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Hard Drive Crash


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#1
DennConn

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I just bought a new Dell 8400 with 250 Gig Maxtor Drive. After I ran Microsoft's Spy catcher "Giant" I think it is called. It completed fine. My computer was as slow as molasses, it took minutes to open a file. I rebooted and the system indicated " Could not start because file missing or corrupt System 32/driver/pci.sys"...I called Dell, and after talking to over 15 reps, they diagnosed a Return code 7 and said i needed a new drive.
When the tech installed the drive, and brought up Windows XP Pro, it indicated two partitions, "Bad said the TEch" and he deleted one of them. Which happened to be my Western Digital 120 Gig External Hard drive( still connected during installation), which I use as backup. When I got XP Pro up i reconnected my external drive and xp recognized it but wouldn't give it a designation in My computer. ..I feel not only the data on my internal drive, but all of my back up data on my external drive is gone. One suggestion Dell gave me was to connect up my bad internal drive as a slave, and I might be able to save some of the data. And my external drive, which the tech deleted the partition, they gave me the name of a recovery service which quoted me up to 2500 to try recovery.

Question:
How do I connect my internal drive as a slave? I have an open bay, and tried to connect it, but "Zero" response from the system, I don't think it recognized it.

My External drive lists as "Un-allocated" on my computer when I connect it. Is it lost, and how can I recover that data?

Any suggestions would be a great help.... thanks
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#2
dsenette

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well first off..it is possible to recover data from the external drive...not all of it..and alot of what they do get back would be corrupted....though if you chose this route i would require dell to pay for it since it was their tech that deleted the info off of it. (idiot) as far as your original drive that caused the problem....how are the jumpers set? is it set as master? slave? cable select?
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#3
Chugbug

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Add_drive_letter_inst.jpg DennConn,

You could have one of two issues. Depending how your external drive is installed (USB, Firewire, SCSI) you may need to re-install those drivers again. Doing so may get the drive to show up.

However, based on what you said "My External drive lists as "Un-allocated" on my computer", I believe that all the "Tech" probalby did since the drive wasn't physically hooked up, was remove the drive from Disk Management. You didn't say how the external drive is connected, but it shouldn't matter. If the system recognizes the external drive, but doesn't give it a drive letter, you can do it manually.

First I want to answer the question you ask "How do I connect my internal drive as a slave?". If your internal drive you are referring to is your "C" drive, you can't make it a slave. I has to be the Master in order for the BIOS to recognize that drive to get to the startup files and Windows. But again, you didn't say how you were connecting your external drive, If you are trying to install the external drive internally (as in pulling it out of an external case and installing in your spare drive bay and hooking it up via you IDE cables), then if doing so doesn't allow it to show up as you claim, then you need to do some reconfiguring in your BIOS so that it wil recognize the drive. If you need to do this, then consult your owners manual, hopefully there will directions there as to how to get into and make changes in your BIOS as well as how to change jumpers on the drive itself to coinside with the setup in the BIOS. If you haven't done this before, be extreemly careful. Making uncertain changes there could cause your PC not to boot. YOu my want to search the net and do some research on this before you try it so as to get some confidence on what you will be doing there.

If the drive is as you say listed as un-allocated, here is what you need to do:

Go to: Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management. I made a set of windows that shows the steps. Hopefully I did it right that it will show up with this post. If so, it will show you how to get there. In the Computer Management window, on the tree on the left, go down to STORAGE>DISK MANAGEMENT. After you have Disk Management highlighted, you should see a list of your installed drives in the window on the right. You may or may not see the drive in question. Since the "Tech" deleted your drive probably all that will be there is your C drive.

If the drive is there, but doesn't have a letter designation, right click on the drive in the VOLUME column, and select "Change Drive letters and path" (Clicking ACTION>ALL TASKS will get you there also). Then click CHANGE in the next window. The next window the opens should allow you to change (in this case designate) a letter for the drive.

If the drive isn't listed, Click ACTION on the menu on the top (FILE-ACTION-VIEW-WINDOW-HELP), then click on "Rescan Drives" to see if it will recognize the drive. If it does, but doesn't have a drive letter, follow the steps above to give it one.

