troubleshooting Question

NTFS drive shows up as RAW in Windows, but all recovery software reads it OK

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trusnock asked on
Disaster RecoveryStorageWindows XP
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We have a Windows XP Home laptop that failed to boot, showing a blinking cursor after POST.  I plugged the HD into a USB-PATA adapter and my Windows 7 desktop initially recognized it OK and I could see all the files.

I had to move the USB-PATA adapter and drive to a different Windows 7 computer to actually work on it, and now it reports as "RAW" in Disk Manager.  The Dell recovery partition shows up OK as FAT16 and is readable, but the main partition just has a drive letter, and is recognized as RAW instead of NTFS, and is not accessible in Windows.

I have plugged it into 3 different Windows 7 PCs and a working Windows XP PC, and they all have similar results: They assign a drive letter, report "Healthy" in Disk Manager, but they don't say "NTFS" (the Windows 7 PCs say "RAW"), and no files/folders are visible.

I have looked at the disk with TestDisk and demo versions of Active@ Partition Recovery, GetDataBack, Paragon Partition Manager, and EASUS Partition Recovery.  They all find the NTFS partition with no problem, and they all give no indication that they found a problem that their paid version could fix.

I successfully copied all the important data files to a new drive using TestDisk and it had no problems reading them.

I would like to repair the file system on this drive so we don't have to reinstall Windows, and I would gladly purchase the licensed version of any of the above programs if one of them seemed to indicate that it found something to fix.  But they are all oddly similar in that they just read the NTFS file system and show all the files/folders without indicating that anything is broken.

I'd feel more comfortable if they all reported "Your NTFS file system is corrupted, click here to buy the full version so I can fix it".  But they just show me the files as if nothing is wrong!

In TestDisk, the drive shows up like this:

1 * FAT16 >32M        0,1,1   4,254,63       80262 [DellUtility]
2 P HPFS - NTFS   5,0,1   30400,254,63   488311740 [Laptop]

Indicating that the OS partition is a Primary partition ("P"), not overlapping with with the DellUtility partition, which is a Primary Active partition ("*").  This looks fine to me, and I had TestDIsk write what it found to the partition table, with no change in results.

After much Googling and searching here on EE, I tried a few other things, also with no change:

1. In TestDisk, Toggled partition type to FAT32, disconnected, toggled back to HPFS-NTFS to see if re-writing the partition would fix something.  I verified the change with Paragon Drive Backup in between toggling to make sure it was really seen as FAT32.
2. In TestDisk, Re-wrote Boot sector and MBR from backups; regenerated Boot sector, as per TestDisk Wiki.
3. In Paragon Partition Manager, changed the partition label from {blank} to "Laptop" because somebody reported that this was enough to "Wake up" the file system to Windows.

Here is an excerpt from Paragon Drive Backup BioNtLog.txt:

IDSector info: IDE Disk 7, word106 == 0x0
  Disk #7 ( 238472 MB )
  Cylinders 76C1, Tracks/Cylinder FF, SectorsPerTrack 3F, BytesPerSector 200, TotalSectors 1D1C4581
  Media type: Fixed hard disk

  IDE Information:
      Primary Controller     - Master drive
      CHS: 0x0(0x0), 0x0(0x0), 0x0(0x0)
      Total Sectors: 0x00000000(0x00000000)
      Model number :  WDC WD25
      Firmware rev :  
      Serial number:  

  GetDriveLayOut ...   OK
  ====== Drive LayOutEx Information ===================================================
  PartitionStyle MBR
  PartEntry#   StartingOffSet   PartitionLength  HidSect  PartNumber  PT  BI  Recgnz
  ----------   --------------   ---------------  -------  ----------  --  --  ------
          0              7E00           2730C00       3F           1  06  01       1
          1           2738A00        3A36177800    139C5           2  07  00       1
          2                 0                 0        0           0  00  00       0
          3                 0                 0        0           0  00  00       0

Here is an excerpt from Paragon Drive Backup stubact.log:

Disk 7 (Basic)    Size: 238475 Mb  Model: WDC WD25 00BEVE-00WZT0 USB Device  Serial:

Online: 1
CHSSectors:  0x000000001D1C4581(488392065)
FullSectors: 0x000000001D1C5970(488397168)

C: 0x000076C1(30401)
H: 0x000000FF(255)
S: 0x0000003F(63)

  Primary    E    0   6  FAT16        3F    139C4    13986    13985     2E5C   2        0   1   1        4  FE  3F DellUtility
  Primary         1   7  NTFS      139C5 1D1C4580 1D1B0BBC 1D1B0BBB  7A1A88C   8        5   0   1     76C0  FE  3F

I've seen many forum discussions about this RAW issue, and it's clear there are a number of different causes and solutions, but so far I haven't found anything to solve my version of the issue.

Can anyone help?

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