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External HDD Crashing and Stuck In RAW

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  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
  • External Hard Drive
Last response: in Storage
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November 2, 2013 11:37:55 PM

I have an external HDD (2.5", Seagate Momentus 5400.6 500GB) that crashed one day (stopped being recognized by my Win7 PC. I have a few other external hdds and a couple internal hdds that work just fine that are all connected to the same system. The problem I am having is that I can no longer explore the file system on the hdd, Recuva won't let me recover the files, Windows will only recognize the device is connected for about 1-2 minutes before hiding the device entirely from the HDD list in Windows Explorer, every partition manager and recovery software I've run against the drive has either acted like the drive doesn't exists/isn't available for any actions, or labels it as a "bad disk." I realize that the drive is probably failing and will likely be thrown in the trash very soon here, but is there anything that I can do to recover some, if not all of the data from the drive first? I have a lot of family photos and other sentimental/irreplaceable media on the drive.

I should also mention that:
- the file system is only now recognized as RAW, but only after restarting the HDD's power supply a few times and waiting for Windows to recognize it
- I have switched HDD enclosures (SATA) and USB ports multiple times to ensure that neither of those factors are the culprit
- every attempt to (CHKDSK J: /f /r), rebuild the MBR, check the file system of the drive (using third-party software), quick format, and align the partition have not succeeded
- every once in a while I can get the CHKDSK command to recognize the

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

More about : external hdd crashing stuck raw

a b G Storage
November 3, 2013 12:22:50 PM

woodchuck499 said:
I have an external HDD (2.5", Seagate Momentus 5400.6 500GB) that crashed one day (stopped being recognized by my Win7 PC. I have a few other external hdds and a couple internal hdds that work just fine that are all connected to the same system. The problem I am having is that I can no longer explore the file system on the hdd, Recuva won't let me recover the files, Windows will only recognize the device is connected for about 1-2 minutes before hiding the device entirely from the HDD list in Windows Explorer, every partition manager and recovery software I've run against the drive has either acted like the drive doesn't exists/isn't available for any actions, or labels it as a "bad disk." I realize that the drive is probably failing and will likely be thrown in the trash very soon here, but is there anything that I can do to recover some, if not all of the data from the drive first? I have a lot of family photos and other sentimental/irreplaceable media on the drive.

I should also mention that:
- the file system is only now recognized as RAW, but only after restarting the HDD's power supply a few times and waiting for Windows to recognize it
- I have switched HDD enclosures (SATA) and USB ports multiple times to ensure that neither of those factors are the culprit
- every attempt to (CHKDSK J: /f /r), rebuild the MBR, check the file system of the drive (using third-party software), quick format, and align the partition have not succeeded
- every once in a while I can get the CHKDSK command to recognize the

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Sounds like the HDD is in fact on its last leg and the process of attempting to recover the drives may have actually made things worse.
At this point in the game you may need to come to terms with the fact that the data residing on the drive is no longer recoverable however; there are still options.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
November 3, 2013 12:37:20 PM

You can also try this:

Boot into PartedMagic.

Check to see if the bad drive is visible in the File Manager in PartedMagic.

If it is displayed you will then need to mount the drive. If you have a spare drive, then mount that as well so that you can copy the bad drive to the new drive.

You want to click the green MOUNT button next to the partition on the bad drive that has the data that you want.

Click the green MOUNT button next to the drive partitions that you want to copy to. Your internal drive may have more than one partition on it like a factory recovery partition or maybe others so make sure you pick the right one.

Once you have mounted both the bad drive and an alternate drive for backup purposes; you will notice that the File Manager window opened also when you clicked the MOUNT DEVICES button.
The File Manager window should be displaying the contents of the /media folder and your drives will be folders called sda1 and sdb1 and sdd1 (though yours may have different names that you got by looking next to the UNMOUNT button).

