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Windows 7: EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: No System Files

24 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: No System Files

Greetings, W7F Community. When I started moving files from one external drive to another, the SOURCE DRIVE suddenly became non-existent. That is, it disappeared and Windows said that it "no longer exists." The TARGET DRIVE was just added a week ago, bringing my number of external drives to 3. Part of the reason for the transfer was that with the installation of the new drive, the SOURCE DRIVE had changed it's drive letter on it's own. I have tried to reach the drive using Windows Disk Management, R-Studio 5.4.1 and Hiren's Boot CD 15 on a Linux USB Pendrive. The programs on the Boot CD yield the same results as the screen shots I have included. The Boot CD has some programs I have not tried, because they are run from the Linux Command Line and I have no real experience with Linux, and I'm afraid of making things worse (if that's humanly possible). I have recovered files from drives with lost partitions and have restored partitions in the past. But this disk does not even register as "raw". Is it at all possible to access the disk (my data), or has this drive become nothing more than a paperweight? Please help...




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EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: No System Files-1.jpg   EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: No System Files-4.jpg  
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 7 64bit home premium
 
 

Can you see the drive in the BIOS?
Have you tried this drive on another machine.
Have you checked inside the caddy to ensure the drive has not slipped off the USB to SATA interface (this can happen)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi, Roy. I haven't tried the drive on another computer, and I won't be able to do that immediately. As to the BIOS and the Caddy, now you're going beyond me. I have no real technical background in computer systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Feb 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

In that second pic above it asks you to initialize the disk. Did you do that? If you did not: DON'T.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi, TVeblen. I did try the Initialize Disk, as a last effort to gain some kind of access. Even though this procedure is to ready the disk for repartitioning and drive association, it does give you the option to cancel. I was told "The Disk Is Not Ready." ... By they way, cool avatar.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Disk initialization performs a type of quick format. If you did that you now need to focus on recovering files. Once you have (hopefully) recovered them, then you can work on restoring the drive functionality.

You can use the free program RECUVA, or any other, like EaseUS, to try and recover files from a formatted disk.

To increase the likelihood that recovery will go well you should not do anything else with the drive until that job is done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

If you did not initialize the drive you might recover it simply by giving it a drive letter manually. This kind of problem is common when using multiple removable drives.

This page here:
My External Hard Drive is not recognized by my computer | External Drives FAQ
Gives a good step by step.

Another tip: shut off the computer. Disconnect all external drives. Start up and then connect the drives one at a time. This may sort out the drive letter conflict.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

As I understand the OP's problem, he was copying files from a source drive to a target drive - both externals - and midway through the copying process, the source drive suddenly lost its recognition.( From the screenshot it became "Not initialised")

The question is why would it happen? If one can answer this question, then I would think a solution or fix can be offered. Otherwise we will all be shooting in the dark.

And that is what exactly I am going to do now.

On a hinch, I would think of the possibility of a drive letter conflict. But then why would a conflict arise in the middle of the process? May be the OP plugged in his third drive inbetween and that could have precipitated the conflict.

I would advise the OP to plug that source drive into another working PC. If it shows up in the new PC without any problem, then it is almost certain that it is a drive letter conflict. He has to do a drive cleanup on his PC to remove all old entries and non-present devices and allow the PC to assign drive letters afresh.

Ok, even without trying the external drive on a different PC, he can do a drive cleanup on his PC and then connect the source drive.

For now I shall take a break till I search and find the right post on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

The drive is as you see it from the moment it was lost. It was never re-formatted. There is absolutely no access to the "raw" drive. That's why I hit INITIALIZE, just to see if it would access the drive in order to reformat it. If the initialization command had gone through, I simply would have hit cancel. But I'll give Recuva a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi Rosewell1701,

Now do this drive cleanup.

1. Remove all non-present storage volumes:

Download drivecleanup.zip v 0.8.1 from Drive Tools for Windows. Unzip it to a folder, select the 32bit or 64bit drivecleanup.exe depending on your OS and copy it to the c > windows > system32 folder.

Shut down your Comp, Unplug all USB devices from your computer.( you may keep USB KB and mouse plugged)

Reboot.

On an elevated command prompt type drivecleanup.exe and Enter. After the
cleanup close the window.

Shut down your comp and reboot.

Now plug in your external drive one at a time, in the sequence you would like the drive letters to be assigned to those.

Check whether all your external drives are recognised and got the drive letters. (if not assign the drive letters in Disk Management)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: No System Files




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