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Windows 7: 4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW

28 Mar 2015   #1

windows 7
4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW


I have a 4TB seagate drive that turned RAW today Want me to format it...

After a couple hours of reading, i found that i have the same problem as this guy :

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

Jumanji helped him alot and in his post (page 6 of the included link), this note seems to be important but i don't know Bootice at all and it's all gibberish to me. Could someone help me understanding what he meant by this :

As a natural corollary of the above exercise I would suggest the following to the OP.

1. Check the last sectors of your Disk from n to n-32 with Bootice. If you find that the GPT backup exists in those sectors, I would say you have struck gold.

2. Save each sector starting from n to n-32.

3. Restore the nth sector to LBA 1 (sector 1), n-1 to LBA 2 and so on till you complete n-32 to LBA 33.

Effectively you would have restored the GPT, and Windows 7 should be able to see your drive as before.

I would be very grateful if someone could do a step by step to do this with pictures maybe using Bootice.

Thank you in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Welcome to SevenForums.

My first instruction: Don't panic. Your data is still there.

My second instruction: While you can read as much as you can - I see you reading the thread "Lost Partitions' :) - do not do anything on your own in a hurry.

I shall be back after another hour.

( you can go to sleep now and see my post tomorrow morning. That also gives me time to compose my post)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2015   #3

windows 7

Thank you very much Jumanji, glad to see you here

I had time since my first message to try understanding how all these things works so I will go to bed shortly but here are my thoughts before I go just to know if i begin to understand something.

Is it ok to think that the last sectors that i see in Bootice corresponds to a backup to my first sectors ?

In my case, only my sectors 0, 1, 2, n and n-32 have values in the lba0 to 33 and n to n-32 range.

In the message above, when you write :

3. Restore the nth sector to LBA 1 (sector 1), n-1 to LBA 2 and so on till you complete n-32 to LBA 33.

is it possible that it is n-32 to LBA 2 you wanted to write.

Because, in my case, the sector 2 and n-32 are pretty similar with some differences.

So, I will wait your instruction but here is what i think i should do :

restore the sector nlba to lba1 and n-32lba to lba2.

Thank you again. I will read you tomorrow morning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Mar 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

EDIT: This is in response to your post #3 which I saw after I posted what is seen below. In your case sectors 0, 1, 2 , n ( the last sector which is the backup of GPT Header at sector 1 but not an exact replica of it) and n-32 ( which is the backup of partition table at sector 2 and an exact replica of it byte by byte) may be in tact and is not the cause for your drive turning RAW. So we are not going to do anything with bootice for now.

In seventy two hours from now, I will be on the flight to USA and thereafter for the next 10 days on high seas on a cruise to South Caribbean. So perhaps you may have to wait in case other members like Slartybart, Anshad Edavana, Kaktussoft , who are the masters in this art come into and help you.

I shall however start the ball rolling and try as much as I can within the next 72 hours.

1. Post a screenshot of how your external drive appears in Windows Disk Management.( Please plug out any other USB Storage device/s) Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

Just an example. Disk 1 is my two partition external GPT drive that I had turned RAW.

4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-09-41-20.jpg

Let us see how your 4TB drive looks like.

2. Any idea on how many GBs of data is there on that drive? And what file formats in it that you want to recover - if data recovery becomes inevitable?

3. Please download and intall MiniTools Partition Wizard edition 9.0
Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online . Run it and post a screenshot with your 4TB external drive connected.

Just an example: This is how my GPT drive that had turned RAW - rather I made it turn RAW - looks like.

4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-09-53-12.jpg

Now post your screenshot.

( Your screenshots may look different depending upon what made it RAW. Nevertheless it may give a clue as to what happened and research further.)

Now go ahead with Partition Recovery.

Click on Partition Recovery Wizard on the left Pane > Next > Select your external drive > Next > Full Disk > Next > Quick Scan > Next

Even as the Quick Scan is in progress, do a screen capture and post the screenshot.


4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-10-10-49.jpg

Even as the Quick Scan is in progress, post the above three screenshots and wait for further instructions. ( Mostly I will be online at that time)

Since the Quick Scan on a 4TB, may take hours, leave it alone and do your other work peeping in once in a while to check the progress.

