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Windows 7: Storage drive disappears

19 Jan 2013   #1

windows 7 professional
Storage drive disappears

Windows 7 64 bit with a SSD C drive and 2 regular storage drives. I think the 1 storage drives is sata and one is IDE but it's been so long since i built this thing i can't remember. And since the one doesn't show up even in device manager now i can't be sure. I suppose i should look in the bios, but i have had this issue before and i want get at why it happens instead of just going into bios only to fix it temporarily.

That said, this time it happened when i installed karen's replicator. I have used it before but it wasn't working rigght so i uninstalled it but recently tried it again to see if i could get it to work. But after i chose my E drive as the destination drive, when i ran the job it did nothing and thats when i looked for my drive and realized it disappeared. Note that it has done this before without karens replicator even being installed. So that app isn't the problem, it simply triggered the problem. Any idea how i can get my drive back and keep this from happening again ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jan 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

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

First, right click computer, select manage and in the left column select Disk Management. Post a screenshot. Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

If you see the drive in the bottom section but it has no drive letter, right click it, select change drive letter or path, next screen select add, and give it a drive letter. If it wants to format it, do not do it. You will lose everything on the drive.
As to why it is happening, there could be several reasons. A loose cable could do it, or the drive could be dying. To determine if it is sata or and IDE drive, look inside your computer. An IDE drive will be connected with a wide ribon cable. Whichever type it is, make sure the cables are properly seated on both ends.

If you do get it back run checkdisk f/r Disk Check
Also, go to the manufacturer's web site and download and run their diagnostic tool.
The first picture is an IDE cable the second picture are a Sata cables.
Name:  IDE.jpg
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sata power and data cables
Storage drive disappears-sata-cable.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #3

windows 7 professional

It doesn't show up there or device manager. I was suspicious of the cable too, but i'll have to get around to that later. I'll post back after a shot of deoxit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jan 2013   #4

windows 7 professional

Ok, this should be the clue that will make it obvious to some of you more tech savvy than I. The drive is being seen during startup i think, but the system can't determine what it is or some such thing. First i cleaned the plugs and no go. But the machine is taking forever to start up, so I realized it's not able to determine what the drive is or some such thing and thats what it's trying to do during this 3-4 minute start up. So i disconnected the drive and sure enough the machine starts in under a minute like always. Theres no yellow ? marks in device manager if that matters. Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP

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

Yes. Sounds like a dead/dying drive. Run the Manufacturer's diagnostic program. It will determine if there are problems. I would also, try to download any data on it you would like to save ASAP. If it survives the diagnostic test, run checkdisk using the f/r switch. If it can do it, it will take several hours probably. It is possible there are bad sectors on the drive, and the drive is salvageable. But, what you describe are indications of a dead or dying drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #6

windows 7 professional

Damn. Thats the last seagate i will buy. A year or 2 lifespan is pathetic. I suppose i'll go with another SSD, tho i hope prices have gone down since i last looked !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

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

Did you test it? You may try to see if Seagate will RMA the drive. I've had good luck with seagate drives, others have not. Truthfully, I think it really does not matter. You're taking a chance no matter which brand you choose. The name of the game is backup, backup, backup. I have all my data on at least 3 different hard drives and backup to them several times a week, if not daily. I'm so paranoid, I use 1 drive for each computer that I clone my OS to weekly. If my OS drive went out, I'd be back online in 10 minutes, 1 if you have an eSATA dock.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #8

windows 7 professional

I do have it backed up. Thats what i was going to use karen's replicator for. I had used it in the past to sync my main storage drive, a 300GB maxtor to the 300GB seagate. But the app was glitchy so i uninstalled it and then just today decided to try it again and see if run as admin and xp compatibility would work. In fact, this is why i'm not 100% sure the drive IS dead....,i think karens R. may have done something to the system that caused it. The seagate has been fine and always spun up fast and then i install and run the app and thats when this all started. So i will consider it dead and get a new drive, but only because i don't know what else to do if it IS a system thing
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

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

I don't know how much you know about this so I'll try to see if this works with full details.
Click start. in the search box type cmd, on the cmd entry that appears, right click it and select run as administrator. (called an elevated command prompt)
in the box type diskpart and press enter, it will take a few seconds, but it will answer diskpart
type list disk and press enter - hopefully tour drive will show up with a number assigned to it. example 1
select disk 1 (or whatever number diskpart assigns it) it will reply disk 1 is the selected disk. Be sure you select the corect disk.
type clean all and press enter. go have lunch. it will take several hours, but the drive will be wiped completely. It will look like nothing is happening but it is. There is no progress account until it is finished. It should take 3-5 hours.
Assuming it is a data or storage drive. When it completes
(not really necessary, but to be sure) type select disk 1 again and press enter
type create partition primary press enter -response should be the selected partition was created
type select partition 1 press enter
format fs=ntfs quick and press enter
type assign and press enter. To assign it a drive letter
exit -enter to leave diskpart and go back to the command prompt
exit enter to leave the command prompt
If all that completed your drive should be ready to go. and should show up in disk management and explorer.

It should look similar to this but, type assign and not active unless you are going to install an operating system on it.

Storage drive disappears-format-hard-drive-clean-all.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2013   #10

windows 7 professional

Thanks, but it only lists the C drive and the maxtor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Storage drive disappears

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