Harddrive RAW

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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Posts: 1
Joined: 06 Sep 2014, 16:12

Harddrive RAW

#1 Post by ShockMD »

Hello All,

I am not anywhere near what most of you would call computer savy, just interested. I used to build my own computers but that is child's play compared to most of you. If you have the time and will to help educate me I would greatly appreciate it. I am trying to repair an external harddrive, I think all my critical files are elsewhere (there are just files I would enjoy to have back) but primarily I would like to learn how to do this as I find it fascinating. Do not worry if I am not worth your time, just an enthusiast hoping someone likes to teach as I do (in other subjects).

I have a WD 3TB ext harddrive, it began having access issues so I ran a CHKDSK on it and indeed it found bad sectors (no noises to suggest a head / disk trauma) and was in the middle of the BITMAP repair when the program was unintentionally interrupted. From then on it was no longer even recognized by my laptop computers USB port.

I then took apart the cover and placed it into a desktop of mine (I believe SATA, the thin wire, not IDE cables). I am now able to see the disk on Disk manager and windows explorer sees it as well but of course cannot access it. Disk manager shows a partition 1.9GB healthy and another ~800 "unallocated". Actvating the harddrive has no effect on accessing it, and CHKDSK reads the harddrive as RAW. I attempted TEST DISC, it does see the harddrive but only sees 764GB (I have been able to determine that to be a common error with large HD but do not know what to do about it). I tried to have testdisk analyse the harddrive (no writing or trying to recover data as it says that would be bad) and the analyse wants to run through 954K cylinders. At the pace I see it proceeding that procedure would take weeks.

My only desktop is a windows XP computer I use as a media center, all my primary work is done on laptops (much more up to date) but unfortunately I can just hook up a harddrive to it like I would a desktop and as said above the USB was not working.

Is there anything any of you can suggest or teach me on this forum? I know I can just take it to Geek squad or something, but I really would like to learn more about this process. I am not to concerned if I make things worse.

Posts: 2
Joined: 16 Nov 2014, 22:22

Re: Harddrive RAW

#2 Post by Benjammer »

Similar problems recently I think CHKDSK ran normally for me but currupted my drive, because the drivers were using recognize the drive in some programs as only 800GB vs 3TB.

Update your drivers (or I think i actually had to roll back to an older driver).
It says in TestDisk, not to restore if the size of disk is not the actual size. Which is the case here. Updating the driver should fix it, although not sure if were able to restore all the info... I haven't been able to yet. PhotoRec program is finding some file fragments.

Oh I actually replaced the bootsector with the backup one via menus in TeskDisk which I believe would have resolved the issue, but CHKDSK forced itself to run again (my mistake was leaving the drive connected in the system after reboot, I should have put it in an external enclosure to work on it via Esata (or firewire or USB3 if you have that) I had to watch as CHKDSK said it was deleting all the 'orphaned' files, because I guess it's too hard to find an orphan a nice home, so microsoft just wants to KILL them all :P

Posts: 2
Joined: 16 Nov 2014, 22:22

Re: Harddrive RAW

#3 Post by Benjammer »

I had similar issues recently, the drive size mismatch is because of a driver. Update (or in my case I had to actually roll back a driver). In Device manager, I believe under IDE ATA / ATAPI controllers, I updated the Standard AHCI Serial ATA controller, maybe the dual channel PCI IDE one, It may be different for you if you don't have AHCI enabled... I'm not sure, but it's one of the drive controller type things in there!

Posts: 7
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 21:36

Re: Harddrive RAW

#4 Post by eclark461 »

The issue that you are having is that windows initialized the disk using MBR or a different file system then what it was.

When you see your data split, that may be the partition also being in a GPT general partition table
you can read about it more here
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library ... 85%29.aspx

When you remove partitons and add them back in then it may try to do an MBR Partition which is bad for disks over 500GB in a general sense.

Also when trying to do 4 or more partitions you cannot use MBR and must use GPT so the knowledge is key for everyone to know.

If you are able to see the partitions in testdisk then why not try to recover the files from the drive and then repartition the drive and try a low level format (turning quickformat off) if it still shows bad sectors then you could experience data loss in the future as well, depending on where the sectors are located.