When Quick scan completes , post the resulting screen showing the partitions.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2015   #5

windows 7

Hi Jumanji,

Thank you again for your dedicated help and very glad for you that you will enjoy some vacation in the days ahead.

I'm in no hurry to repair the drive and there is no crucial information on this disk. It would only be nice to repair it but i don't think i will waste a lot of time retrieving information if the repair does not work.

A little history :

When i bought the drive, i had a hart time formatting it in my vantec enclosure. It was reporting the drive as only 2tb. I changed the vantec for another one that i had and that did the trick. But i remember doing research on mbr et gpt without comprehending everything and i think i had to make a choice between the two at that time.

I had no problem with the disk for a couple months and i'm pretty sure the problem started when i did over 2TB on the disk. Even if vantec usa told me that my enclosure can manage higher than 4TB disk, i'm not so sure anymore.

Here are the picture i have for now. Don't matter the different letter for the 2 images, i did this in two separate computer (i can't run wdm on one of them)

First image is windows disk management and the drive is F.
Second image is mini tool and the disk is number 2.
Third image is recovery wizard.

Bye :)

Attached Thumbnails
4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-windows-disk-manager.jpg   4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-mini-tool.jpg  
Attached Images
4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-recovery-wizard.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2015   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

EDIT: Since I had already written this post, I am posting it. I shall reply to your recent post#5 soon.

I am now changing track.:)

Once you have posted the three screenshots I asked for you may cancel the Quick Scan and close Partition Wizard. . If necessary we may run it again. ( Reason: It is not going to be simple to recover data from your GPT drive by any free software, though we can try TestDisk/PhotoRec for that. I am going to run Test Disk on my Disk tonight and tomorrow my morning let you know whether it is successful.)

For now, download GetDataback Simple Data Recovery Free download and install it.

Here I am going to recover my faulty GPT Drive Disk 1

4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-20-38-02.jpg

Almost immediately both my RAW partitions are shown in the next screen.

4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-20-46-05.jpg

I click on the first partition and within seconds I see all my files /folders in it. Right click on the folder and I can copy it - provided I pay for the licence USD 79 or so.

4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-20-54-29.jpg

Just try and keep this option open.

Another method I learnt from Kaktussoft:

Use the Copy Partition Wizard in Partition Wizard and copy the RAW parttion to another emty external drive. You have to have another empty 4TB external drive connected. I do not know whether you can use a less than 4TB drive and partition Copy will be successful.

4TB Seagate drive in enclosure suddenly became RAW-29-03-2015-21-04-10.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2015   #7

windows 7


Thank you for information on how to retrieve the information. I will try the first one because i don't have another 4TB to test the second method for now. So, if I understand correctly, it is not possible to repair the drive as it is with all the information intact ?

Also i'd like to comprehend a little more what happened in order to make sure it won't happen again next time I passed the 2tb barrier. Should i just buy 2TB in order to avoid this. I rarely use hard drive in computer. Almost all the time it's within an enclosure. Never had problem before except for this 4TB one.

Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2015   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Surely it is a problem with incompatible enclosure.

Your screenshots on two different computers does not help. Can you not run PW on the same computer on which you did the WDM screenshot?

I have heard this problem with Vantec enclosures. What I have understood is that on reaching 2 TB, it wraps around and starts writing from the beginning.In the process the GPT data as well as the first Volume Boot record at sector 264192 is overwritten and is lost.

Did you format it as a GPT drive on the second enclosure? Is it also a Vantec enclosure?

I would think you should limit yourself to 2TB drives on your Vantec enclosures.

Whether you can restore the GPT data from the backups in this case, I am not sure. If immediately after formatting the drive as GPT you had saved sectors 0, 1 ,2, 264192(VBR) and sectors n and n-32 perhaps you can.

As far as I understand where the volume boot record is lost, the only option is data recovery and then format.

If there is no need for data recovery then use your Seagate 4TB drive as an internal drive and format it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2015   #9

windows 7


Thank you again for all your help, it was really appreciated.

Bye :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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