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WD My Passport Switched from NTFS to Raw and not-accessible


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#1 skyfx

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:14 AM

Hi all,

 

I have a 1TB Western Digital My Passport USB3.0. It is a USB powered external HDD that came NTFS formatted out-of-the-box.

 

Recently, I noticed that some of the files I had stored on the HDD became inaccessible. They still showed up when browsing the drive, but had a lock icon on them. Looking at the security properties on those files, I noticed that none of the users (Everyone, SYSTEM, and an unresolved SID) had any permissions on them.

 

I ran Windows' check disk utility on the HDD with both check-boxes selected ("Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors"). The utility ran for over a day and still did not finish, so I tried to cancel it (it had gotten to ~95932923 free clusters processed). That must have been a mistake, because thereafter the drive became inaccessible.

 

I booted my machine from the Windows install disc to access the Recovery Options / command prompt. From there, I tried to start chkdsk on the HDD once again, but it stated that chkdsk does not support Raw drives. Googling the topic of NTFS drives that are showing as Raw, there are a lot of articles, incl. a thread on this website (see here). Unfortunately, none of the suggested solutions have helped. Here's what I have tried:

  1. Using Partition Find & Mount from Hinder's Boot CD. This application saw the HDD, but only as an unrecognized device. After one hour of scanning, it had only completed 1% of the scan, so I cancelled it.
  2. Using TestDisk. This application also saw the disk. A quick scan did not find any partitions, so I started a deep scan. It continuously read erroneous values, so after over an hour of scanning, I stopped the scan in search of a better solution.
  3. Using iCare Data Recovery. I ran a scan for ~12 hrs and eventually stopped the scan. It found a couple of pictures, but the free version would not let me recover them.
  4. Using GetDataBack for NTFS. This does not see the device.
  5. Using a Linux Boot CD. I tried Linux Mint and I could see the device, but only as an unrecognized device that could not be accessed.

Unfortunately, after having tried all of the above, the HDD now doesn't even show up in TestDisk or iCare anymore. I still see it in Windows' Device Manager, but not in Windows Explorer. When I plug it into my computer, I can hear the disk starting to spin, then there is a beap, and the process repeats (spin-beap, spin-beap, etc.). After about a minute, the light on the HDD just starts blinking and doesn't stop. The disk still appears to be spinning.

 

Any thoughts on what else I might try would be sincerely appreciated.

 

Thanks!


Edited by skyfx, 25 April 2014 - 06:05 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

Hello, and Welcome

If you cannot hear or feel the drive spinning up, then the only way to recover the data is by using a professional data recovery service with access to a clean room. Very Expensive. Software recovery will not work.

 

Edit: It may be possible to disassemble the drive and put it in another enclosure but I believe WD passports have a proprietary bridge card with possible encryption. The micro USB port is also part of the bridge card. If it is, then you will not be able to use an external enclosure.

 

Edit: It may be that the bridge card is bad but you would have to find an exact replacement. I would contact WD customer support.


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 April 2014 - 12:41 PM.


#3 skyfx

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 05:49 PM

Hello, and Welcome

If you cannot hear or feel the drive spinning up, then the only way to recover the data is by using a professional data recovery service with access to a clean room. Very Expensive. Software recovery will not work.

 

Edit: It may be possible to disassemble the drive and put it in another enclosure but I believe WD passports have a proprietary bridge card with possible encryption. The micro USB port is also part of the bridge card. If it is, then you will not be able to use an external enclosure.

 

Edit: It may be that the bridge card is bad but you would have to find an exact replacement. I would contact WD customer support.

 

John, thanks for your reply! I'll give WD customer support a try, although I do believe the warranty on the HDD has expired.

 

After your reply, I put my ear up to the HDD, and I actually believe it is still spinning, it's just not as audible as when it first spins up.

 

If you have any other thoughts on things I could try, I'm all ears :)



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:38 PM

Cancelling out chkdsk was probably not a good idea. If Icare and Testdisk could not recover the data I don't think a software solution would work. Depending on how important the data is, you could try a professional data recovery service but that can be very expensive.



#5 skyfx

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:02 PM

Cancelling out chkdsk was probably not a good idea. If Icare and Testdisk could not recover the data I don't think a software solution would work. Depending on how important the data is, you could try a professional data recovery service but that can be very expensive.

 

Yea, I wish I had been more patient. Then again, I gave it a full 24+ hrs! Unless you're rendering a Pixar movie, I figure nothing should be taking that long these days. Lesson learned though: always backup your files before trying to fix something.

 

The files I had on the drive were pretty important. I called WD, but after I told them what had happened and what I had already tried to do, they really had no technical help to offer. They apparently work with DriveSavers for professional recovery. Do you have any experience with them, or are there any other companies you could recommend? Also, do you know the rough price (I assume its a fixed price + per GB)?



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:21 PM

I don't have any experience with these data recovery companies but from what I have read, people who have dealed with them say the expense can be close to $1000. Datasavers is supposed to be a good company. You might also want to look at werecoverdata.com which can provide a quote.



#7 smax013

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:38 PM

They apparently work with DriveSavers for professional recovery. Do you have any experience with them, or are there any other companies you could recommend? Also, do you know the rough price (I assume its a fixed price + per GB)?


DriveSavers is a well established and generally highly recommended company for such work.

I believe you can call them to get an estimate for how much it will be.




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