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Windows 7: diskpart

01 May 2011   #1

windows 7 X64

Hi everyone. I have an external harddrive that is unreadable, so I used DBAN to clean it. I think it fixed the disk. Unfortunately, I cannot open it or assign a drive letter. I was trying to use diskpart, but it doesn't work. I am uploading a screenshot of the problem. Any assistance will be appreciated. deanie

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My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 May 2011   #2

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Does the Ext HD show up in Disk Management as unallocated ?

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01 May 2011   #3

windows 7 X64

Hi DocBrown. Thank you for answering my post. The external hd was showing up in the disk management console, but it disappeared. It was shown as "healthy" and "raw". I tried to format it, but it was no go. Here is a picture of what I try to do next. Maybe the external hd is toast. Thanks. deanie

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01 May 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)

I'm a bit confused. Is this a RAID setup? Or a straight IDE/SATA drive setup?

This is an "external USB" drive??

Why does your second screenshot talk about "disk 5", and then have 11 volumes shown? Is this the same "disk 5" from your first screenshot, which shows "no media"?

I'm confused... but then I'm not familiar with RAID arrangements, and have never used DISKPART. I'm also unclear as to what I'm seeing.

Could this external disk be a "dynamic disk" rather than "basic disk"? Just thinking out loud.

Is this external drive visible and understood say with a product like Partition Wizard Home Edition v5.2? What does it see this drive as?

(sorry for my ignorance of "volumes")
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #5

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

I'm confused by the Diskpart Volumes snip, also. Could you give a snip of your current Disk Management ? Also what is the Make, model & size (in GBs) of the Ext HD ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #6

windows 7 X64

Hi. Here is a picture of the disk management console and the external harddrive is an Iomega Prestige--250gb--54AJ34J763

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02 May 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

How many hard drives do you have in your machine? In your stats you only list 1 1TB hard drive which appears to have 5 partitions. In the last disk management screen shot - the top section the first listing is blank. In the bottom section it shows disk 1 as 232GB (which is about the size of a 250GB HD). Is disk 1 your external?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2011   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)

Ok. I think the DISKPART presentations you've shown are confusing, but the DISKMGMT image shows your two drives:

Disk0 (1TB) - 5 partition: E - 55MB (primary), Recovery (no letter) - 8GB (active + primary), C - 492GB (primary), D - 215GB (logical), K - 215GB (logical)

Disk1 (250GB) - unusable 232GB

Just a recommendation... when you run any of these utilities (e.g. DISKMGMT) if you will go to full-screen mode, and then spread the column separators so that all the text in each column is visible in the screenshot or the graphic presentation of the drive's partitions, it will much more readable and understandable to us.

Anyway, here's my recommendation:

(1) Download and install [free] Partition Wizard Home Edition v5.2.

(2) Also download the ISO image and burn the standalone boot CD version of Partition Wizard, which can be used conveniently when the functions you're performing cannot be completed while booted to the OS, but must be run outside of the OS.

(3) Run Partition Wizard while under Windows 7 because work on this external drive (Disk1 for DISKMGMT, Disk 2 for Partition Wizard) can be run this way without any limitations.

Maximize the window to fill the screen, and spread the columns where information is shown, so that you can see all text in all columns. It's just much more readable that way.

(4) Select that external drive which will be titled "Disk 2" in the presentation, by clicking on the "Disk 2" title itself, not on any of the detail lines underneath it.

(5) When you select the drive itself (i.e. "Disk 2") on the left side of the screen you will see an available item under "Operations" named "delete all partitions". Select that "delete all partitions" and reply "yes" to the confirmation asking you if you want to delete all partitions.

This will add the "delete all partitions" operation to the queued list of operations now shown at the bottom-left corner of the screen. And the presentation for the contents of Disk 2" will now be modified to appear as if the entire 250GB (i.e. 232GB after formatting) space is now unallocated and fully available for partitioning.

(6) Push the APPLY button at the bottom left of the screen, to perform this one pending operation to "delete all partitions" on the external drive "Disk 2". This will perform and complete it, and the list of queued operations will be emptied.

(7) Select the "unallocated" space now appearing under the "Disk 2" title. Now, on the left side of the screen in the "Operations" section you will see the "create partition" item.

