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Windows 7: Hard drive initialization question


15 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 RC
 
 
Hard drive initialization question

My laptop running Vista Home Premium 32bit died (system board) and I want to copy my data off the hard drive to my desktop running Windows 7 RC. I'm using an IDE to USB adapter and it wants to initialize the hard drive before it can be read. Won't that destroy the data? If so, any suggestions as to how I can save my files?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Hello Cybrow Welcome to the Windows 7 Forums!

To see the drive initialized you will need to go into "Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management" in order to perform the following action.

Quote:
Initialize New Disks



To initialize new disks
  1. In Disk Management, right-click the disk you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk.
  2. In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the disk(s) to initialize. You can select whether to use the master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT) partition style.
Note The disk is initialized as a basic disk.



Additional considerations
  • New disks appear as Not Initialized. Before you can use a disk, you must first initialize it. If you start Disk Management after adding a disk, the Initialize Disk Wizard appears so you can initialize the disk.
This is right in the menu bar>help option when arriving in the Disk Management tool itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 RC
 
 

Hello and thanks for the welcome.

Yes I can see how to initialize the hard drive but will doing so wipe out the
existing data? Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Oct 2009   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cybrow View Post
Hello and thanks for the welcome.

Yes I can see how to initialize the hard drive but will doing so wipe out the
existing data? Thanks.
Cybrow


Yep it will. You moved the HD to another machine? how are you trying to view the drive in IE?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 RC
 
 

zigzag,

I have it plugged onto one of those IDE to USB adapters and plugged into a USB port on my desktop to use as an external drive. The drive shows up in disk management and says I must initialize it before I can access it. The drive does not show up in Windows Explorer only under the disk manager. As you confirm a my fear that initializing the disk will scrub the data I am trying to find some way to copy the files to another computer to save them. I tried booting my desktop into Knopix but the drive does not show up there either. I also tried a couple of freeware recovery programs and the drive shows up in the list but I can't access it. I installed the drive into another laptop and it wants to do a do a recovery on the drive probably because the hardware is different or maybe some damage to boot files occurred when the first laptop died. I thought maybe if I could get the drive to boot into windows on the second laptop I could save the files to another external drive or burn them to a DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #6

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Cybrow

Did you have an OS on that disk? was it a basic volume, or a virtual?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

If there's already an NTFS volume on the drive you shouldn't have any problem once the drive is initialized as far as losing anything on it. Once initialized you will be able to assign a logical drive letter to it if it still isn't seen in Computer or any Windows Explorer or other browser window.

For someone else who is just finishing up a 7 retail installation after some hardwares failed lately a second sata drive wasn't seen at first until he went into the DM and even then had problems. Suddenly the prompting that 7 had detected the drive appeared.

And you wouldn't use Internet Explorer to look for a hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #8

Windows 7 RC
 
 

ZigZag,

Yes, Windows Vista Home Premium. This a friend's laptop so I don't know any more about it except that it came with the OS installed when he bought it.

Night Hawk,

I'm pretty sure it's NTFS. That's good news then and sounds like the way to go. I have read differing opinions on whether initialization will wipe out data so I think I will give it a try. The guy is going to buy another laptop so if I can save his docs etc. it will be a great, if not I guess he has learned a lesson in backing up his files. Yes, I think he meant windows explorer.

Hey thanks to everyone for pitching in. I'll post my results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #9

Windows 7 RC
 
 

At the prompt in disk management to initialize the hard drive Virtual Disk Manager pops up saying "The device is not ready" and once it fails the option is greyed out. Maybe the disk got corrupted when his laptop died?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 RC
 
 

Okay, I finally got it. I put the drive into a different external enclosure and it popped right up. Guess that IDE to USB adapter I was using wasn't doing the job in some way. The enclosure that worked was just a cheapo 2.5 enclosure I had forgotten I had. Again thanks again everyone. -Cy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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