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Hard drive RAW unable to access or recover anything

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May 31, 2010 3:14:16 AM

So I have a 750GB Seagate that went up anytime I try to access it I get an I/O error when hooking it up to another one of my machines, if I try to boot to a CD with the drive in the computer nothing is able to write to it and the data is showing as RAW. I have tried to use multiple data recovery software programs to pull data and PowerDataRecovery does nothing but pull read errors and doesn't find any files....... The drive shows up in Disk management as a 698GB free of 698GB volume and RAW is it possible that the drive is in a state where it just cant read/write the data yet the hard disk controller actually shows me the drive in disk management etc?

I am a little confused at what state this drive is in but I do know the customer said that it made clicking noises the days prior so I am just assuming that the data is still on the drive but the drive cant pull any of it off because the read/write needle or whatever is just not functioning properly? I guess I am mostly confused because I thought when a drive died it doesnt even show up in disk management this would be the first drive I have seen that still shows up but you cant format it or pull any data from it
a b G Storage
May 31, 2010 3:12:26 PM

All sorts of things can happen with a faulty drive, from nothing to smoking.

The clicking noises are a good indication the drive is toast. Most likely the electronics. Sometime the freezer trick will work (place the drive with some paper towel in a ziplock, remove the air and place in a freezer for a few hours, then remove, plug in and see what happens, but be ready to get the important data off it in the rare event that this actually works.)

Outside of that professional data recover is the only suggestion I can make, but that expensive.
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a c 359 G Storage
May 31, 2010 7:10:14 PM

Have you tried searching the web specifically for how to recover data from a RAW format drive? I have read here others have found ways and had success, but not me personally.
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a b G Storage
May 31, 2010 8:03:26 PM

Recovery of data from a RAW partition implies that the partition was either created this way or was somehow corrupted and is now reporting itself incorrectly.

There are some software utilities out there that claim to do this. You could also try a [chkdsk -r ] on the drive. Or use some other partition utilities to attempt to repair the partition table. A bootable CD with utilities on it like BartPE.
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May 31, 2010 8:47:53 PM

canadian69 said:
Recovery of data from a RAW partition implies that the partition was either created this way or was somehow corrupted and is now reporting itself incorrectly.

There are some software utilities out there that claim to do this. You could also try a [chkdsk -r ] on the drive. Or use some other partition utilities to attempt to repair the partition table. A bootable CD with utilities on it like BartPE.


As soon as you even type in the drive letter in a command prompt it doesnt accept it because it cant read/write anything that has to do with the drive but like I said its weird because its actually showing up as a 690GB RAW drive. I have tried booting to multiple PE CD's and Linux CDs and nothing is able to modify or read anything on the drive besides recognizing that its physically there. I have tried a Utility called Power Data Recovery and the I let the scan run for 5 hours and it found 0 files and everything it got was errors reading the drive it wanted to run for approx 400 hours and that wasnt going to happen. So I guess at this point im trying to figure out the exact mechanics on what may have happened? Does it sound normal that a hard drive would show up as a 690GB drive RAW yet it cant read or write any data to the drive? Is this called a Hard Diisk Controllor that is telling the computer that it recognizes the hard drive is there but that doesnt mean the needle inside the drive will actually read or write any data?
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a b G Storage
May 31, 2010 9:33:50 PM

It's hard to estimate all the variables involved with HDD failures, but a physical/mechanical failure with operable/semi-operable electronics could produce this.

My last ditch attemps at reviving drives in situation like this are the freezer, and failing that giving it a good solid whump on its edge against the tech bench. The latter is for drives I have already deemed irreparable.

This sort of leads into "lessons learned" for your clients; in regards to backing up important data, which I hope they have. Otherwise, break out the cheque book. Data recovery is gonna cost big bucks.
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May 31, 2010 9:54:08 PM

canadian69 said:
It's hard to estimate all the variables involved with HDD failures, but a physical/mechanical failure with operable/semi-operable electronics could produce this.

My last ditch attemps at reviving drives in situation like this are the freezer, and failing that giving it a good solid whump on its edge against the tech bench. The latter is for drives I have already deemed irreparable.

This sort of leads into "lessons learned" for your clients; in regards to backing up important data, which I hope they have. Otherwise, break out the cheque book. Data recovery is gonna cost big bucks.


Sounds good thanks for the advice Canadian69 and yeah he is just missing a months worth of Quickbooks data thats all he cared about. I will give the freezer a shot and hope his paritions show up instead of the "RAW" drive saying its 690GB free of 690GB.....
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a b G Storage
May 31, 2010 10:23:24 PM

A suggestion for your client is to maybe subscript to an offsite backup service (one that autamically backs up certain files to a secure remote). These can be expensive if you have lots of data, but in this case it's likely that they can get by on a $5 a month fee if they are only backing up QB data. Or you can try some human engineering, but I find that automated solutions are more reliable when implemented properly.
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June 1, 2010 5:29:48 AM

Raw is typically how disk comes out of the factory - free of partitions and filesystems. Chances are, and it's only my guess, that if the disk is not readable (or foreign) to the OS - such as if the disk was really raw, then windows will display that. Try some hard drive maintenance utilities, they might be able to repair the disk if it's not too far gone. Other than that, you're getting into forensics and will cost you a lot of $.
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