Last week I fixed someone's external HDD when an error occurred saying that the drive needed to be formatted. In Disk Management the HDD was appearing as "RAW". I used Test Disk Utility to locate and recover the partition. I was wondering if there is any way to create a RAW partition for...
1. Open an elevated command prompt, or a command prompt at boot. 2. In the elevated command prompt, type diskpart and press Enter. 3. In the elevated command prompt, type list disk and press Enter. NOTE:This is to help you ID the disk number that has Free unallocated space that you want to create a new partition with. For example, Disk 1 with 80 GB of free space. 4. In the elevated command prompt, type select disk # and press Enter. NOTE:You would substitute # for the disk number listed that you want to create a new partition with the free unallocated space there. For example, I want to create a new partition with the 80 GB of free space, so I would type select disk 2 and press Enter. 5. In the elevated command prompt, type create partition primary and press Enter. NOTE: This will create a new blank RAW partition with selected disk (step 4) that contains the unallocated partition free space.
This won't help you with anything do fix a damaged drive. You are just making a disk without a file system on it, it will not tell you anything about the disk with the issues. The way to manage a failed disk is to either bring it to a data recovery shop if it's really important data, or create a clone of the drive using ddrescue utility and then try to recover data from the clone. TestDisk does a good job of recovering lost partitions. But won't really help with an actual damaged disk. For that you will need special tools to read the data from the platters directly, which is costly.
Another note "important" data needs more than one place to keep it stored, next time make backups and things like failed disk are nothing more than having to replace the disk.