Recover 500GB data from external HDD with RAW file system

October 11, 2015 at 16:10:12
Specs: Windows 7
So confused and don't know what to do. Been reading tons of online comments/tutorials and still don't know. I have a 2TB external hard drive that is reading as RAW now (but with healthy partition). Some people say to format (and lose all 500GB of my data) and fingers crossed a data recovery program will recover it all, then some people say not to format. IF I do format, WHICH program is for me (preferably free download) that will be able to recover my 500GB of data? Is there a way to recover the data and write it back onto the same hard drive since I do have plenty of space on it left? Please help!

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October 11, 2015 at 18:36:07
Have you read this one, personally I would not format until I have tried all the ways to before that step.
If you format & lose everything, there are plenty of free recovery programs, as mentioned in this tutorial. Which one is best, varies for each situation.

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October 11, 2015 at 19:03:37
I actually have read this page! Still unsure though, but thanks for your advice.

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October 11, 2015 at 19:43:22
"Still unsure though"
It is not a cut & dried situation.

mennojonker post #60 had success running MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition.
Read all the following posts after his/her's.

MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition
MiniTool® Partition Wizard Bootable Flash Drive
Run MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition from USB Pendrive

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Related Solutions

October 11, 2015 at 19:46:06
Critical item - do NOT write anything to the drive, nor reformat it; otherwise you will seriouly compromise any chance of data recovery.

I have used this utilty with some success:

Most such utils allow a trial/test approach; allows some degree of recovery. Worth trying a few to see which may work best for you?

Run the process with drive externally connected of course (usb).

This another I have trialed with success to:

message edited by trvlr

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October 11, 2015 at 21:15:58
Testdisk and Easeus Partition Recovery are two programs that should repair the partition.

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October 13, 2015 at 12:33:02
I had previously looked up Easeus before, to see how much data it could recover. Can't remember the exact amount now, but I know it was a really small amount. Nowhere near how much data I need recovered. :-/

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October 13, 2015 at 12:44:03
The freebie/trial versions of most of the utils mentioned are just that; to test, try out to see if a given util can do what you want. To recover the whole drive of course means you buy the full version of whichever util...

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October 13, 2015 at 15:57:29

I will state this once more. If your hard drive is damaged you are not going to recover any files from the damaged platters.

You need to determine weather the hard drive is intact or not. You keep going on about recovery. Recovery from what? If the storage space is not there how do you expect to recover from it?

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October 13, 2015 at 16:55:03
1. My hard drive is not damaged. My OS can no longer read the files, which is why it's showing as RAW.
2. Recovery from what..RECOVER my data by using data recovery software IF I do format my disc.
3. I have 2TB of space. Only 500GB at the most, is used.

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October 13, 2015 at 22:27:22
We seem to going round in circles?

In a situation where one is considering how to recover data from "any" hard drive or ssd... one does NOT write anything to the device in question; nor reformat it.

The drive is either connected via usb to working computer, or attached as a slave to one. The recovery software is run on the working computer, and the drive in question accessed etc. from the working computer..

Any recovered data is either stored on the host computer, or on another external hard drive.; and later of course to dvd for "safe(r)" long term storage/safety.

Your choice at this time is surely which utilities to test, and then decide which to buy...?

I would test more than one - and at risk of repetition, even pedantry... - do not write anything to the problem drive, nor reformat it.

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October 14, 2015 at 04:30:07

My apologies. Without looking too carefully I mixed this thread up with another one. That person only had a portion of their hard drive showing.

In your case testdisk can repair the RAW formatting. Testdisk is FREE and has no limitations on how much data can be restored.

It is much better to repair than to recover. The files do not need to be moved to another location.

If the 2TB drive was/is one partition then testdisk is fairly straight forward. You do, however need to read all the tutorials before using.

See the link below.

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October 14, 2015 at 18:29:31
Thank you. This is ever so helpful.

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October 14, 2015 at 18:33:49
Thank you. I don't want to format it, but my computer is prompting me to in order to let it read and recognize data on my hard drive. :-/

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October 14, 2015 at 18:47:46
"but my computer is prompting me to in order to let it read and recognize data on my hard drive. :-/"
Upload a SS ( screenshot or photo ) of that message, to a site of your choosing.
Give us the link please.

message edited by Johnw

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October 15, 2015 at 04:52:42
Just use testdisk. DO NOT format. Testdisk can fix the RAW format.

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