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Seagate 3TB drive now RAW - Need to fix or recover data


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#1 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:07 AM

Hi :)

Firstly, sorry if this isn't the right forum. I hope despite that, someone can help me out. 

 

I have here a Seagate 3TB external USB drive that is now seen as RAW. It has around 2.8 TB of data I'd like to have back. Failing that, I'd love to at least retrieve my photos folder and iTunes library from it (all those years of carefully curated playlists. Why do so few of us take data backup seriously? Never again!)

I was recording a video from OBS to this drive the other day and OBS crashed. Now I don't know anymore the exact reason why I took the power cable out the USB drive - though I did know that some of my USB cables were not in ideal slots so maybe this was part of my reasoning. Anyhow, after days of Google searches I realise I did wrong and should have used the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature. Oh well. 

 

Plugging the disk back in and it listed as unallocated on Disk Management. I downloaded SeaTools and did a short generic scan (Fail) then a long scan (Pass). But somewhere along the line my main Windows 10 computer now cannot see the drive at all. So I tried it on my Windows 7 netbook and it does see the drive. If it's a lucky day, I can even see the folders on the drive when I double click on it. But usually it hangs when I try to do that and never reveals the data.

 

I tried TestDisk and all seemed well - though a predicted 3-4 days to get through the scan. By about 20% it seems multiple errors had made a gigantic log file that clogged up my poor little Windows 7 netbook so I had to end the scan early. 

From some search results, I had this idea that maybe I could use something like MBRWizard to rebuild the MBR but it would not write to a RAW drive. 

Meanwhile now when I plug the drive back into my Win10 machine, it still refuses to see it. So for the moment everything is being done via the Win7 machine, which is very slow and fiddly with its tiny little keyboard!
 

One search result suggested I used diskpart to change the drive letter (currently F:) to another one, which might then enable me to run CHKDSK on it (currently it refuses to - hangs for ages, and I think last time I tried it came back with a message that it can't do CHKDSK on RAW drives). But when I run diskpart it hangs and won't even get to the DISKPART> prompt.  If I unplug the  USB drive, the DISKPART> prompt appears. If I then plug the drive back in and give Windows a chance to notice it, then type "list volume" it hangs again.

Now I am aware I could send this drive to a data recovery service, but: as a stubborn English speaker in France I am a little put off contacting French data recovery companies because I am so embarassed I don't speak the beautiful French language well enough. Also, I did try for a quote on one French site, and it came back suggesting a minimum of 250 euros. Might seem like nothing to some people but I am currently between jobs and wanting to be very frugal with my cash.  Also, a brand new drive costs about the same, but of course I do value the data otherwise I wouldn't be trying all this. I could, possibly, be convinced to try a data recovery company, but I'd like to know if there's other options I could try first.

 

I'm also aware of some thoughts of taking the drive out of the casing - and I have recently rebuild the innards of my computer with a new MB, CPU...etc so I am not completely freaked out by that idea but it does make me a little nervous. Also, I'd need to get some cables to connect it inside my PC? 

I'm pretty tech savvy but this is new ground for me and I'm thus a very willing and able newbie. So sorry for the big dump of information but hopefully you'll appreciate a little advance info so you can get a good picture of what's going on. 

Anyhow, I've a tendency to write a lot, so I will end it here but just to say thanks in advance to anyone who can offer me any help.  :thumbup2:


Edited by hamluis, 07 June 2017 - 08:24 AM.
Moved from External Hardware to Backup/Imaging/Disk Management - Hamluis.


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#2 Moritz30

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:08 AM

I had that problem in the past, too. Boot on Linux and see if it can read the data. If not please reply again.


White Hat, Security Researcher, Modder, CEO at and founder of @DragonTeamMC, @OmniDragonBot and CryptID. Real name is Matthias Merkel.

#3 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:09 AM

I had that problem in the past, too. Boot on Linux and see if it can read the data. If not please reply again.

Thanks a lot for replying so fast! I have seen this suggestion in other search results. I don't have it installed currently on my system but will look into how I can do that and report back.  :)



#4 Moritz30

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:18 AM

 

I had that problem in the past, too. Boot on Linux and see if it can read the data. If not please reply again.

Thanks a lot for replying so fast! I have seen this suggestion in other search results. I don't have it installed currently on my system but will look into how I can do that and report back.  :)

 

You can also use a live CD ;)


White Hat, Security Researcher, Modder, CEO at and founder of @DragonTeamMC, @OmniDragonBot and CryptID. Real name is Matthias Merkel.

