Question Recovering data from RAW Harddrive


Nov 5, 2017
I'm currently having a real hard time with a client's external hard drive. From years of unplugging it without safe removal corrupted the drive. Usually Exploring the drive via Computer Management works or using software like Disk Drill, EaseUS, Mini Partition Tool etc. However, this time around it does not work as the drive is visible for like 5 minutes as RAW then just disappears and does not get discovered at all from different PC's with the above mentioned software. I've used various methods to connect to it from an external adapter, external enclosure and directly on the motherboard via SATA.

What else can be done? Also, diskpart does not work either.
Chances are it's not removing the drive but it's age (hours of operations and info written) which slowly led to it's death, most likely being it's logic board, not mechanics. It's braindead - nothing you can do about it. You could replace the logic board yourself if capable, but the only sure thing is to seak for help from professionals in this field - data restore.

USB enclosed HD drives should never be considered a backup to store important stuff!

The most likely problem is an internal one ("firmware"), not PCB.

Can you retrieve a SMART report with a tool such as CrystalDiskInfo before the HDD goes offline? Look for reallocated, pending or uncorrectable sectors.

What is the model number on the label of the HDD? There are some firmware tweaks which may stabilise the drive so that it can be cloned, but these tweaks are specific to certain brands and models. Don't bother trying any data recovery software until you do this. In any case, always run the data recovery software against the clone, not the patient HDD.

Ddrescue and HDDSuperClone both understand how to work with bad media. They are the best DIY cloning tools, IMHO.

BTW, all the software you have mentioned, including Stellar, are poorly regarded by data recovery professionals. Instead they use and recommend R-Studio, UFS Explorer, GetDataBack, ReclaiMe. I prefer DMDE (US$20).