Recover all files from RAW partition

I have an external drive (unrelated to Chia), and the file system inexplicably changed form NTFS to RAW.

I have most of the files on another drive. But that copy was made a few weeks ago. So I would like to get everything back, with the right partition recovery software.

I have been searching on-line for tools that will recover the data, and those tools mostly focus on picking and choosing specific files or specific file types.

I am seeking a tool that can either revert the RAW partition back to NTFS, or search the RAW partition for all files, and let me copy them to some other drive (hopefully maintaining the file structure).

My top candidates are:
– Wondershare’s “Recoverit”.
– MiniTool Data Recovery
– cleverfiles’ Disk Drill
– EaseUS

EaseUS seems capable. It is also the most expensive.

It seems as though any free versions are crippled, usually in capping the amount that it allows you to recover. So I am okay with buying one of them, to have unlimited recovery volume availability.

I read reviews, and watched youtube videos. No one seems to focus on restoring an entire RAW partition. So I am not certain which is my best option.

If anyone has used any of the above, or has a good recommendation for a different tool, please let me know.

If there is a good free version that will recover an entire RAW partition, that would be great. But I am okay with paying for a commercial version, up to $100, if it addresses my needs.

i personally use R-Studio it doesn’t have a nice interface and is more aimed at people who have knowledge of disks and file systems. but if you do, this is extremely powerful software for recovering data.
it is even possible to recover complete raid 5 & raid 6 (not only files but even the complete raid structure in case of missing disks) there are not to many recovery programs that can do this.
i have used it myself to restore a complete raid 5 after hard disk failure and incorrect removal from the NAS. about 30TB of data took 4-5 days with scan and recovery. but the result was perfect and no data was lost.
u can pause the scan procedure and save it at any time and go on later.
partition recovery is no problem with this software, but i dont know what u mean exactly with “raw” partitions.
it is not easy to see all the possibilities this program offers and some require special knowledge about data and partition structures to use it successfully.
and at the end its not free unless you find “free” downloads.

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When you use Windows Disk Management tool, it shows you all of your disks, and their associated partitions.

The drive that failed used to have one NTFS partition that encompassed the entire drive.
Now that drive shows up as having a “RAW” partition.

I double-checked with MiniTool’s Partition Wizard. It, too, shows my drive as having a “RAW” partition.
So I turned off the drive, and will not attempt to recover anything until I have a tool that can do the job.

Is sounds like R-Studio is more than capable. But it also sounds like there is a learning curve. So I will keep R-Studio in mind, if something more user friendly cannot be found.

if only the partion was erased and no new was copy over it and only the “RAW” partition is left it can easy recovered. but if u already copy over a new partition/ file system the probability is very low to recover the old NTFS partition without data lose, but in the case its possible to recover the old NTFS files without the partition.
the scan will take a lot of time depending of the disk size, but after it the partition recovery will take only some minutes.
i think this “simple” partitions recovery should be possible with most recovery programs. because its a “trivial” problem. hopefull some other know simple programms for this, i only use R-Studio and for this simple task it is a too complicated software if u never use it before in my opinion.

I have high confidence that, with the right recovery software, I will be able to recover everything (or nearly everything).

I turned off the drive as soon as the NTFS partition went on vacation.

Yes, the deep scan is going to take a day or so. It is a 5TB drive, and I am assuming that the recovery software will scan it all, including the free space. And it will also take time to copy TBs of data to a different drive.

I am in no hurry. Having a successful outcome is priority.

If the drive was still under warranty, Seagate would probably do the recovery as part of the drive’s warranty. Alas, the drive is close to 10 years old.

if this data are important for u make a 1:1 copy of the disk! (sector cloning from the disk)
than u can easy try all the possibilitys without making any irreversible fails.


Yep, clone the drive. This is just opinion, not an advice, but I’d boot up the machine with your Linux distro of choice and check the device and filesystem with those utilities. Once you have your cloned drive, there are data recovery shops that have the expensive expensive data recovery tools. Phone them to check their rates vs. what you value the data at. If you pay them enough, they can go bit by bit and even recover from overwrites. Otherwise, they have some quick scan tools that are pretty effective at lower costs.

Thanks. But I would rather recover the data myself.
I do not want to rely on a 3rd party, with shipping, and having my data.

