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External HD says "disk structure is corrupted and unreadable"

Hello! I have an external hard drive on my Windows 10 desktop that just stopped working. When I click on the icon, it pops up a bubble that says "K:\ is not accessible. Disk structure is corrupted and unreadable." I think it was NTFS. Is there anything I can do? I have a lot of stuff on that drive I really don't want to lose! I already tried the Windows error check tool (it said it couldn't access the drive or something along those lines).

I'd really appreciate any advice. Please let me know if there's any more information that would help solve this issue. Thanks!
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  1. Best answer
    Hey there, skipsandwich.

    Would you please open Disk Management and post a screenshot of what you see there about the drive and its partitions (you can use imgur.com to upload the image)? Here's how to access it: How to access Disk Management in Windows to manage hard drives.
    Other than that, I'd suggest that you try the drive with a different USB cable (preferably shorter than 12") and a different computer, to see if the same thing happens. You can also try accessing it via Ubuntu Live USB/DVD, to see if the drive is properly recognized and if you can get to your files and recover them. You could also try with data recovery software: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-1644496/lost-data-recovery.html, or a data recovery company.

    Hope that helps. Please let me know how everything goes.
    Boogieman_WD
  2. Boogieman_WD said:
    Hey there, skipsandwich.

    Would you please open Disk Management and post a screenshot of what you see there about the drive and its partitions (you can use imgur.com to upload the image)? Here's how to access it: How to access Disk Management in Windows to manage hard drives.
    Other than that, I'd suggest that you try the drive with a different USB cable (preferably shorter than 12") and a different computer, to see if the same thing happens. You can also try accessing it via Ubuntu Live USB/DVD, to see if the drive is properly recognized and if you can get to your files and recover them. You could also try with data recovery software: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-1644496/lost-data-recovery.html, or a data recovery company.

    Hope that helps. Please let me know how everything goes.
    Boogieman_WD


    Thanks for your help! Here's the screenshot I took: http://i.imgur.com/CYrOI9i.png

    I have to get to bed but I'll try the USB cable + different computer suggestion tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
  3. Well, it seems like the hard drive's partition is RAW, which means that something went wrong with its file system. Without a file system, your OS (operating system, which is Windows in your case) can't read any of the data on that drive. That's the reason you can't check it with the Windows tool for errors as well. The reasons for the file system to become RAW could be numerous: which includes a faulty cable, a faulty drive, a corrupted file on the drive, a virus, etc. For now go ahead with the data recovery options and don't run any error checks.

    Please keep me posted on your progress.
  4. Boogieman_WD said:
    Well, it seems like the hard drive's partition is RAW, which means that something went wrong with its file system. Without a file system, your OS (operating system, which is Windows in your case) can't read any of the data on that drive. That's the reason you can't check it with the Windows tool for errors as well. The reasons for the file system to become RAW could be numerous: which includes a faulty cable, a faulty drive, a corrupted file on the drive, a virus, etc. For now go ahead with the data recovery options and don't run any error checks.

    Please keep me posted on your progress.


    Sorry for the late follow-up to this (very busy work schedule lately). I successfully got my most important files off the drive with Recuva - it was suggested in that thread you linked to - and it worked great! Thanks so much for your help!
  5. No worries, mate. The important thing is that everything turned out fine in the end.

    Now I'd recommend that you reformat the drive, download the HDD manufacturer's diagnostics tool and run the tests on the drive, to see if it has any errors or bad sectors. If everything seems fine, you can keep using it with caution. I'd also recommend that you always keep backups of your important data, which means that you should have it copied at least on 2 separate devices/cloud services (e.g. 2 external drives, an external drive and a cloud service, external drive and a different computer's internal drive, etc). This is necessary, because if there's an issue with one of them, you'd always have the other one with your data intact.

    Cheers!
  6. Hi,
    I also got exact same problem. already try recuva & Pandora. but it said : Unable to read MFT.
    Also try icare data recovery. Any other solution?
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