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Hard Drive Not Being Detected


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#1
Mr.Chow

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I'm having a very odd problem with my hard drive. BIOS detects it but windows wont! The Hard Drive wouldn't work on my original computer so i tried it on another computer. Same problem, windows wouldn't see it. I felt the HD and it was still spinning i could feel that much. The computer i tested it on had a option in BIOS to check the MBR so i ran that. No problems, it said the test went fine. I restarted the computer and the HD still wouldn't show in windows. I have important info on the HD so a fdisk would not be a recommendation. I tried to find the HD in command prompt in safe mode. Still nothing ...

Would Linux possibly detect the HD ?

BIOS see's the HD and how big it is. Windows can't see it.

Any suggestions would be gladly appreciated.
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#2
Samm

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Which version(s) of Windows are you using?
Which file system is it formatted with? FAT32, NTFS?
If you go into Disk Management (XP or 2000) with the drive connected, does it show up in there?

You mentioned that you couldn't get this disk to be recognised by windows on your original computer. It must have worked ok at some point in order for you to store data on it. Did it develop this problem suddenly or only after you moved it to another machine?

What size is the disk?
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#3
Mr.Chow

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I am using Windows 2000 Sp4 I tested it on Windows XP Sp1.

It is formatted with NTFS.

When this problem occured was when I erased my main HD with DBAN. I then formated it and put windows 2000 on it. After i put it on my main HD i then hooked the extra HD with it ( the one that is having problems ). It didn't show.

The HD is 60GB.

And yes the HD does comp up in Disk Management, it is unallocated, and not instalized. Is there a way to recover the data on this HD still ?

Edited by Mr.Chow, 20 April 2007 - 11:41 PM.

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#4
Samm

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Sorry to be a pain but I need to make sure I understand exactly what happened just before this drive developed the problem. Am I right in thinking.....

You removed this drive (which was formatted with NTFS & contained data) from the system before wiping the main drive with DBAN.
You wiped the main drive, repartitioned & reformatted it, then installed 2000.
You then replaced the problem drive back into the system as a secondary drive.
When you booted up to windows, the problem drive was not visible.

Is that correct?

You also said you tested this drive under XP SP1. Have you tried it since with 2000 SP4 as well?
The drive does need to be initialized by disk management before it will appear in My Computer etc, HOWEVER, only new or unpartitioned disks normally require initializing so this implies that the system believes it to be an unpartitioned drive.

It sounds to me like the MBR has got corrupted or wiped somehow.

You could try this :
If you still have access to a system running XP, then install the problem drive as a slave in that system.
Boot from the XP CD & run Recovery Console by selecting the Repair 'R' option.
From the command line in Recovery Console, try using the fixmbr command.

MAKE SURE that you apply the command to the problem drive, not the healthy drive!
The boot drive should be harddisk 0 & the problem drive 'should' be harddisk 1
i.e
fixmbr \device\harddisk1

BUT CHECK first be using the map command. Just type map at the command prompt

If you're not sure about it, then dont do it!
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#5
Mr.Chow

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You were correct about the story.

I tried your solution, did everything just fine. It wrote the mbr succesfully and i started the system up. Still no hard drive located in windows showing up. I looked at Disk Management and no it says the HD is online, but still unallocated. Is it possible that the partition tables are screwed up ? IS there a way to fix the partition table ?

HD exact size is 57.25GB Maxtor

Edited by Mr.Chow, 22 April 2007 - 06:07 PM.

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#6
Mr.Chow

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I think it might be that the partition is bad or corrupt. Is there software i can use (particularly free ware) that will fix this ?
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#7
Samm

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It's almost certainly a problem with the partition table, yes.

There are some extremely good free utilities that will let you edit the partition table, but none (that I know of) which will recover them.
There are quite a few shareware programs around though. Most of these will run in demo mode so you can see what it finds, but won't actually recover the partition or data until you buy them.

Disk Patch Partition Repair2 is supposed to be one of the better ones, although I have never tried it myself.
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#8
shard92

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I have used getdataback with great success but it isn't free... pcinspector is suppose to be a good free recovery software though I have never used it....

good luck
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#9
Mr.Chow

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Well what had tended to be a simple format on my main HD turned out to be nights in the room trying to fix something that i messed up on. The storage HD that i was trying to recover finally was recovered. I used a program to fix the partition table, like what was mentioned before, it doesn't recover files. That I had to have another program do that wasn't free unfortunately. I lost my text files, got about half of my music back and videos mostly got erased also for being corrupt and non-workable. It seems that recovering data (at least doing it from home) is very frustrating. The program digged up files from years ago that i thought i had deleted and that i didn't want, didn't find some recent documents that i did want!

All in all i learned my lesson. If you plan on using DBAN anyone ! Make sure you really want to get rid of everything! They aren't kidding when they say IRRECOVERABLE ! haha. I blame them for someone the still missing files.

Thanx for the help everyone!
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#10
shard92

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Now you have a small idea why the professional data recovery people charge so much.... they never know for sure what they'll find once they get there....
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