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Possible Duplicate:
RAW to NTFS (Data already recovered so not important)

My external HDD suddenly changed to RAW format so i can't access it anymore. Is formatting the disk to NTFS and recovering the data with a recovery tool the only way to get my data back?

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marked as duplicate by bwDraco, random May 22 '12 at 3:11

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Don't format your drive (if you want a chance at recovery)! – Oliver Salzburg May 21 '12 at 13:45

Do not Format! This will make recovery significantly more difficult. Take a look at easeus's article on drive recovery.

If software does not work, you may consider professional recovery.

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In far too many cases, simply mounting the drive on a linux system (a live usb or livecd works great here) will probably allow you to grab your files for transfer elsewhere easily - you'll want one with ntfs-3g support, which most common distros have. For some reason, i've been able to read disks that won't mount on a windows system with linux without any issues. After that reformat and move the data back in

If that fails give testdisk a run following their handy step by step guide - it searches drives for data and often can undo a basic format, or other drive issues.

You wouldn't want to format it, and you'd want to consider doing a full backup if you want to run any potentially destrictive recovery methods.

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I had the exact same issue with a Seagate external usb drive a couple years back, I put the enclosure into a large baggie and set it in a cooler then filled the cooler with ice, let the drive cool down, this allowed me to copy my files off of the failing device, then sent it in for a warranty replacement.

If this does not work, remove the hard drive from the enclosure and connect it to your PC using another usb to hard drive converter cable. Sometimes the hard drive is ok, its just a bad enclosure/usb board

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If the data is critical, however, I don't recommend this. It can help you get your files(really does work often) but if chilled improperly(not sealed well causing condensation etc) you could cause more damage to the drive. If you can't replace the files and must have them, send it in to a professional, don't try to do it yourself. – Jeff F. Jul 10 '12 at 19:35

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