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Windows 7: 2nd Hard drive disappeared after Windows Update

16 Dec 2011   #1
loyalrogue

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
2nd Hard drive disappeared after Windows Update

This morning I had a Windows 7 update waiting.
I shut down to let it do the update and went to work.
When I came home and started it back up it stayed hung-up on the startup screen for 15 minutes before I hard rebooted.
When it came back up, the second drive disappeared from My Computer.

I looked in Disk Management and it says the disk is not initialized.
I had 3 partions of data on that drive and want to know how to get the drive back active without losing the data.
Can anyone offer any suggestions?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Dec 2011   #2
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Can you please post a screenshot from DISKMGMT.MSC. Be sure it's full-screen, and please spread the columns so that all text in the cells is visible.

As far as recovery, if the drive and partitions on it have not actually been genuinely corrupted or destroyed, you might well be able to recover them intact using the "partition recovery wizard" function of Partition Wizard. Download and install the free version 7 "home edition" which is fine for just about everything you could want to do. Also download and burn the ISO image for standalone boot CD, which is used for functions involving work on the C-partition when Windows cannot be running, and also if you just want to feel more comfortable. All functions are available with either version, but the standalone boot CD version obviously will not show Windows drive letters like using the installed version under Win7 will.

If this problem drive is not your primary drive on which the Windows C partition lives (and I'm guessing it's not) you could use the installed version under Win7 to see if that drive can be recovered using the "partition recovery wizard" functionality. Or, you can do the same thing with the standalone boot CD.

Note that Partition Wizard also has an "explore partition" function, which will actually look at that partition's file system if possible, even though Win7 says "needs to be initialized".

But before you do anything let's see that DISKMGMT screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #3
loyalrogue

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Hi dsperber,

Thank you for the assist.

Here is the screenshot. Hope it's what you needed to see.

2nd Hard drive disappeared after Windows Update-diskmgmt.gif


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Dec 2011   #4
Petey7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

If I'm not mistaken, you should be able to right-click the drive, in this case Disk 1, and initialize should be an option you can click. Some people do not realize you can click the drives, not just the space shown.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #5
loyalrogue

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Yes, I saw that option when I right-clicked, but didn't know if it would affect any data on the drive if I did.
It's a 2TB drive that was originally setup with 3 partitions, and I don't remember what the sizes were.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #6
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

I'm not 100% sure here, but if you do initialise the drive, I think all the data on it may be lost.

Perhaps there is another solution?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #7
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

I wouldn't "initialize". That sounds pretty extreme, and I can't imagine it's equivalent to "recover all previously existing partitions".

Ok... that second drive is not showing "offline" (as it might if for some reason there was a disk signature "collision" which is easy to fix). But it might be as simple as repairing the MBR, which is exactly the type of thing that Partition Wizard's "partition recovery wizard" is designed to do... among other recovery techniques.

So, as I mentioned earlier (if you haven't already downloaded, installed, and burned the ISO) I would suggest that you get Partition Wizard. Then run the program (you can use the installed version under Win7, since this is not your Disk0) and see what PW can make of the drive's contents.

Then, you can certainly at least START the "partition recovery wizard" function for that second drive, and see what PW can figure out about it. You don't have to actually push the APPLY button until you're convinced that PW has figured it all out and claims to be able to recover your partitions.

Since you'll be using PW under Win7, you can also take screenshots during the wizard dialog and post here if you have questions.

My sympathies here for your dilemma, and let's hope you can recover the three partitions and their data. But reality requests that you be prepared for a true worst-case disaster, and the possible loss of the data on those three partitions... if you're forced to re-initialize and re-partition that drive to zero. Hopefully you have some form of backup from which you can recover some/all of this data (especially if it's "critical or valuable data"), or else I'm sure there will be much crying.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #8
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

^ I agree - try Partition Wizrd to see if you can interrogate the partitons. If may be just a case of nominating them as logical disks......?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #9
Petey7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

I'm actually not sure on this one, as I have not done it myself before. The data will certainly not be wiped. Initializing is not the same as formatting, but it might not restore your partitions and you may need to use a recovery tool to excess your data. However, I did read one thread where the problem seemed to be that the hard drive was not getting enough power. You may want to disconnect and reconnect the hard drive and see what happens. You have a desktop, correct? Turn the computer off, disconnect all cables going to the hard drive, reconnect them, and then restart the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #10
loyalrogue

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks for all the advice.

Already downloaded and installed PW, but it throws an appcrash when run.
I'm burning the ISO now to try and run it off a bootable CD.

Will try the unplugging and plugging trick when I shutdown after burning, before trying to recover the partitions.

Most of the data is backed-up externally, but the most recent projects will be lost, and I will definitely be crying.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 2nd Hard drive disappeared after Windows Update




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