Quote: Originally Posted by ganqile
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.