#5 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:25 AM

 

 

I had that problem in the past, too. Boot on Linux and see if it can read the data. If not please reply again.

Thanks a lot for replying so fast! I have seen this suggestion in other search results. I don't have it installed currently on my system but will look into how I can do that and report back.  :)

 

You can also use a live CD ;)

 

Interesting idea! Now my issue seems to be my dvd/BR drive isn't connected internally - two of the plugs on the MB were a bit tricky to get to so I did leave some things unplugged and it seems the drive was one of those things.

 

So I will prepare to open up the PC and switch the (SATA?) cords around to get it working. Wondering if there's a USB pen drive style live CD option as an alternative. Will do a search. :)
 



#6 Moritz30

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:28 AM

 

 

 

I had that problem in the past, too. Boot on Linux and see if it can read the data. If not please reply again.

Thanks a lot for replying so fast! I have seen this suggestion in other search results. I don't have it installed currently on my system but will look into how I can do that and report back.  :)

 

You can also use a live CD ;)

 

Interesting idea! Now my issue seems to be my dvd/BR drive isn't connected internally - two of the plugs on the MB were a bit tricky to get to so I did leave some things unplugged and it seems the drive was one of those things.

 

So I will prepare to open up the PC and switch the (SATA?) cords around to get it working. Wondering if there's a USB pen drive style live CD option as an alternative. Will do a search. :)
 

 

There is. Just put the ISO on an USB stick


White Hat, Security Researcher, Modder, CEO at and founder of @DragonTeamMC, @OmniDragonBot and CryptID. Real name is Matthias Merkel.

#7 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:30 AM

There is. Just put the ISO on an USB stick

 

 

 

On it!  :)


Edited by Frimlin, 07 June 2017 - 07:35 AM.


#8 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:38 AM

Okay, the USB is loaded up with Linux. 

Meanwhile as a potentially useful aside, I unplugged the drive on my Win7 machine and DiskPart's list volume returned this result:

Volume 3 - Letter F - Label: Behemoth :) Filesystem: NTFS, Type: Partition, Size 2794 GB, Status: Healthy. Oh how that H word gives me such hope...



#9 Moritz30

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:49 AM

Okay, the USB is loaded up with Linux. 

Meanwhile as a potentially useful aside, I unplugged the drive on my Win7 machine and DiskPart's list volume returned this result:

Volume 3 - Letter F - Label: Behemoth :) Filesystem: NTFS, Type: Partition, Size 2794 GB, Status: Healthy. Oh how that H word gives me such hope...

yeah. That happens with unplugged without properly stopped disks sometimes. They loose the whole or parts of the partition table making them useless to Windows.


White Hat, Security Researcher, Modder, CEO at and founder of @DragonTeamMC, @OmniDragonBot and CryptID. Real name is Matthias Merkel.

#10 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:56 AM

Not having luck getting the USB live Linux working. This is what I end up with: http://imgur.com/CRVeuQJ


Edited by Frimlin, 07 June 2017 - 07:58 AM.


#11 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:04 AM

Seems more luck using the second option - ACP off or some such. In Linux now and about to plug in my faulty USB drive.



#12 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:12 AM

It sees the drive - Behemoth - and when it first popped up I could see my files on there. Now clicking on the disk hangs the computer. What should I try now? :)



#13 Moritz30

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:16 AM

Wait. In case the partition table is corrupted it has to read (almost) the entire disk ;)


White Hat, Security Researcher, Modder, CEO at and founder of @DragonTeamMC, @OmniDragonBot and CryptID. Real name is Matthias Merkel.

#14 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:23 AM

Ooops. OK. Well I restarted the PC - guess I need more patience. But I think we already established that. 

So it's back where it was: the initial window showing Behemoth's contents is up and I can see all the directories. Should I go into one or just leave it for a while like this? Trying to avoid just doing something on my own volition in case it's another case of needing patience. :)

 

[Edit: The little blue light on the drive is on, so it seems to be "doing stuff" even without my prompting. Just so you know.]


Edited by Frimlin, 07 June 2017 - 08:58 AM.


#15 Frimlin

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 10:58 AM

After an hour or so of waiting and doing nothing to it, I couldn't resist trying to enter a directory. Files loaded up, albeit slowly. 

 

So I guess next step is some kind of analysis? Not doing anything further unless instructed, though.  :wink:


Edited by Frimlin, 07 June 2017 - 10:59 AM.





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