Select this "create partition" item, to bring up the "Create New Partition" window. The options on the window should be completely intuitive, and you can either allocate it completely as one partition or you can create two or more smaller partitions in the 232GB available space.

You use sliders and/or entered values to specify the size and location of the partition you're creating, and you can also install a label for the partition.

My suggestion is that you create the one or more partitions on this second drive as "logical" partitions instead of "parimary partitions. Functionally, they're essentially identical, but with "logical" partitions you don't have the "maximum of four primary partitions on a basic hard drive" to contend with. You have no limit on the number of "logical" partitions. Obviously if you only want to have one partition on this drive it doesn't really matter whether you use "logical" or "primary".

(8) When you push the OK button, the "create partition" operation will be queued in the list at the bottom-left corner of the screen.

You can now repeat the "create partition" process a second time if you want to build more than one partition into that 232GB drive. Pushing OK will add this second partition's create to the queued pending operation list.

Repeat again as required.

(9) When you're done, push the APPLY button in the lower-left, and the one or more partitions you want to create on the external hard drive will be created.

(10) You will get default drive letters assigned by this process. You can use Partition Wizard or Windows 7's DISKMGMT.MSC to change the drive letters to be whatever you want.

Again, if you use Partition Wizard to change the drive letters, you just select the partition from the list in the upper part of the screen or the graphic presentation in the lower part of the screen, and then select the "change drive letter" operation in the "Operations" group shown on the left side of the screen.

As before, push OK after you're finished setting things up, and you can repeat if you want to change another drive letter. All of these operations will again be queued into the pending operations list at the bottom-left corner.

Again, push APPLY, and the drive letter changes will occur.

(11) I don't think you will need to reboot Windows 7 in order to accomplish any of this. It can all be done and completed while Partition Wizard is running under Windows 7.

Worst case, you may be prompted to re-boot, but I honestly don't think this will happen for the operations I've listed above.

===>> PARTITION WIZARD is by far the easiest, most intuitive, most flexible, and most capable [free] 3rd-party utility to accomplish this type of function.

I believe the "delete all partitions" function of Partition Wizard should simply vaporize whatever's on that external drive, no matter what it is and no matter what about its current stat that's causing your mysterious problems for Windows 7's DISKMGMT or DISKPART.

Doesn't matter. Just use Partition Wizard to "delete all partitions" and start from scratch.

Partition Wizard. Download it, install it, use it. You won't be sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

dsperber, Maybe you see something I don't. But the last snip shown shows Disk 1 as a healthy, active, primary partition. It just does not have a drive letter assigned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2011   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
dsperber, Maybe you see something I don't. But the last snip shown shows Disk 1 as a healthy, active, primary partition. It just does not have a drive letter assigned.
Correct. There is a plethora of mysterious screenshots, coupled with OP's problem description: "Unfortunately, I cannot open it or assign a drive letter."

I don't know exactly what that means.

Nevertheless, I don't think it's worth it to spend any more time trying to get to the bottom of what's really occurring, and why if the drive shows up as "healthy" that it can't be assigned a drive letter.

Now normally, there would only be ONE "active" partition, on the drive which is set in the BIOS as "hard disk #1". That's the particular partition on the particular drive where you'd also expect to see either see the WinXP or Windows 7 (or EasyBCD) boot manager files. Normally, installing Windows 7 on a brand new empty drive would create that small "system reserved" 100MB partition and mark it "active + primary", with the real Windows 7 boot partition marked as "boot + primary". Other partitions would either be "primary" or "logical", including partitions on other hard drives.

In this case, there is already one "active + primary" partition on the first hard drive, shown as "recovery partition". And his final Diskmgmt screenshot shows a second "active + primary" partition on the second external drive. I find this two "active" parititions certainly unusual, and I suppose may possibly be directly connected to why there can't be a drive letter assigned to it (although I certainly can't explain why)... according to OP.

So, again, I just don't think we're going to get to the bottom of it, and even if we did the probable solution steps would be the same... namely the same "delete all partitions" using PW and just starting from scratch.

I'm confident that when the partition(s) on the external second drive is/are built, they will NOT be "active".

And I'm confident that my suggested steps (which are not unusual, just standard) for preparing the external drive's partition(s) will solve the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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