Double click the folder for your bad drive and if you see your files and folders exist then simply select what you want to copy to the new drive and right-click and choose COPY. Then navigate to the folder that represents the good drive and right-click and choose PASTE just like if you were in Windows Explorer.
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November 4, 2013 11:50:16 AM

elmo2006 said:
You can also try this:

Boot into PartedMagic.

Check to see if the bad drive is visible in the File Manager in PartedMagic.

If it is displayed you will then need to mount the drive. If you have a spare drive, then mount that as well so that you can copy the bad drive to the new drive.

You want to click the green MOUNT button next to the partition on the bad drive that has the data that you want.

Click the green MOUNT button next to the drive partitions that you want to copy to. Your internal drive may have more than one partition on it like a factory recovery partition or maybe others so make sure you pick the right one.

Once you have mounted both the bad drive and an alternate drive for backup purposes; you will notice that the File Manager window opened also when you clicked the MOUNT DEVICES button.
The File Manager window should be displaying the contents of the /media folder and your drives will be folders called sda1 and sdb1 and sdd1 (though yours may have different names that you got by looking next to the UNMOUNT button).

Double click the folder for your bad drive and if you see your files and folders exist then simply select what you want to copy to the new drive and right-click and choose COPY. Then navigate to the folder that represents the good drive and right-click and choose PASTE just like if you were in Windows Explorer.


Thanks for the suggestion! I was able to boot it to a flash drive version of Parted Magic in the 64-bit version. Just after connecting the HDD to a power supply, it was recognized and I was first able to wipe and rebuild the boot sector/boot image.

Once I had that done (and restarted the computer as instructed to by the testdisk tool), I was able to boot back into Parted Magic (and re-mount the HDD) and under the advanced menu (with it turned on under options) in the testdisk tool, I was able to have it list the file and folders.

From there, I was able to get it to copy the files/folders manually before the HDD dismounted itself (~5 minutes after I initially mounted it).
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a b G Storage
November 4, 2013 3:51:09 PM

woodchuck499 said:
elmo2006 said:
You can also try this:

Boot into PartedMagic.

Check to see if the bad drive is visible in the File Manager in PartedMagic.

If it is displayed you will then need to mount the drive. If you have a spare drive, then mount that as well so that you can copy the bad drive to the new drive.

You want to click the green MOUNT button next to the partition on the bad drive that has the data that you want.

Click the green MOUNT button next to the drive partitions that you want to copy to. Your internal drive may have more than one partition on it like a factory recovery partition or maybe others so make sure you pick the right one.

Once you have mounted both the bad drive and an alternate drive for backup purposes; you will notice that the File Manager window opened also when you clicked the MOUNT DEVICES button.
The File Manager window should be displaying the contents of the /media folder and your drives will be folders called sda1 and sdb1 and sdd1 (though yours may have different names that you got by looking next to the UNMOUNT button).

Double click the folder for your bad drive and if you see your files and folders exist then simply select what you want to copy to the new drive and right-click and choose COPY. Then navigate to the folder that represents the good drive and right-click and choose PASTE just like if you were in Windows Explorer.


Thanks for the suggestion! I was able to boot it to a flash drive version of Parted Magic in the 64-bit version. Just after connecting the HDD to a power supply, it was recognized and I was first able to wipe and rebuild the boot sector/boot image.

Once I had that done (and restarted the computer as instructed to by the testdisk tool), I was able to boot back into Parted Magic (and re-mount the HDD) and under the advanced menu (with it turned on under options) in the testdisk tool, I was able to have it list the file and folders.

From there, I was able to get it to copy the files/folders manually before the HDD dismounted itself (~5 minutes after I initially mounted it).


Congrats for not giving up!
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September 9, 2014 9:52:22 AM

I have a samsung HM500LI and i have a similar problem. I have a raw hard drive. But everytime I use minitools to extract files off the hdd to my laptop the laptop goes into a massive hang or processes so much and my fan spins really crazily. What do I do ?
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