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Data recovery of RAW hard disk. 1.5 TB External drive

By Kelby232 ·

I need some help recovering data from my 1.5 TB Freeagent External Hard drive. It has about 700 GB of music, photos and documents. I believe it is an NTFS file system but started out by showing 0 bytes free of 0. I have tried changing the drive letter and letting windows scan and fix the drive. It is now visible and showing 800 GB free of 1.5 TB. Although when I try to open the drive I get an I/O error.

I have tried using easus data recovery but it is showing that it will take 772 hours to scan. Which is way to long. I do have a linux machine (ubuntu) which I am able to mount the drive on to. However, when I open the window the files are not showing.

The most important thing I want to do is get the files off of the hard drive. I would also like to be able to use the hard drive again but we will see.

Thanks for any help that is given.

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Using the HDD again is the easy bit

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Data recovery of RAW hard ...

Just format it and you're off and going. Also use the Seatools Diagnostic from Seagate to test the drive to make sure that it is working OK and has not been overheated which is a common thing for External Drives.


If you must have the Data Back packup the drive and send to a Data Recovery Specialist as the more that you mess with things now the more expensive and less likely you are to get a full recovery it's going to be with each unsuccessful attempt.

The most likely thing here is that the drive was unplugged without using the Safely Remove Option or it was left plugged into the Computer when it was turned off. Neither of those methods safely parks the Heads and shuts down the drive which eventually results in the Partition Tables becoming corrupt. So if you don't safely remove the drive before unplugging it or turning off the computer you have brought this on yourself and should accept the short comings of the system and pay to recover what you had.

If however it would just be Nice to recover the data and as you have already messed with the drive unsuccessfully as well as having a copy of Easus I would suggest using that and saving any output from it to another HDD. With any form of Data Recovery you Never Ever write to the drive you are scanning you always save whatever it is that???s recovered to another Data Storage Media and honestly 700 odd hours doesn't sound excessive at all.It does take time to fully scan any HDD and the bigger that they are the longer it takes. After all if you where to pay for this it's going to be really expensive and as the Data Recovery Specialises have better Recovery Tools they can do it faster but even still you need to allow several days for them to attempt the recovery.

Also in future you should post questions like this to the Q&A Forums not the discussion forums as those who answer questions do not often look in the discussion Forums. A full description of this is here

Try reposting this in the 'Q&A' forum. The 'Discussion' forum is for matters of general discussion, not specific problems in search of a solution. The 'Water Cooler' is for non-technical discussions. You can submit a question to 'Q&A' here:


There are TR members who specifically seek out problems in need of a solution. Although there is some overlap between the forums, you'll find more of those members in 'Q&A' than in 'Discussions' or 'Water Cooler'.

Be sure to use the voting buttons to provide your feedback. Voting a '+' does not necessarily mean that a given response contained the complete solution to your problem, but that it served to guide you toward it. This is intended to serve as an aid to those who may in the future have a problem similar to yours. If they have a ready source of reference available, perhaps won't need to repeat questions previously asked and answered. If a post did contain the solution to your problem, you can also close the question by marking the helpful post as "The Answer".

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It all depends on what is wrong with the drive

by robo_dev In reply to Data recovery of RAW hard ...

First of all, I would take the drive out of the case and either put it into a different case with a different power supply, or put it into a PC. If all this is just a failing power supply or faulty interface, you're fighting a losing battle.

If the drive is simply corrupted, such that the FAT is hosed, then a tool like Easus should recover the data, though it will take a lot of time.

If the drive is suffering a failure, such that a drive head has crashed or there is platter damage, you might spend a frustrating week or so trying to get a tool like Easus to read it, but realistically you *may* be able to recover only a portion of the data.

Really, your best bet is to shop around for data recovery, for if there is a simple failure like a bad head, a service can do a head swap, hopefully recover a bunch of data, and you're set.

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This has worked for me before...

by WadeyUK In reply to Data recovery of RAW hard ...

Try using Spinrite on the drive before you format it, http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm
It's recovered drives and data for me. I don't work for GRC but regularly listen to Steve Gibson on a security tech podcast which is where I first heard about Spinrite.

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Familiar territory; try ZAR.

by Thmiuatga In reply to Data recovery of RAW hard ...

This is familiar territory for me as I have faced this same situation before with different drives. Try running Zero Assumption Recovery. This is recovery software and I have used it many times. The last time i had this problem with data on a trouble drive, I tried accessing with Ubuntu, Knoppix and then Puppy. Anyway, scan the drive with ZAR and it should bring up your data. I'll assume that you have your data confined to folders and if so, that's great. It will be easier to recover if it's all in folders. The free version of the program will only allow you to recover 4 folders at a time as that is the limitation for that version. The purchased version has no limits on recovered data. As I'm sure you already know, if you've formatted the drive you haven't destroyed any data, only cleared the directory for those files. If you successfully recover your data you may want to Zero your drive and then reformat it before you use it again. Zeroing the drive wipes it completely of ALL data and renders it back to it's pre-data factory state.

Good luck!

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you can try this software

by jamesonick In reply to Familiar territory; try Z ...

Hi Kelby232
You can recover data from your external hard drive by using Remo Recover (Windows) - Pro Edition software. This is one of the good hard drive recovery tool available in market. To recover data it scans entire hard drive within few minutes, so that you can recover all data from hard drive without consuming nore time.
For more details follow below given links.


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