Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBook

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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benchang
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Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 07:34

Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBook

#1 Post by benchang » 01 Jul 2014, 08:21

In a fit of insanity I dismantled my 2TB WD My Book Studio External Hard Drive with Firewire800 and USB 2.0 and attached it to the the SATA cable in my desktop computer. I did this because I wanted to rapidly transfer 1.5TB to another drive for backup - the USB2.0 interface was slow and the Firewire800 unreliable on my PC.

Originally, the 2TB WD was partitioned into 3 disks. On attaching to the the PC, Windows Explorer showed an unformatted disk. Disk Management showed an 1.86TB disk. Foolishly, I tried switching from MBR to GPT disk and even Dynamic Disk - but DID NOT format or partition the disk in WIndows. Unable to see my original partitions, I put the disk back into its original My Book Studio external hard disk enclosure. Whereupon the partitions all went missing when re-attached to the PC as an external drive.

Pardon my ignorance, but after some reading it occurred to me that the MBR was in the WD enclosure all this while, thus when de-casing the drive and attaching to the SATA in the PC, no MBR or partition tables were seen. The correct way to fix the drive is to work with it inside its original enclosure otherwise no MBR or Partition Table will be detected. I did not use the WD Smartware software though I have heard that hardware encryption by the USB interface works all the time in a WD My Book Studio external drive.

At this juncture I came upon your wonderful TestDisk program and followed the detailed instructions and it all seemed to work perfectly. I recovered the original 3 partitions exactly as it was before. But after its success, Windows 7 is still unable to see the 3 partitions or any of its files - even though a repeat scan with TestDisk reports everything is perfectly OK. What am I missing here?

As seen, the Disk 3 1862.98GB drive is online with all 3 Healthy Promary Partitions indicating that everything is fine with the TestDisk procedure. But in Windows Explorer, no disk or partition is seen at all. Where has it all gone?

Has the Partition Tables been written onto the hard drive itself? Or did it go to the WD enclosure interface with its troublesome hardware encryption? Should I try taking the drive out again and attach it to a SATA cable on my PC whereupon the work done by TestDisk may magically show up? Or will I see nothing due to the absence of the drive enclosure hardware?

Basically, does TestDisk work with these kinds of external hard drive where there are doubts as to the location of the Partition Tables and its readability after hardware encryption?

Would appreciate any light on the matter. Only days away from taking a hammer to the WD for all the pain inflicted these past weeks ;-)
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Windows Disk Management view
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Fiona
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Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#2 Post by Fiona » 01 Jul 2014, 14:56

Could you first assign driveletters?
If your partitions appear then as RAW you can diagnose a boot sector.
Info will follow.

Fiona

benchang
Posts: 5
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 07:34

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#3 Post by benchang » 01 Jul 2014, 15:22

Thank you very much for your kind suggestion.

I actually tried that on my own a few hours ago after noticing that the partitions had no drive letters. I assigned the first partition a drive letter. Then Windows offered to format the drive which I declined, obviously. Since it did not seem to help, I removed the assigned drive letter and gave up.

After shutting down and rebooting, amazingly the other 2 partitions now appear and are perfectly readable! Wasted no time at all furiously copying everything to another safe drive. However the first partition remains as a 683.59 GB RAW, Healthy (Active, Primary Partition).

How to make this RAW drive readable like the other two? The partition is only data and need not be bootable. Shall i change this attribute using TestDisk?

You have my eternal gratitude! Suddenly there are rays of sunshine after weeks of doom and gloom. The data is unimaginably priceless being photos and memories from the last 2 decades. Thank you once again!

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Fiona
Posts: 2836
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#4 Post by Fiona » 01 Jul 2014, 16:29

Can you use testdisk and go to Advanced / Boot?
Your first partition should be marked!
Please upload a screen shot.
I'd like to check your boot sector and file system.

Fiona

benchang
Posts: 5
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 07:34

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#5 Post by benchang » 01 Jul 2014, 17:29

I have gone to option Advanced, and there is only this screen;

There are further options for Type or Image Creation or Quit, but no Boot option. Is this the screen you wish to see?
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Advanced option
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benchang
Posts: 5
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 07:34

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#6 Post by benchang » 01 Jul 2014, 18:08

The WD External Drive is behaving erratically. I worry that the enclosure USB interface may be failing. Tried using the Firewire800 port via hybrid cable to my PC's IEEE 1349a port and different things appear under Disk Management.

In any case, I ejected the WD Drive, rebooted and connected the drive again.

This time I was able to reach the Advanced / Boot page;
Advanced pre Boot.JPG
Advanced
Advanced pre Boot.JPG (46.54 KiB) Viewed 1670 times
Thereafter the Boot page;
Advanced Boot.JPG
Boot
Advanced Boot.JPG (46.78 KiB) Viewed 1670 times
The Boot Sector and Backup are identical. Should I Rebuild BS?

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Fiona
Posts: 2836
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 17:19
Location: Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart - Germany

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#7 Post by Fiona » 02 Jul 2014, 05:37

Did you try to list your files?
If it fails, you can try to rebuild your boot sector and have another try to list your files.
Please don't use RepairMFT.
You shouldn't change anything to your file system.

benchang
Posts: 5
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 07:34

Re: Perfect Partition recovery but no files seen on WD MyBoo

#8 Post by benchang » 02 Jul 2014, 07:00

Yes, the files appear in List. However nothing appears in Windows.

Something has gone wrong with the WD Studio. Previously it appears as a drive with just 3 partitions in Windows. Now there is an additional CD Drive called WD Unlocker and a 100MB system reserved, in addition to the original 3 partitions. It appears that Windows is now viewing the WD Studio in a very different way from before.

When running TestDisk, the default detected partition table type is EFI GPT. However, I have created these 3 partitions myself and am certain it is only Intel/PC partitions with NTFS-only tables.

Nonetheless, I am only interested in recovering and copying out all the folders in this partition. At List, I find I can select all and copy all the files to another drive. I am delighted to report that this works beautifully, and I am currently happily copying away all the files from this doomed partition to another safe drive.

If this completes successfully (very likely), my problem is finally solved. Thanks very much for all your help.

Cheers,

Ben Chang
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

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