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500GB external hard converted to RAW due to virus

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  #1  
Old 21-11-2008
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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500GB external hard converted to RAW due to virus

I have a 500GB Western Digital USB Hard drive. It has tons of data stored inside it. I have some music, video and documents. It is the only backup source I am having. I have a system with me that has Windows XP Home & Professional. I was having some virus issue. My antivirus showed up that it is Quarantine. I had given the usb drive to my friend and when he returned it back there are were around 280 virus detected. After scanning, I re-connected the drive and it showed up as RAW partition. It was NTFS, how does it changed to RAW. I cannot see any of my data. Does a virus can modify the file system. How can I restore back or recover the data from it.

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  #2  
Old 21-11-2008
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It does not looks like a virus issue to me. I had not seen a virus which is capable of formatting a ush drive and converting the partition to raw. There might be some other issue. Try to connect the drive in any other computer. See whether it is detected or not. At start I will not recommend you to run any repair utility. Because your data is on risk. If possible try to locate a Linux system. A system that has Linux OS any edition. Hook the drive on it, and you might be able to see the data. Or else there are tools like test disk which verify the drive integrity. To convert the RAW space back to NTFS you have to format the drive and that means deleting all your data.
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  #3  
Old 21-11-2008
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Try the chkdsk program which might help you to locate a error. Connect the drive and launch cmd. In that choose the removable storage and run chkdsk. If you are doubtful about the steps to run the same then you can check the same below. I do not know whether there is a way to restore the old partition this is something new I found. Your system is not able to recognize the volume because of which you can see the raw partition. Ensure that you have right drivers in your system.

How to perform disk error checking in Windows XP
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  #4  
Old 21-11-2008
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You will have to use some third party software to recover the data. They work quiet firmly and offer you better protection in many ways. Through fdisk you can fix the mbr if it is corrupted. Run fdisk /mbr.
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  #5  
Old 21-11-2008
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Try to find a new cable or case for your external drive. It looks to be issue with the connectivity. This is weird that suddenly your system partition is changed and you can't do anything in that. Playing with partition is bit risky which if not controlled properly can cause data loss. I faced this issue in my usb. I was not getting raw partition, but my Windows failed to detect it. I arranged a different usb from my friend and installed a portable edition of Linux in that. After booting from the usb drive, I connected the second one and it was mounted in the desktop. I can open and see my folders. I copied them all in my hard drive and formatted it.
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2009
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re: 500GB external hard converted to RAW due to virus

My internal Seagate hard drive too has the same issue. I lost one of the internal partition. It was just disappeared. The very previous day I had copied some files it. I am trying to recover the space through various tools, but yet not find any possible solution. Data Recovery tools work on limitations and you have to buy them to get full access.
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  #7  
Old 13-01-2009
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There is a tool by Stellarinfo. It allows you to recover data from lost partition. The possibility of getting data from lost partition lies till you had not formatted the drive to low level format. A number of usb drives comes with controller card in them. This card is responsible to detect and allow data transfer. Sometime it stops working and the virus cannot spoil it. It is a clear hardware failure. There is no easy way by which we can replace the same with our own hand, but you can contact WD for the same. They do not guarantee you data recovery.
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2009
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Join Date: May 2009
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SOLVED: Virus? USB 500GB external hard disk is now "raw format"

Hi folks,

I never find anybody posting on these sites after they've solved their problem, so here goes:

I experienced the exact same trouble with my 500GB Western Digital portable hard drive, and I tried the fixes here without any success. Finally, I tried trading the connector cable from my other portable drive into the bad one, and I was able to format the disk.

Unfortunately, this wasn't until after I bought Data Doctor, but with that program I had already saved most of the data on the disk.

So I suggest that anyone with this problem should (1) get a new connector cable and try it out to see if you can read your disk and retrieve the data. If that doesn't work, then (2) get a copy of Data Doctor and save whatever you can from the disk and then (3) connect a new cable and see if that allows you to format the drive for future use.
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