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External hard drive now appears unformatted

By offbyone
Feb 4, 2009
  1. I have a western digital external hard drive i use for a back up. I have a lot of data on it. Suddenly it is not accessible anymore. I see the drive in my computer but when I click on the drive it says "The drive E is not formatted. Format now?

    However if I run the western digital scan utility it passes all tests.

    When i run chkdsk e: it says:
    "The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives."

    This drive was formatted as an ntfs file system. It seems to me like it forgot what filesystem it is. Is there a way to reset that without formatting or any other suggestions?

    thanks
     
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    It sounds like the partition table for the drive is messed up, ive seen this before on external drives and can happen if you dont use the safe removal icon for USB devices.

    You could try using a program such as PTEDIT to rewrite the partition table and see if that fixes it, from what i can google most replies are to format the drive, lose the data and then use a file recovery tool to get back the data, its a time consuming process however.

    regards
     
  3. offbyone

    offbyone TS Rookie Topic Starter

    unfortunately ptedit won't run when i execute i get this:
    DOS/4GW Professional error (2001): exception 0Dh (general protection fault) at
    47:0000CADC
     
  4. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    Hi

    your trying to run PTEDIT in a dos box by thhe sound of it, you need to run it from a bootable floppy or CD
     
  5. CatBlue

    CatBlue TS Rookie

    Hello, I am having a similar problem with my Western Digital external hard drive. It is a 500 GB drive which I used as my backup so it has all my iTunes Library and photos on it. It was NTFS formatted, but now it just comes up as RAW with 0 bytes. You can imagine my dismay.

    I heard about PTEDIT as well (from another forum). I downloaded it, copied it to an MS DOS boot floppy and restarted my computer. It started up in DOS and at the a:\ prompt I typed PTEDIT and was brought to the Power Quest Partition Table Editor screen. So far so good! Unfortunately, the only drive that shows up is my internal drive c:\, not the external drive e:\. Is there a way to get PTEDIT to read the external drive?
     
  6. mehradjj

    mehradjj TS Rookie

    hi
    i have same problem with my WD.could solved Yours?
    if yes plz help me with that for god sake ! i need It very much
     
  7. mehradjj

    mehradjj TS Rookie

    hi
    i have same problem with my WD.could solved Yours?
    if yes plz help me with that for god sake ! i need It very much ~!!!!!!!!!!
     
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