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Convert hard drive from RAW to NTFS without data loss

My external hard drive became inaccessible, parameter is incorrect. In My Computer, it shows the disk as a "Local Drive" and it cannot be accessed. In Disk Management, it shows the drive is healthy, but has converted to a RAW drive somehow. I tried to change the letter of the drive, but that didn't help. I used a program called TestDisk and it shows that the files are on it and can be copied to my computer. I have researched the subject, but cannot find a solution. Is there a way to make the hard drive become accessible back to the NTFS format and keep the files on it without having to re-format the drive? I don't have the ability to copy the entire contents onto another hard drive, so I am hoping there is a way to fix this without having to completely start from scratch.
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More about convert hard drive raw ntfs data loss
  1. Not that I know of..… I think you are screwed on this..... Sorry. Sound like to me the partition table is gone and as far as I know there is no way to recover from that.
  2. neieus said:
    Not that I know of..… I think you are screwed on this..... Sorry. Sound like to me the partition table is gone and as far as I know there is no way to recover from that.


    That's what I have gathered, but I just wanted to make sure before I pulled the trigger and deleted everything. There are a lot of programs out there that hint at a solution, but I wasn't totally sure. Thanks a lot!
  3. Best answer
    I had this same issue about a month ago on a new HD that was only 2 weeks old. First and only time in many years and about 20 HD's that this has happened on. I am using this HD for "back up" of files that are on other HD's. Hopefully, two hard drives won't fail at the same time...so it is still "effective" as part of my system "but" I have read a comment that the data changinf from ntsf to raw could indicate the drive is failing. I haven't been able to confirm that. the other comment I read too often is that it could be a virus==but all the other HD's are just fine. Lots of FUD on this issue.

    How does a drive revert to RAW data? What causes it when its not a virus...or..what exactly is the "failure" that causes the change? I used a data recovery program that could only find data that had been written to the drive in the first 4-5 days. The data that was written in the most recent 3-4 days was not found. The first data found was totally scrambled and unusable...which should not have happened as all the files were "first writes" and should have all been linear and continguous...but I have no basis to make this assumption.

    Its always something.
  4. Sorry I am also facing same problem . With my TOSHIBA HDD … I think i am screwed on this..... Sorry. Sound like to me the partition table is gone and as far as I know there is no way to recover from that. It says Format HDD and RAW format oh

    but I wanted to make sure before I throw it is there a hint at a solution, other paying some vendors for data recovery? but I wasn't totally sure. Waiting for you reply ,Thanks a lot in advance !
  5. Thank You for this BUT are you saying in essence it is not feasible getting anything on this HDD. it is as good has gone? #sad really sad if that will b case. thank you very much, hoping you reply soon.


    bobbo123 said:
    I had this same issue about a month ago on a new HD that was only 2 weeks old. First and only time in many years and about 20 HD's that this has happened on. I am using this HD for "back up" of files that are on other HD's. Hopefully, two hard drives won't fail at the same time...so it is still "effective" as part of my system "but" I have read a comment that the data changinf from ntsf to raw could indicate the drive is failing. I haven't been able to confirm that. the other comment I read too often is that it could be a virus==but all the other HD's are just fine. Lots of FUD on this issue.

    How does a drive revert to RAW data? What causes it when its not a virus...or..what exactly is the "failure" that causes the change? I used a data recovery program that could only find data that had been written to the drive in the first 4-5 days. The data that was written in the most recent 3-4 days was not found. The first data found was totally scrambled and unusable...which should not have happened as all the files were "first writes" and should have all been linear and continguous...but I have no basis to make this assumption.

    Its always something.
  6. One cause can be impact shock o the drive. Dropping a portable drive can cause this. I have seen this happen on drives that received an impact. For some reason the drive losses the ntfs format and reverts to raw.
    Someone should write a software that fixes this problem and make a ton of money. Many drives with this problem end up going to a data recovery service for big money. I know my business would buy it.
  7. Drives that went bad because of an impact, can be recovered by dissassembling the controller (the outside plate or motherboard) and clean the oxidized contacts between the inside and the outside of the drive.
    Those contact-points are very sharp and around where the contacts touches the platter is oxidized. An impact can move these fine points to an oxidized location (just microns away) and the contact is broken ! Cleaning the contacts on the mobo with a knife or sandpaper, worked 10 out of 15 times with BROKEN-LABELLED drives !
    Cheers.
  8. Louise Porkolt said:
    Drives that went bad because of an impact, can be recovered by dissassembling the controller (the outside plate or motherboard) and clean the oxidized contacts between the inside and the outside of the drive.
    Those contact-points are very sharp and around where the contacts touches the platter is oxidized. An impact can move these fine points to an oxidized location (just microns away) and the contact is broken ! Cleaning the contacts on the mobo with a knife or sandpaper, worked 10 out of 15 times with BROKEN-LABELLED drives !
    Cheers.
  9. Did these drives show as active raw partition? What size drives are you referring too? The ones I encounter show active raw and the data is there. It can be seen with data recovery. After drive is formatted it functions normal, and reads as a active ntfs partition. I will try your method on some dead drives. The majority of the damaged ones I see are also 2.5 in drives in both laptops and external.
  10. "active RAW" ? I guess not,
    I was only referring to drives which had an impact.

    About RAW drives I know that there are other ways like connect it via USB on a Mac or Linux to restore data with some apps (I read that somewhere but I can't find the link anymore).

    Let me know how many drives you revived, I'm curious.
    (just be carefull when cleaning the copper patches, if they are darkened from oxidation clean them gently, don't touch any of the components on the board and certainly don't open the drive, unless you know what you're doing)

    cheers.
  11. I have had that happen on some of my customers systems and If you are out of other options try doing the FIXMBR command. Many times they may have just lost the map as they say and fixing the Master Boot Record has had quite a few successes in my shop (Knock on wood). I usually replace the drive once I have run the FIXMBR and retrieved the files. Hope this helps!
  12. @ktjebkes
    Let us know how many of your old (broken drives) you revived this way ! ;-)

    cheers, Louise.
  13. Louise Porkolt said:
    @ktjebkes
    Let us know how many of your old (broken drives) you revived this way ! ;-)

    cheers, Louise.
  14. Went back in my files and just over the past few years I have successfully done this to 13 drives that WERE NOT mission critical and we knew they either had a backup to rely on should it be a failure or it was our last resort and they did now want to send it out to a level 1 facility. Every customer was told in advance that it may or may not work and what the consequences could be if it was a failure. I do not have unhappy customers and the reason for that is we are always in constant contact with them and know price and possible outcomes. If it's mission critical, we send out to a level 1 facility just simply due to fact the data has that much importance to the customer and the percentage of data recovery is increased. Hope this helps. Now back to work. I have a shop full of systems to get done before the holidays and I do now want to be open so I can spend time with my family. And that has #1 importance and my customers know that also. Just had 3 systems dropped off and the 1st words out of their mouth was "Don't worry, you have until the middle of January. Gotta love those customers. Happy Holidays!!!
  15. Have a nice xmas and year full of solutions !

    Louise.
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