Disk unreadable, RAW file system

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Seer, Jul 9, 2012.

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  1. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Hello.

    My dad has a problem with his external HDD. The drive was NTFS formatted and is full of his personal images, but has suddenly become unreadable (don't ask, I didn't). It gets a letter, but diskmgmt says the file system is RAW, so the only option (afaik) is using some type of undelete app.
    Which one do you guys recommend, as in which one is the most reliable in recovering jpgs? Right now I'm scanning it with Recuva (It'll last for 3 hours and may yet prove to be sufficient), but I wouldn't mind some suggestions on paid ones.

    Thanks for your replies.
     
  2. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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  3. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Actually, most of the photos are in RAW format as he uses some hi-end camera which by default churns them out in RAW.
    I'm talking about RAW file system here. After some investigation, a Linux live CD could be the option. I'm still waiting to see what Recuva's got to say.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Seer,

    Good luck. I don't understand the RAW partition situation but I can't recall anyone being able to salvage data from a RAW partition. I hope you can.
     
  5. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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  6. RJK3

    RJK3 Registered Member

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    Try using Testdisk to repair the partition.

    Alternatively Photorec (comes with Testdisk) can be used to recover individual files. Whether or not they'll be useful to you is a different question.
     
  7. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Well...
    my initial intention was to try a freeware first, to see how it fares. And Recuva seems to work fine so far, files are here, all 10000+ of them. However, folder structure is not restored, they're all in one single folder (Recuva renames automatically if names match)
    I'll keep the restored files and try a live CD next (tomorrow though, as it's late here now).

    Yes, I have seen this utility suggested elsewhere, and I intend to try it, but as a last option, as this method could be destructive (or not, I'm not sure, but I won't take risks). If it works though it could be an ideal solution.

    Thanks everyone. I'll keep this updated.
     
  8. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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  9. jonyjoe101

    jonyjoe101 Registered Member

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    raw hard drive means only one thing the drive is corrupted. This occurs if the drive was disconnected while it was reading or writing or improper windows shutdown.
    The easiest fix is to
    1. do a chkdsk x: /r (x = the drive letter of the drive).
    This will fix the problem 90 percent of the time. chkdsk will check the drive and fix the data that is corrupted.
    If chkdsk doesnt work, your next option is to use
    2. testdisk, I use it many times and it has always restore my "raw" drives. Testdisk recovers lost partitions that are damaged or are corrupted. The drive will keep its original structure with the files folders etc in the correct place. Testdisk has recover all my data on large 400gb corrupt drives, it does work.
    3. If you try to recover the pictures with a recovery program, all the picture will have different names etc, that would be my last option.

    As long as your drive is not physically damage you will have a 100 percent chance of recovering all your data. NTFS is a very robust system for dealing with this type of situations.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    jonyjoe101,

    Do you have a reference for this as CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives?

    http://www.z-a-recovery.com/art-raw-filesystem.htm
     
  11. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    Be aware that a corrupted disk which results in a RAW "filesystem" does not imply, magically, that .JPG and .ZIP files, for example, will be converted to RAW, and that you'll need to convert them back. No.

    The files in the RAW "disk" are just as they were before. They are just not accessible due to the corrupt Metafiles. ReclaiMe or GetDataBack could be useful here.

    Just be sure to work with a clone or image of the disk incase of a screw-up.
     
  12. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Luckily, that was not the case here. All files/folders restored with correct names. And yes, Brian is correct, chkdsk didn't want to work on RAW.

    Here's the epilogue -

    Recuva worked flawlessly, including restoring the folder structure. It was "the user" who somehow overlooked the "restore folder structure" checkbox in the "options" :p

    photorec worked basically the same as Recuva, minus the scan time of 3 hours. It immediately started the restore process and restored all files.
    While I was expecting TestDisk to work, sadly it did nothing. Tried it several times, but no.

    I didn't try a live CD in the end. Didn't feel like rebooting (and interrupting the movie I was watching, doh). Oh well. Next time.

    - It all ended with me formatting the disk, copying the photos back on and then defragging/optimizing the HDD. Case closed afaic.

    Many thanks to all who participated.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Seer,

    Thanks for the feedback. I must have faulty memory. I can't recall anyone salvaging data from a RAW partition but I'll bookmark this thread. I've never seen a RAW partition.
     
  14. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Very good point. Two free programs that can easily image and mount the image are OSFclone and OSFmount. OSFclone can create a dd image. OSFmount can mount dd and iso images.

    Here is a youtube of using Recuva with OSFmount.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-pbrChT6lI
     
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