External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW Topic is solved

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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AndyII
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Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 06:15

External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#1 Post by AndyII » 15 Apr 2012, 06:30

I've been searching the forum and cannot find anything that seems to match the problem I'm having. I don't have a log file yet because the analysis is still running. It took 2 hours to finish 1%, so I should have a log file in just under 9 days. That's why I'm writing now. If this seems familiar, I'd like to skip the analysis and get right to the fix.

My External 200GB Hard Drive lost all its files but kept all the folders in the root directory. The folders all appear to be empty except to two files in the root directory of the drive. This is on a Windows Vista machine.

SYMPTOMS from Windows perspective:
Windows Explorer sees all folders in root directory but they are empty except two folders which have 1 folder in each of them that are also empty.
I can enter all folders mentioned above.
Disk Properties shows 101GB used and 84.8GB available.
Disk Properties shows File System: NTFS
Disk Management shows File System as NTFS, Healthy, and Active Primary

SYMPTOMS from Command Line perspective:
Can go to H: Drive
Directory listing from the root directory shows all the folders that Windows found.
Dir /x shows the long names and the short names
Cannot Change Directory to any folders that are listed. “The system cannot find the file specified.”

ATTEMPTS and RESULTS:
sfc /scannow completed and found no errors.
chkdsk will not run on a disk in RAW format. This is what told me it was in RAW format. Nothing else did.
TestDisk 6.13 on initial analysis gets Partition: Read Error
Deeper Scan shows read errors (where X = digits that keep changing):
Drive H: - 200 GB / 186 GiB – CHS xxxxxxxxx 1 1
Analyse cylinder XXXXXXX/XXXXXXXXX: 00%
Read error at XXXXXXX/X/X (lba=XXXXXXX)
Stopped Deeper Scan because it didn’t appear to be doing anything. When I realized what the numbers meant, I realized I hadn't made it to 1% yet. That's when restarted it. Two hours later I hit 1%.

If this drive is toasted, I have no reason to wait 9 days. It might be quicker if I can copy the data to another drive and reformat this one. If I can repair the drive without the analysis, that would be fine too.

I've searched the forum, but can't find a situation where some information is there and most is missing. For everyone else, the errors are pretty straight forward. Either they are prompted to reformat or everything is just gone. My drive seems a little half and half.

Has anyone seen this before?

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remy
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Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#2 Post by remy » 15 Apr 2012, 09:34

You can stop you testdisk search : you have a hardware failure and you have to make a copy (or contact a professionnal datarecovery service) to work on a safe media.

Scanning this disk will probably kill him, if it's not too late. 200GB scan should be made in 2/3 hours in good conditions.

EDIT : precision about "half/half". The beggining of your disk is probably good enough to read the MBR and partition table, so you have acccess to your partition, but you have bad sectors inside the MFT (file allocation table) and that's why you don't have access to your files and you have many "read errors" in the scan.
J'ai pour habitude d'aller au bout de l'aide que j'apporte. Si vous pensez que je vous ai abandonné, et que je ne l'ai pas fait explicitement, c'est que votre message est enfoui avec d'autres. Relancez-moi (modérément) par mail.

AndyII
Posts: 54
Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 06:15

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#3 Post by AndyII » 15 Apr 2012, 13:45

Okay, I stopped it. Now it says

Keys A: add partition, L: load backup, Enter: to continue
>{Quit}

Would loading the backup help?

How can I recover the data?

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Fiona
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Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#4 Post by Fiona » 15 Apr 2012, 15:50

Would it be possible to upload a screen from Analyse (your current partiton structur).
It's intended to see, how your partition in your partition table is listed.
Then it might be possible to have a boot sector diagnose.
Would it be possible to upload your testdisk.log?
You must either zip or rename it to testdisk.txt, to upload it here.

Fiona

AndyII
Posts: 54
Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 06:15

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#5 Post by AndyII » 15 Apr 2012, 16:30

Fiona wrote:Would it be possible to upload a screen from Analyse (your current partiton structur).
It's intended to see, how your partition in your partition table is listed.
Then it might be possible to have a boot sector diagnose.
Would it be possible to upload your testdisk.log?
You must either zip or rename it to testdisk.txt, to upload it here.

Fiona
I've attached a snapshot of the window I see after I stopped the analyze process. I stopped the process after 7.5 hours and only reaching 6%. I'm still waiting to hear if one of the options should be chosen. I won't have a log file until I quit the program.

I don't know how to put the picture into the post itself.

One thing I forgot to add initially is that this is not a commercial off-the-shelf external drive. It was a drive in a former computer that I reformatted and put into an external case. It's only vented on the sides, so I suspect it may have gotten overheated. It does feel pretty warm.
Attachments
TD Analyze.jpg
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AndyII
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Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 06:15

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#6 Post by AndyII » 15 Apr 2012, 16:43

I just tried GetDataBack and it didn't find any NTFS file systems to get the data.

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Fiona
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Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#7 Post by Fiona » 15 Apr 2012, 17:20

Would it be possible to use TestDisk 6.14.
In case right click it and run it as administrator.
Select your Disk and not drive.
Try to repeat it.
I've no idea about GetDataBack, why it doesn't find any piece of data?

Fiona

AndyII
Posts: 54
Joined: 15 Apr 2012, 06:15

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#8 Post by AndyII » 15 Apr 2012, 17:57

OMG!!!!! TestDisk 6.14 did it in less than 2 minutes!

FYI, PhotoRec didn't find any files at all before I had tried TD6.14. I was getting real nervous.

Thank you so very much.

Now what should I do? I've started copying all file to my main hard drive since that's the only place I have room for them. Should I reformat the drive and copy everything back or do you think the drive is still reliable? I know at the very least I should run a chkdsk on it.

With all the read errors I was encountering, do you think they were hardware related? What can I run to check the disk itself?

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remy
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Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#9 Post by remy » 15 Apr 2012, 19:26

AndyII wrote:
With all the read errors I was encountering, do you think they were hardware related? What can I run to check the disk itself?

Oo Yes, please Fioona, would you have another explanation ? Is it because it wasn't mad as administrator under W7 ?

Each time I have read error with linux, as far as testdisk is always launch as adminitrator, it's because physical read error : else it's encrypted (WD and so on) or it's a media failure.

Sorry AndyII for bad info, i'm too much involved in data recovery under linux :mrgreen:
J'ai pour habitude d'aller au bout de l'aide que j'apporte. Si vous pensez que je vous ai abandonné, et que je ne l'ai pas fait explicitement, c'est que votre message est enfoui avec d'autres. Relancez-moi (modérément) par mail.

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Fiona
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Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: External HDD switched from NTFS to RAW

#10 Post by Fiona » 15 Apr 2012, 20:23

Might be important to get a screen from your disk selection.
You should run TestDisk as administrator.
Please let me know your OS?
Your disk should be also listed in your disk selection as Disk.
Your screen it's a drive.
A disk is mor precise that a drive.
I would only use your drive in an emergency case, if no disk is available.
The diagnose would be different.

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