External HDD went RAW after fall, need to save. [SOLVED]

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 2
Joined: 09 Oct 2018, 06:43

External HDD went RAW after fall, need to save. [SOLVED]

#1 Post by Orion404 »

Here is my situation. A week ago an external Toshiba 3TB hard drive that fell onto the floor.

The drive hit on the USB cable connector. For a few days it worked fine. Then it started clicking for a few minutes. At the time the drive wasn't being used.
The next day Win10 kept installing/uninstalling the drive.

When I try to access the drive I get this message:
You need to format the disk in drive E: before you can use it.
Do you want to format it?
[Format disk][Cancel]

Win10 is showing the drive as being RAW.

Yesterday I tried accessing the drive using Linux Live DVDs. Ubuntu, Zorin, Mageia all showed the hard drive as:
375 GB Partition 1 / unknown
2.6TB Free Space
Partition Type: HPFS/NTFS (Bootable)
Contents: Unknown

So hopefully my files are still intact. How do I go about getting my hard drive back to NTFS without losing my files?
I've tried reading the tutorial, and looking at other "similar threads". But the steps/solutions go all over the place.
This is the first time, I've been in this situation. I never had a hard drive go RAW on me.
If I can save all the files on this hard drive great. But I want to at least be able to read the files.

What do I need to do, step by step? How do I run TestDisk from Win10?

C: Win10
D: Secondary Drive
E: External RAW Drive <--- Files I want to save
G: External Drive <--- Saved files will go here

Please help me recover these files.
Last edited by Orion404 on 10 Oct 2018, 11:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: External HDD went RAW after fall, need to save.

#2 Post by cgrenier »

You should clone your disk to a new empty disk using ddrescue as described in https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf
Once it's done, remove the original disk and try to repair/access your data from the clone.

Posts: 2
Joined: 09 Oct 2018, 06:43

Re: External HDD went RAW after fall, need to save. [SOLVED]

#3 Post by Orion404 »

While waiting for this post to be approved, I managed to get TestDisk to work. This video helped: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9erx32dUyRE

I got my files copied to another hard drive. :)

Unfortunately the External HDD is toast. It is just causing problems with my computer while it is turned on. Both Win10 and Ubuntu froze while trying to format the drive.
So I'm going to take this as a win, and cut my loss.

Thx, again.