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4TB HGST drive suddenly in RAW format

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  • HGST
  • Storage
  • Format
Last response: in Storage
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March 4, 2014 5:16:57 AM

I have a 4TB HGST drive that had a ton of my backups on it, and suddenly it's in RAW format, not initialized, no data. I initialized it and and gave it a name because otherwise data recovery software couldn't see it, but otherwise haven't written anything onto it. When I run data revocovery software like Recuva, it takes about 25 hours (it's connected via USB 3) and it finds a bunch of files, but I don't recognize any of them. I assume that all the data is on there and that it was just the partition table that was damages, and I would really like to just restore the disk to the way it was with the folder structure intact...

Is that possible? Is there something I'm doing wrong, or not doing? Thanks

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a b G Storage
March 4, 2014 3:09:39 PM

johnnyhaggis said:
I have a 4TB HGST drive that had a ton of my backups on it, and suddenly it's in RAW format, not initialized, no data. I initialized it and and gave it a name because otherwise data recovery software couldn't see it, but otherwise haven't written anything onto it. When I run data revocovery software like Recuva, it takes about 25 hours (it's connected via USB 3) and it finds a bunch of files, but I don't recognize any of them. I assume that all the data is on there and that it was just the partition table that was damages, and I would really like to just restore the disk to the way it was with the folder structure intact...

Is that possible? Is there something I'm doing wrong, or not doing? Thanks


Yes, you pretty much did everything wrong.

First of all, on such a large drive, loss of files system data is as often an early sign of physical instability.
Mounting/reinitializing and formatting the drive will always cause additional file system corruption that Recuva cannot deal with.

You ALWAYS want to make a sector by sector image first.
If you cannot do so, then you need a professional lab.

The good news is that as long as you haven't further overwritten data on the drive, then custom data recovery software running raw recovery/scavenging methods have a good chance of recovering your data.
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March 5, 2014 5:06:47 AM

TyrOd said:
johnnyhaggis said:
I have a 4TB HGST drive that had a ton of my backups on it, and suddenly it's in RAW format, not initialized, no data. I initialized it and and gave it a name because otherwise data recovery software couldn't see it, but otherwise haven't written anything onto it. When I run data revocovery software like Recuva, it takes about 25 hours (it's connected via USB 3) and it finds a bunch of files, but I don't recognize any of them. I assume that all the data is on there and that it was just the partition table that was damages, and I would really like to just restore the disk to the way it was with the folder structure intact...

Is that possible? Is there something I'm doing wrong, or not doing? Thanks


Yes, you pretty much did everything wrong.

First of all, on such a large drive, loss of files system data is as often an early sign of physical instability.
Mounting/reinitializing and formatting the drive will always cause additional file system corruption that Recuva cannot deal with.

You ALWAYS want to make a sector by sector image first.
If you cannot do so, then you need a professional lab.

The good news is that as long as you haven't further overwritten data on the drive, then custom data recovery software running raw recovery/scavenging methods have a good chance of recovering your data.



Thanks for the info - but what is "custom data recovery software"? Do you mean that it's not commercially available? Either way, if that's what I need, how do I get it?
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a c 268 G Storage
March 5, 2014 7:50:26 AM

Here is one solution for RAW file recovery. I don't know how good it is but I have seen it recommended before: http://www.rawfilesystem.com/

Yogi
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a b G Storage
March 5, 2014 9:07:42 AM

johnnyhaggis said:
TyrOd said:
johnnyhaggis said:
I have a 4TB HGST drive that had a ton of my backups on it, and suddenly it's in RAW format, not initialized, no data. I initialized it and and gave it a name because otherwise data recovery software couldn't see it, but otherwise haven't written anything onto it. When I run data revocovery software like Recuva, it takes about 25 hours (it's connected via USB 3) and it finds a bunch of files, but I don't recognize any of them. I assume that all the data is on there and that it was just the partition table that was damages, and I would really like to just restore the disk to the way it was with the folder structure intact...

Is that possible? Is there something I'm doing wrong, or not doing? Thanks


Yes, you pretty much did everything wrong.

First of all, on such a large drive, loss of files system data is as often an early sign of physical instability.
Mounting/reinitializing and formatting the drive will always cause additional file system corruption that Recuva cannot deal with.

You ALWAYS want to make a sector by sector image first.
If you cannot do so, then you need a professional lab.

The good news is that as long as you haven't further overwritten data on the drive, then custom data recovery software running raw recovery/scavenging methods have a good chance of recovering your data.



Thanks for the info - but what is "custom data recovery software"? Do you mean that it's not commercially available? Either way, if that's what I need, how do I get it?


Yes, though really the benefit from the tools data recovery labs design are their flexibility, so instead of running 15 different commercial tools that have different results, they run there own with options to run them like any other software out there and then merge the different sets of data to be more complete than any commercially available tool can do.

So of course you can buy something like a Recuva(beginner) or GetDataBack(advanced) and others out there too.

You can even try some before you buy to see how well it works in your case, but you always want to make an image first, so you don't risk your original copy.

The other risk is that the drive is starting to fail physically, so if you get problems making an image or if it stalls or is very slow, you should probably get a lab to do a free diag.

If they tell you it's not a physical problem, you can decide if you want to pay their costs of try software tools yourself.
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March 11, 2014 7:52:10 AM

Ah, I see thanks
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