your drive as it existed before. ( This is where you should know how your drive was before. . If not, we may have to do some arithmetic to select only those partitions that would show it full as before. We shall try to cross the river when we come to it.)

Anyway, I would like to follow it up from this stage and so post a screenshot as requested.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #7
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

There are two problems in connecting a "WD Mybook" dive directly to a SATA port.

1. Some models, especially the "Mybook Essentials" known to encrypt data. Accessing partitions and data requires the original USB-SATA bridge.I am not sure whether you model belongs in this category.

2.Usually WD 3TB disks uses 512e sectors but the bridge controller may present the disk as a 4K sector sized disk to the OS. When OS read/write to the disk, the bridge will do the internal 4K to 512e address conversion. If such a disk is connected directly to a SATA port, you will expose it's native 512e sectors and the OS won't recognize the partition table and asks for initialization. Initializing will cause either partial or full destruction of the original partition table.

Corrupted MBR, 1TB myBook Essential - WD Community

I would recommend connecting the disk to the original USB-SATA bridge by WD and attempt partition recovery then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #8

Windows 7 - 64 bit


thanks again for the reply, my only question is: wouldn't that be better to create some sort of disk image (and put it in another 3TB drive) and then to do the procedure you explained? Is there any risk deleting the data by using a recovery tool such as minitool partition wizard?

@Anshad Edavana

1-yeah, apparently it is an issue with mybook essential, the thing is this drive was sold as an "essential" but at the bottom of the enclosure it is written "my book" (I do have another mybook with "my book essential" written in it) So I guess this was not really an essential.

2- I won't initialize the drive because I'd like to avoid removing all the data. The disk didn't fall or anything and spent much of its time on a desk so the only problem is that I may have unmounted it improperly (even if all transfert were finished).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

I am not going to brush aside Anshad Edavana's views.

And in case your WD drive came with Smartware software - not otherwise - the data may be encrypted whether or not you activated and used Smartware.

So as advised by Anshad Edavana you may put back the drive in its original enclosure and start afresh.

Since you have already connected the drive internally, go upto the stage of completing the Quickscan, selecting the partition/s , and examining the files by double clicking on it. If all the files are indeed shown, I think we may go ahead rewriting the partition table, which in any case does not touch any of your data.

However as a matter of abundant caution, taking into account Anshad's views, cancel Partition Wizard after taking the screenshot/examining the files and then put the drive back into its original enclosure.
Start afresh now and post a screenshot of Windows Disk Management and also the screenshot of Partition Wizard with the drive in its original enclosure.

We may also come to know whether there is any difference.

EDIT: As Anshad knows we had some difficulty in cloning/imaging the drives exactly perhaps for the reason of 512e and 4K sectors and sector translation I presume and we shall see what best we can do as we proceed.

If Partition Wizard is unable to see the partitions in the drive with the drive in its original enclosure, I may hand over the platter in toto to Anshad Edavana's expertise and you will be in more capable hands without doubt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2014   #10

Windows 7 - 64 bit

Ok I performed the test with partition wizard, it took a very long time and it seems no partitions are visible but the RAW empty partition and 2 others (their status was "lost/deleted" during the search but turn out to be "overlapped" at the end, anyway those partitions are pretty small.

I will do the test with the drive in its enclosure today.

Attached Images
Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-2bb.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated

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