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Unable to access external hard drive.

Last response: in Storage
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September 21, 2012 11:36:59 PM

Hey everyone. Well my problem is that when I connect my external hard drive, the computer acknowledges that it's connected. But then it asks me to format it and I'm unable to access anything. I don't have a back up of any of the files. (I know, it's stupid of me) :pfff:  . I checked Disk Management and it says that the file system is RAW and that it's a Healthy (Primary Partition). I don't know what to do. :( 
a c 104 G Storage
September 22, 2012 12:15:36 AM

Hi Cesar,

When you see an ext drive that has RAW data, it usually means the File System has become corrupted, for whatever reason. Have you been moving the ext drive between different computers, or disconnecting it without using the "safe removal icon", or using it on a Win-XP computer?

Best thing to do is to go to Disk Management, and upload a screenshot of the Disk Management Dialog box, especially important is the lower graphical area. That will show everyone exactly what is recognized on your system and about the Disk Info and Volume Info.

Dont do anyting to the ext drive, like reformat it or initialize it, or write anything to it.

You will almost certainly need a Data Recovery Program, like the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (free 1st 1GB, then $69 for the commericial version), www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/, or the TenorShare Data recovery program (30 day free trial of the standard version). Google the Tenorshare web site for info about it. The TenorShare program talks about recovering RAW data on their website, which is worth reviewing.
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September 22, 2012 1:48:36 AM

John_VanKirk said:
Hi Cesar,

When you see an ext drive that has RAW data, it usually means the File System has become corrupted, for whatever reason. Have you been moving the ext drive between different computers, or disconnecting it without using the "safe removal icon", or using it on a Win-XP computer?

Best thing to do is to go to Disk Management, and upload a screenshot of the Disk Management Dialog box, especially important is the lower graphical area. That will show everyone exactly what is recognized on your system and about the Disk Info and Volume Info.

Dont do anyting to the ext drive, like reformat it or initialize it, or write anything to it.

You will almost certainly need a Data Recovery Program, like the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (free 1st 1GB, then $69 for the commericial version), www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/, or the TenorShare Data recovery program (30 day free trial of the standard version). Google the Tenorshare web site for info about it. The TenorShare program talks about recovering RAW data on their website, which is worth reviewing.




Hello John. Yeah I think I was disconnecting it without using the safe removal icon. Here's the screenshot, just click on the picture to get a better view.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 22, 2012 2:11:51 AM

Hi Cesar,

You will need a data recovery program because the file system has been corrupted. The partition is fine, it's the file system that's the problems.
The data is there, just not in a file system windows can read.

My choice here would be the Tenorshare Data recovery program. It's free as a trial version.
The URl doesn't parse correctly here, so google it and download it from their website. It may well associate your file names with the files, but may use generic file names instead. If so, then you have to rename the files back to your choice.

The other really good choice is the EaseUS Data recovery program. For the 150GB of data you have, you would need to purchase the commercial $69 program to retrieve your data.
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September 22, 2012 11:44:39 AM

Try chkdsk command.
1.run cmd.exe
2.type chkdsk L: /F
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September 23, 2012 8:52:03 AM

I was in this exact same position a few weeks ago and I would be very wary of trying to repair files, disconnecting the hard drive or taking too long to think about it. My 2TB hard drive eventually became unreadable after about a week but not before I managed to get all my data back.

The best thing to do as John says is to use a data recovery program. The ones I would recommend are either Get Data Back (this is free to scan your system and will show you what files it can save. Then to actually save the files you pay for the software). Another application that's completely free and a lot of people highly recommend is Recuva. I didn't use this but it's made by the same company who make CC Cleaner and I do have a lot of time for that. Check it out on the internet.

150GB is actually not a lot of data so I'd try Recuva. These programs can even recover data after you've written over it or deleted it but obviously I wouldn't add to your problems. Don't reformat the drive, don't wait to long in case the drive becomes unusable and don't stress out your faulty hard drive and I'm sure you'll get the data back.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 23, 2012 5:00:11 PM

Hi Cesar,

There are several great Disk, Partiition, and File manangment programs available, and almost all are free. Each also has Data Recovery Programs but they all charge $29 - $69 for this component (free 1st 1GB, or free trial limited edition) since they know your need your data back!

The problem here is the Partition is OK, but the file system is corrupted. The data is there, just can't be read by Windows.
Recuva will not work since it "recovers" files that have been deleted or partially overwritten.

Try Fzabkar's suggestion using the Ubuntu Live CD, if you have it, to see if it will read the files correctly. Don't have to install anything, it works from the ISO CD.

If not, go to the Tenorshare Data Recovery Wizard, which specifically describes how to recover RAW data.
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!