Problem with external drive

So my external hard drive is failing and I'm scrambling to get the data off of it. It's a 1TB WD MyBook formatted NTFS. Some of the stuff is backed up but some of it is not. Yes, I am an idiot. Now that we've gotten that out of the way...

This external drive was attached to a WinXP box and it started having issues actually seeing the drive (using either the command line or explorer). Whenever I clicked on it, XP would give me an error saying it couldn't find the drive. So I hooked it up to my Win7 machine and it could see the drive (explorer only), just not see anything actually on the drive. Trying to see if I could at least fix the drive somewhat, I dropped to the command line and ran

chkdsk /f <drive>

It made it through the entire drive and afterwards, I was able to see a directory/file listing of the entire drive (in both explorer and the command line). Chkdsk did find a lot of problems and given that I was able to see everything, presumably it fixed them. From what I recall, the errors were something about indexes and files being in the wrong place. There were other, different errors but I don't recall them off hand. But there was no indication that anything it ran across was unfixable.

So I started copying (well, moving really) files from the external to another drive I just bought. Several of the directories migrated over fine. However, a great many of the files did not move over because explorer kept giving me an error saying it could not find the file. Hundreds of file. It knew the file name and it knew in what directory the file was located but it couldn't find the actual file. Odd.

So thinking that another round of chkdsk might help out, I dropped to the command line and tried running it again. However, this time it told me that the drive type was RAW (and not NTFS, like it should be) and that it couldn't work on RAW drives. Ok, I guess that explains why it wasn't able to find the actual files. So I'm wondering, am I totally screwed here or is there a way to continue my recovery efforts? Is there a way to get it from RAW to NTFS? Is there a way to get my files off RAW drives?

Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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More about problem external drive
  1. "you have to recover all the data out and then format the partition"

    What would be the best method to recover the data out if explorer is having issues locating the files? Again, I can see the drive, I can see the directory structure and I can see the files within those directories. However, when I go to move those files, explorer gives me an error saying something along the lines of "the file cannot be located"
  2. I'm looking for a solution too. My 2 TB NTFS external WD drive just became RAW.
    It had been WD-aligned for XP alignment using their utility.
    It was a stupid mistake, but easy to make.
    something like...
    K:> xcopy /s/e/h/k/o "test one\" K:
    I mistyped K: for I: and after a long pause it came back apparently wiped.
    File explorer properties shows used space: 0 bytes, free space: 0 bytes and file system: RAW.
    chkdsk shows NTFS and even the correct volume label but didn't fix anything.

    D:\>chkdsk K:/f
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Volume label is 100418-08.

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
    File verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
    Index verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    Usn Journal verification completed.

    1953512444 KB total disk space.
    1327975116 KB in 44575 files.
    15324 KB in 1657 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    251680 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    625270324 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    488378111 total allocation units on disk.
    156317581 allocation units available on disk.

    D:\>dir k:
    Access is denied.

  3. A 2'nd disk went RAW. I think it might have been my old computer and a hardware problem since I was very careful to uninstall before unplugging and the disk was set for fast unplugging too.
    The fix I found was to run freeware from Minitool - Power data recovery. Took about 4 days of solid running but my data got copied to another USB disk. Might go a lot faster for internal drives.
    This company got a donation from me :)
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