I am curious which S/W Tools/ Utils are you using to Scan/ Recover it? I want to make sure I am not missing something from my arsenal of tools
I had once hand recovered several partitions using PTEDIT (from PQMagic).
Yep, I think by "PQMagic" you're probably thinking of Powerquest, which was bought by Symantec. They made some groundbreaking tools, first company ever to develop a way to do a disk image without shutting down Windows I believe. Shame that Symantec killed-off Partition Magic, that was also a groundbreaking product. Symantec had a habit of buying their competitors and then killing their competing products. (Most of the old Powerquest tools are useless on modern SATA/64-bit-based systems and large disks, but apparently some of the original Powerquest people did eventually found a new company called StorageCraft. I evaluated their server backup product a while back which seemed promising but I didn't pursue it further after I concluded it was missing a couple of features I needed.)
I have been trying a few different things. The issue I have is the NTFS partition showed up as "RAW" in Windows, which apparently usually means some sort of partition table issue.
that it was just a matter of fixing-up the partition table, but my first attempt to do that (using an open-source tool called TestDisk) didn't work. (and you never know whether what you just did made matters worse by removing clues that some other tool might have used to get it back to the way it was previously configured)
Then there are these 'free' utilities that claim to recover either the partition or files from it, but I had gotten confused by one company's offerings (Easeus - they have a slew of slightly different 'free' utilities) and started using one more focused on 'file recovery' - which was the original tool one that wanted to scan the disk for ~20 hours. But after the false starts/crashes noted above and many hours of scanning, I discovered that it only had this hard-coded list of 'known file types' that it would look for, and some of the most important files I needed that were on there (backups made via Acronis image backup software) weren't in their stupid list.
So I'm trying a 'demo' product right now from DiskInternals, but once again this one wants to take the better part of a day to scan the disk and then since it's a 'demo' I have no idea what happens then. Sorry to say I'm afraid it's going to tell me "Good news, after that ridiculously-long scan we now know we can recover this disk, you just have to buy the full product and start the process all over again!"
that the thing I'm running now would just tell me quickly if it could fix-up the partition table or not so I could decide whether to throw money at them, but I was wrong. More waiting...
I was trying to avoid the 'scan forever' or "boot from archaic DOS disk on old computer" type of stuff at least initially, I already have licenses to some traditional data recovery tools. (ie Media Tools Professional, GetDataBack for NTFS) But because this disk is so big, most of these things seem to scan the disk for the better part of a day before you get off first base.