Solved Recover NTFS drive from RAW

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PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Apr 29, 2018
North Texas
I have several hard drives I want to reuse and am having issues with recovering them. I will create new threads for each if the problems are different.

I have a 1TB drive that I want to reuse. This is from a Windows machine.
It is mounted externally and Windows Explorer recognizes it with 587GB free of 931GB however when I try to view the data I get a CRC error - J:\ is not accessible Data error (cyclic redundancy check)

I did a "chkdsk /f j:" and was told the file system is RAW

On Disk Management it says the file system is NTFS and the status is Healthy, Active and Primary.

Is there a way to recover data from an NTFS system that thinks it is RAW. Recovering the data is not essential but would be nice to see what is on there. It's labelled as Media and Photos which I should have backed up elsewhere.

I expect I will need specific software for this, so do you have any recommendations.

If not, then I will go for reformatting. Can I reformat while it is in this condition?



Autonomous Admin
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
Try recovering the data using Puppy Linux, you might get lucky but drives converted to RAW normally results in the loss of data.

If your computer has UEFI BIOS you may need to disable secure boot if you use Puppy on a USB device.

***Required Hardware***

CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,

Blank CD,

Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)


1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second

    • Start the computer/press the power button
    • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"

      (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
    • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:

      CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
    • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
    • Press F10 to save and exit
    • Agree with "Y" to continue
    • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

3. Recover Your Data

  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
    • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop.

    • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
    • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
    • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
    • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.

    3b. Transfer Files.
    • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
    • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
    • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
    • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
    • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.

    For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders for XP is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each individual name of each user, for Vista and above C:\Users\$USERNAME\[...]. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

    Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

    YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!

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PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Apr 29, 2018
North Texas
Hi phillpower2,
I actually recovered 5 drives just through removing partitions and reformatting but still have the drive with CRC errors to work on. I had started on it when we had a power outage and haven't got back to it yet. We've been suffering several power outages recently - rolling blackouts cos everyone's cranking up their a/c's due to the heat - so I still have one drive left to do.
thanks for checking up on me though and thanks for your help.


PCHF Administrator
Security Team
PCHF Donator
Malware Teacher
Jul 19, 2016
Sydney, Australia
Will mark this solved and close thread. Should @Lucianp require further help with this in the future please PM a staff member who can open the thread again.
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