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External drive isn't working in Windows 11

Jerry Hansen

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My external hard drive has stopped working. The disc is no longer readable. When I connect the drive to my computer, the system asks me to format it. It’s an HHD drive that was in FAT format, but now appears as RAW in the disc manager. I have important files on the drive. Can anyone help me?

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I connected the drive to other Windows and Linux computers. I even took the disc out of its packaging and connected it directly via the SATA interface, but it didn't help. CHKDSK does not work on a raw disc.

I managed to find a solution on the Internet.

I found this article and followed it step by step.

Data Recovery Software For RAW File System

It cost me $97.95, but that's nothing compared to sending the disc to a specialist. I risked losing my files forever. But I can't afford to pay a lot of money.

Now I'd like to tell you how I proceeded.

First of all, I managed to create a copy of the damaged disc using the "HDD Raw Copy Tool".

I downloaded "Hetman Partition Recovery", the program found my RAW drive and started a full scan. It found most of my files and successfully recovered them. Of course, not all files could be recovered, but I was lucky: it managed to recover the most important ones.

And yes, make copies of important files (discs) for the future. Thanks to all the people who tried to help)

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