If running "Rescan Drives" doesn't bring your external drive into the list, right-click on VOLUME, then "Change Drive letters and path", and click ADD (instead of CHANGE). In the next window, click BROWSE. HOPEFULLY, your drive will show in the next list. If it does, select it, then select a drive letter to assign to it. If it doesn't, then you have other problems (the drive probably need to be re-installed or if a USB or Firewire drive, it may need to drivers installed. Go through the earlier steps on installing drivers.

Hope this info helps...Chugbug
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#4
DennConn

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Disenette, Thank you for the comments. I think I will be able to get the Dell Sub-Contract company that installed to pay for the recovery, the fact that I might not get it all back, does bother me, however, will take what I can get.

The Internal drive that was replaced I have on my desk here. The tec did put in a new Maxtor 250 Gig internal drive as the C drive, and it is working well. I looked at the old internal drive, which also is a Maxtor 250 Gig drive. I can't tell how the Jumpers are set, however since it was the origional drive in the tower, I assume it was set as master. there is only one other connection point on the back of the drive and no diagraham as to how to change the settings. I read the documentation and nothing there either. The tech did give me a cable to attach the old drive to the mother board, but it was exactly like the master drives cable. I did put the drive in the second internal slot, and connected it and rebooted, but nothing. Didn't even recognize the drive in any way. either in the hardware config window or anywhere else. I assume I might have to go to Maxtor to see how they might configure this as a slave to the new internal drive. I am not sure what else to do.
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#5
DennConn

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Chugbug, thank you for your ideas.
The external drive is a plug and play drive, it attached through a USB 2.0 port.
The external drive was still connected to the Dell Tower when he re-installed XP Pro. and when the partitions showed up, it showed the Internal drive 250 GIG, and another partition the 120 GIG External drive. He then deleted the 120 GIG External drive Partition. I thought his deletion is why when I plugged it back in after re-installing XP Pro, that even thought xp recognized the drive, and said it is ready. In the Disk Hardware config it lists the C internal drive, and the External drive as hard drives. However in the Disk Management the two drives are also listed, the internal listed as a partitioned disk, but the external hard drive, the one who the tech deleted the partition, waslisted as Un-allocated. The Dell Tech line said the only way to use it was to partition the drive and it will then reformat and lose all my data. Idiots, not what I wanted to do at all. If I try your suggestion, will it re-format the drive? or just assign a letter to it. I would love to use it, but as i mentioned in last post. Might be able to get the Dell sub-c0ntractor to pay for a recovery company to help.

I don't want to set up the external drive as a slave internally or externally, sorry I confused you there.

I would like to try to set up the bad Internal drive as a slave in the extra slot I have in the tower, and see if I can recover any of the data on that drive. but there is no diagraham on how to connect it.

Thanks for your help, i greatly appreciate it.
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#6
dsenette

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ok...to check the jumpr settings look at the back of the drive....to one side of the spot where the ide cable connects there will be another small bucnh of pins...two of those pins will be bridged by a jumper....look at the actual case of the drive....somewhere near that jumper you will see, either written or etched on the case, something like CS MSTR SLV....put it on cs...when you attatch it to the computer put it on the middle connector on the ide cable that is on your current master drive....you may need to set the master to cs as well
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#7
Chugbug

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DennConn,

Following the instructions I gave will simply assign a letter to the un-assigned drive. All that "un-assigned" means is that the drive was not "assigned" a drive letter. It will not reformat or do anything to the drive or it's data.

I don't understand why the Dell "Tech" guy tried to remove it in the first place. Unless you were having problem booting to the hard drive and he thought it was the problem. But from you initial query, it sounded like he had gotten past that point when he deleted it.

I also don't understand why the Dell "Tech" support are telling you that you need to partition, reformat in order to get the drive to install. UNLESS they were talking about the 250GB internal drive.

If you were around a few years ago when the larger MB and GB drives first came out, there were problems getting older systems to recognize the FULL drive without breaking it down to smaller partitions. Well, now with much larger drives again, we have the same problem with some systems. I think the cutoff point is 137GB. So if one of the problems is seeing all of that 250GB drive, and you have an older system, that could be part of your problem (but doesn't have anything to do with the external drive issue).

But if you have the internal 250 GB drive is working ok, and your system is seeing all of it, your ok there (not sure how many GB's you'd have after formatting, but it will be somewhat less that 250-- maybe about 230GB).

If the issue now is ONLY with the 120GB external drive, and that it is in the list, but showing up as "Un-allocated", following the steps I outlined previously should resolve your problem.

Hope this info helps...Chugbug
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