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Windows 7: Internal Hard Drive does not have a drive letter but used to.

30 Aug 2011   #1

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Internal Hard Drive does not have a drive letter but used to.

My brother bought a new internal 500GB hard drive a few months ago and saved all of our family photos to it. Well a few days ago he noticed it would not show up as a hard drive in 'My Computer'. If we go to 'Disk Management' the 500GB hard drive shows up without a drive letter and is marked as a Recovery Partition. Does this mean we lost all of our family photos that were on the hard drive?

If you need more information feel free to ask. I'll attach a photo of what i mean.



Attached Thumbnails
Internal Hard Drive does not have a drive letter but used to.-recoverypartition.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums BinaryMadman

The 500GB drive should not be listed as drive 0. shut down the system and swap the motherboard connectors on each drive. Let us know how that effects things for you. Go back to Disk Management, right click the drive in the bottom pane, Assign Drive leter (any will do).

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ndows-7-a.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

The boot partition doesn't necessarily need to be on the first disk as seen by the BIOS. There's no reason you couldn't have a storage drive on the first SATA port and the drive with the OS on the second port. The poster might try assigning a drive letter (Change Drive Letter and Paths) without moving anything physically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2011   #4

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok, i swapped the wires and the 500GB drive is now disk 1 instead of disk 0. Its still showing up as a Recovery Partition with no drive letter. I attached a pic showing this.

Oh, and thanks for the warm welcome!

Edit: Quatrix, it doesn't let me assign drive letters to that hard drive.


Attached Thumbnails
Internal Hard Drive does not have a drive letter but used to.-recoverypartition2.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello BinaryMadman, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Did you already try adding a drive letter to that drive (Disk 1 465.76 GB) using the method in the tutorial in Britton's post above?

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ndows-7-a.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2011   #6

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Brink, yes i tried the tutorial mentioned by Britton30, they didn't work. The menu item for changing the drive letter doesn't show up when i right click the drive for some reason. The second option in the tutorial was to use the registry but that only applied to drives that already have a drive letter assigned, not for drives that don't have a drive letter yet (i think).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Since you're good with screen shots, could you show the context menu when you right-click the drive? I've seen "Change Drive Letter and Paths" greyed out before but not completely missing. Does it show the "Explore" option?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2011   #8

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

This is what shows up when i right click the drive from within disk management. Only the Help menu item shows up. It doesn't show the Explore option.

Edit: Does anyone know what a partition type of "Recovery Partition" mean? That's what the hard drive type is set to. I've never seen that type before.


Attached Thumbnails
Internal Hard Drive does not have a drive letter but used to.-recoverypartition3.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You'll find some info if you search Google for "windows 7 recovery partition". It's optional and usually 100 MB, which would normally be the one marked "System Reserved". I'm not sure how the other drive ended up as the recovery partition. I don't have one on my system and don't have any experience with those.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

BinaryMadman,

I find it interesting that Disk Management doesn't list a file type (ex: FAT32 or NTFS) for the drive (Disk 1), and that it's showing all available space as free.

You might see if using only doing step 7-18 with the free program Partition Wizard Home Edition in OPTION FOUR of the tutorial below to see if it may be able to recover this drive. At step 10, select your Disk 1 instead.

Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Internal Hard Drive does not have a drive letter but used to.





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