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Windows 7: External HardDisk help needed

06 May 2011   #1

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
External HardDisk help needed

Help, my pc doesn't detect my external harddisk. It was working fine all the time until I tried to plugin and open the files, My PC didn't detect it. Its not working on my laptop too. It doesn't appear in Disk management too. My harddisk led light are showing up and I can still hear the sound come out of my speaker everytime i plugin. Please help as all my important stuffs are inside.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2011   #2

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

Just to try something else, you might use Partition Wizard standalone bootable CD. Just curious as to whether or not the drive is visible outside of Windows 7 itself.

To be honest, I actually don't know if it will be usable on the external USB drive (assuming it could be seen), or whether you must use the Windows 7 version while under Windows 7 in order to see USB-connected drives. I can't find specifics on what PW standalone can see. And of course, if Windows 7 doesn't see the drive I doubt that PW running under Windows 7 would show it. That's why I'm curious about the PW standalone, if it really does support external USB-connected drives.

But, worth a try. If the drive IS visible to PW standalone, you can use it's "explore partition" operation to at least confirm that all of your data is still there, at least that the folder/file structure is unharmed.

I see you said that it's not visible any longer to both your desktop and your laptop, so that's certainly an ominous sign. But if the "new hardware detected" sound is coming from both machines, that's perhaps an encouraging sign.

Have you called the drive's manufacturer fro possible support from them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2011   #3

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

No, I haven't call them yet. How do I use the program you suggested?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2011   #4

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ganqile View Post
How do I use the program you suggested?
Download both the Windows 7/XP version as well as the standalone boot CD version.

Windows 7/XP version of Partition Home Edition v5.2 can be downloaded from this page. Install it, for future use. It's a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED utility for all hard drive and partitioning needs. Anything you can do with DISKMGMT you can do with PW... AND LOTS MORE, and really more intuitively and easily.

Standalone boot CD version of the program can be downloaded from this link. Save the downloaded ISO file somewhere and then burn it to CD for standalone booting from that CD.

If you don't have "burning" software, IMGBURN is also highly recommended and can be downloaded from one of the links this page, for example from this source on the free-codecs.com site.

Then, just boot to the newly burned standalone CD, and let it open. You can read the instructions on how to use the program on this PW instructional web page. But really, it's very very intuitive. I think once you look at the GUI it will be very obvious what you can do.

This standalone boot version of PW looks and works just like the Windows 7/WinXP version, except that you won't see Windows drive letters on the partitions. Also, you can do things directly in the standalone boot version that you'd have to restart Windows 7/WinXP to have PW complete (e.g. manipulating the C partition itself) at pre-boot time.


Anyway, specifically what I'm curious about is:

(1) does standalone boot PW actually possess the ability to see an external USB-connected drive (assuming yours was working)? I'm positive your internal hard drives will be visible, but the question is whether or not an external USB drive would be seen or not. Hopefully yes. If not, well we've struck out here. I don't know the answer, as to whether an external USB drive IS supported by standalone PW.

(2) if so, then the drive and any partitions on it should be visible to you. Now if you select a partition on that drive, the list of available operations on the left side should light up and there will be an "explore partition" item. If you select it, another window will appear with a basic Windows Explorer looking presentation. You can navigate through the folders to see the folders/files, although you cannot actually open any of the files.


That's what I'm most interested in determining... whether there is still a usable file system intact on your drive, so that our next goal is to try and recover that data or protect it from destruction... while you solve the problem of why it is no longer visible from either of your two machines.

You say you get the "new hardware detected" sound, but I'm concerned that the MBR/partition structure on the drive has been compromised... meaning the data on the drive may really be inaccessible.

Partition Wizard has some "partition recovery" and MBR reconstruction tools, but as to whether or not they might be of any use (and not actually lose your data) is not known yet. Of course the external USB drive itself needs to be physically visible and accessible by standalone PW in order to even have a chance of using its detect/correct capabilities.

Why MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable CD
* Manage partition without installing anything on your computer
* Manage partition without Operating System
* Restore partition when partition table is damaged and computer can't boot
* Restore partition when partition is deleted by accident and computer can't boot
* Rebuild MBR if MBR is damaged
* Analyze and fix partition table mapping problem


So, I'm really only suggesting using standalone PW as an alternative "viewer" to that drive (assuming standalone PW supports external USB drives), just to gather the info that the drive's contents are still there, and still accessible (hopefully).

If the whole file system on the drive has been lost (including the MBR describing the partition(s) on the drive) that's pretty extreme. But if standalone PW can at least see the drive (whereas Windows 7 cannot, given the state of the drive) we can perhaps come up with a plan of attack for some solution... which will not lose your data, hopefully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2011   #5

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

When I boot, what option should I choose? Is there any option to choose?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2011   #6

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I dont see my hard disk but my C drive only....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2011   #7

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ganqile View Post
I dont see my hard disk but my C drive only....
Rats.

Well, so much for that possibility.


I don't have an external USB drive of my own, but my brother-in-law does. Just for my own curiosity I will perform this same experiment using his machine.

Not that I don't believe your results, but we're still in the dark as to the status of your external USB hard drive. In my brother-in-law's situation I absolutely know that the external USB drive currently works perfectly and is visible to Windows 7 and programs running under it.

So I want to determine if standalone PW can (or cannot) see an external USB drive that is 100% known to be working properly. If not, then I guess that's the end of it. If so, then it points to an obviously serious problem with your drive (which cannot be seen, whereas mine can be seen), and I'd begin to come to terms with the possibility that you may well lose the data that's on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2011   #8

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks, I dont mind losing all the datas just to save my hard disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2011   #9

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

Hi ganqile,

You said it won't work on your desktop & your laptop. Has it ever been connected to any other computer in the past ? What is the make & model ? Is it a Sata or IDE HD ? Is it a full size (3.5") or laptop (2.5") ext HD ? How is it powered ? Try to give us as much detail as possible.
We need to analyze all this for the best possible solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2011   #10

Window 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It worked on my own pc, my own laptop, my mum's laptop, my cousins' laptop and my friends' laptop. The model is Imation 2.5'' HDD 500GB. Oh ya, on that day I found out its not working anymore, I lend it to my friends' to transfer counterstrike source. When I got home, I tried to plugin and its not detected anymore. I searched for ways to fix it. It didn't show up in My Computer and it did show up on disk management. I found some ways on how to fix it by right clicking on my harddisk in disk management and make it active. After that, I couldn't see it in disk management anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 External HardDisk help needed




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