Once I find good software, it is nice to know that I have a great tool to be self-reliant for whenever a recurrence takes place.

Since I powered off the drive, shortly after the partition went to lunch, my files should be intact.
Contiguous? Perhaps not. And I hope that recovery software will be able to connect the fragmented parts.

It’s all usually a precursor to the drive failing anyway.

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My plan is to recover my files, store them elsewhere, overwrite the failed drive, and dump it.

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Let us know what program worked best and its cost. Once I lost data, but ended up replotting whole disk.

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Just did a cursory peek at file recovery software. Prices are pretty good vs. the pro solution. The situation has changed greatly from 15 years ago.

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I just stumbled with this thread on the Chia Forum Summary on my email, I’m suffering the same issue, so I’m also looking for help. Nine USB drives (purchased them new, one and a half year ago), filed with ~150Tb of K32 plots, went from NTFS to RAW. There are other 20+ USB drives on my machine. All are connected with Orico 16port hubs to a windows 10 device.

I’m afraid I need to replot them, is this still recoverable?

yes if only the filesystem (NTFS) was deleted, this is no problem. but if u alrady has try to make an new filesystem (NTFS/EXT4/…) on this disk normaly the old filesystem cant be recovert without data lose, but nevertheless u can recover the files without the filesystem in this case.

I had a disk full of plots do this some time ago, in Windows. Unfortunately I can’t remember what I did, but some how in Windows I recovered it. Being just plots I wasn’t concerned about losing them, I think I may have initialised the drive, but really not sure.

@chapas If the drives in question are under warranty, I would open a ticket to get them replaced.

Even if you manage to recover everything from your drives, as well as getting them back to being fully functional…
…those drives should not be trusted. At least I would not trust them. Other should chime in if they feel I am mistaken.

Once a drive acts up as yours did, the drive is telling you that it is unreliable. The problem will probably happen, again. Possibly, the drives will outright fail, such that you cannot access them.

My drive is years beyond its warranty period. So my only choice is to try and recover the files (all non Chia related), overwrite the drive, and dump the drive. I will not trust it any longer.

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If this is a spinner HDD (not flash/SSD) then it sounds like the drive may have developed bad sectors at the beginning of the disk where primary partition table is stored or partition table was accidentally overwritten. If that’s what happened then this is likely recoverable with set of free open source tools.

What I typically use is which is like a Swiss army knife :slight_smile: You can boot it from RAM on the PC that has the HDD connected, then create an image of bad HDD with “ddrescue” to a backup RAW image file on another HDD (even supports mounting NTFS for write when creating a backup), and has “testdisk” tool which will help you recover lost or corrupt partition table. It also has many other tools that can help you diagnose the drive by performing long SMART test (if USB interface on external disk supports SMART pass-through), it can help you fix the file system of a corrupt partition, help you resize partitions (fyi you can start X11 to get a GUI and use GParted for that), or even securely erase a drive (if you are disposing/recycling it). This boot disk has a SSH server which can be started so that you can connect to this PC remotely and do all of this from another PC (Windows, Mac, or Linux). I may have made this all sound easy but this is not a user friendly GUI that will allow you to restore with a click of a mouse. It does require you to get down and dirty with Linux CLI, but on another hand it is completely free and I restored number of disks using it.

If this recovery can wait a bit and you need some help with the above tools then PM me and we can set some time up over the weekend to take a look at this HDD.


SystemRescue - Download ( This looks good will give it a shot in a day after my rain storm stops here in FL Just download the ISO file and use Rufus to put it on a USB stick…

@dctech According to this video:

…it looks like the system-rescue OS can be run in a virtual machine.

If I run it in VirtualBox, will I be able to clone the data from the RAW partition on the bad drive to a different drive?

SystemRescue is just Linux so it should run in VM although I never tried performing the HDD rescue from within a VM. I would be cautious how you pass the HDD to the VM, make sure the entire disk is passed to VM and there is no write/read caching being done by VM on this disk.

I can see Windows kernel potentially causing issues (ex: hanging) when attempting to read a bad HDD that is passed through to VM running on Windows so honestly if you know that drive has bad sectors or other hardware issues I would not try this approach and boot with SystemRescue USB instead.

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