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Windows 7: Seagate Expansion Drive 320GB Not Showing Up In My Computer Anymore!!

21 Jul 2013   #11
lynnemcc87

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Thank you so much to everyone that has replied and tried to help me. All of your comments were took on board, as I am in no position to question anybody's computer knowledge...because mine sucks

And thank you so much dsperber for all of your help and the time you took to explain all of this to me.....im happy to say that my initial problem is fixed after following all of your instructions!!

I can now use my external hard drive again

Big Thank You to everyone!




Attached Thumbnails
Seagate Expansion Drive 320GB Not Showing Up In My Computer Anymore!!-fixed.jpg   Seagate Expansion Drive 320GB Not Showing Up In My Computer Anymore!!-fixed2.jpg  
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21 Jul 2013   #12
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lynnemcc87 View Post
And thank you so much dsperber for all of your help and the time you took to explain all of this to me.....im happy to say that my initial problem is fixed after following all of your instructions!!

I can now use my external hard drive again
That screenshot looks PERFECT!! You have an E!! And I see that you did choose to label that partition "Seagate".

As it turns out you have created a "logical partition" lettered E, rather than a "primary partition". No problem, and it really doesn't matter. But if you look at the color of the bar that DISKMGMT has put over that partition in your screenshot, you'll see that it is BRIGHT BLUE instead of DARK BLUE. That is a color-coded distinction between "logical" and "primary" partitions. Note that all three partitions on your internal drive are DARK BLUE. Also, not that DISKMGMT shows "logical partition" as opposed to "primary" for the partitions on your internal drive.

To get technical, there are no practical restrictions for logical partitions other than that you can't mark them as "active" which means you can't have your machine hardware BIOS boot directly from them (say if you'd installed an operating system into one of them). But using Boot Manager to control the boot process (e.g. if you have multiple operating systems installed) and the small "system reserved" partition (which is on your primary hard drive, and IS marked as "active" as it must be in order for the BIOS to find it, and is actually where the BIOS goes to begin the boot process when you power on the machine) in fact you actually can use "logical" partitions for pretty much everything.

The real advantage to "logical" partitions over "primary" partitions is that there can be any number of them (perhaps up to 255 possibly), whereas primary partitions are limited to a maximum of four per hard drive. That's really the only reason people choose to create a logical partition in the first place, because they plan to have more than four partitions on the drive. Otherwise there would be no reason to go that way.

Just remember that all logical partitions on one hard drive are built inside of one (of the maximum of four) primary partitions on the hard drive, so that you now only have a maximum of three true primary partitions remaining which can get Windows drive letters and be used as ordinary partitions.

My own desktop PC has four internal hard drives, and each hard drive has multiple partitions. My drive letters go C-M for the partitions on my internal drives. I chose to use "logical" partitions for all non-OS partitions (i.e. for my "data"), no matter how many or how large or small, just so that I never need to worry about resizing or moving/merging them, or creating new logical partitions from free space or from restructuring of existing adjacent partitions. Everything inside of that one "extended partition" (i.e. that one primary partition used to host the one or more logical partitions inside of it, along with any "logical freespace" that may be unallocated inside of that same "extended partition") is managed together, as if it were its own independent drive that had had no limits on the number or location of partitions within it.

Note that whereas I suggested that you might label your new partition (just one, using up all available space on that external Seagate drive) "Seagate", in my situation I've had to be a little more precise since I have multiple partitions on each of my four hard drives. So to be unambiguous I've come up with a labeling scheme that is a combination of some unique distinguishing abbreviation of the drive/manufacturer/size along with the partition number on that drive. So for example, WD2000-P1, WD750-P3, HIT320-P2, etc.. These labels are completely independent of the drive letter Windows assigns to each partitions, and are simply useful additional indicative values that you make up for your own personal use. In this case I'm just trying to provide a physical identity to my own partitions, having nothing to do with the corresponding Windows drive letters which have been assigned to them.


Anyway, in your situation where you only wanted one partition on that Seagate drive, it really didn't matter which way you went... logical or primary, but putting a meaningful label ("Seagate") on it obviously makes it show up that way in DISKMGMT, Explorer, etc., and is therefore helpful.

I thought PW would have defaulted to "primary", but if you used it and didn't change the defaults then I guess I'm wrong and its default must have been "logical". Not a problem either way, as I predicted in my explanation.

Glad to have been able to help out, and impart some presumably useful information about drives and partitions that may be useful for you in the future.
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21 Jul 2013   #13
lynnemcc87

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Its all very confusing to me but i think i am starting to understand it all a lot better now. Im in my first year of college studying admin, IT and computing.....i hope to be as knowledgeable as you one day!

And yes i chose to name it Seagate....i'm very good at following instructions! and as I hadn't yet put any of my files on the drive yet, I just went and changed it to a Primary partition. Im getting good at this! haha.

Time to start adding files....thanks very much!!


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Seagate Expansion Drive 320GB Not Showing Up In My Computer Anymore!!-untitled1.jpg  
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22 Jul 2013   #14
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lynnemcc87 View Post
...and as I hadn't yet put any of my files on the drive yet, I just went and changed it to a Primary partition.
No harm, no foul. But honestly there's nothing wrong with having left that partition as "logical". You really didn't need to make it "primary". Either form is functionally 100% identical in terms of everything you need that drive for.

Just one last comment for closure on this particular subject...

Remember that I said there was a maximum of four primary partitions on a hard drive. So depending on the number of logical partitions you have defined within the "extended partition" (i.e. the particular primary partition you implicitly chose to hold your one or more logical partitions inside of it), and where those logical partitions are located within the extended partition, it may always be possible to convert any/all of your logical partitions to primary... or maybe it's possible to convert just some or at worst just one of them.

And Partition Wizard can always do this conversion for you, no matter whether or not there are files already located in the logical partition(s) you want to convert.

But the important thing to keep in mind is that you can never have more than four total primary partitions on a hard drive. And if you keep at at least one logical partition defined, then that logical partition took over one of your maximum four primary partition and converted it into an "extended partition", so that now you have a maximum of three primary partitions possible.

And the fact that you have at least one logical partition defined means you have established the "extended partition", which is the prerequisite for having one or more logical partitions inside of it. So if you have one logical partition, you really can have two or more logical partitions with no further considerations other than having sufficient space allocated to that extended partition to hold all of the logical partitions you'd like to have at the sizes you'd like to have them be.


Final comment on Partition Wizard. It can also be used to move (left or right) and/or resize partitions. Obviously what you can do depends on your existing partitions, where (if any) there is free space (either "primary" free space located to the left or right of primary partitions, or "logical" free space located to the left or right of logical partitions within the extended partition).

So generally speaking, it's only the logical partitions at the leftmost or rightmost locations within the extended partition that can be converted to primary partitions without much else to worry about (assuming you stay within the maximum of four primary partitions if you have no more logical partitions left, or a maximum of three primary partitions if you have at least one logical partition left since that means you still need the extended partition to hold the remaining logical partitions).

But anything you imagine you want to do, Partition Wizard can do that for you... or if it can't, it will tell you why in an error message. And of course nothing is actually done until you push the APPLY button at which time the entire queue of scheduled operations is now performed. At any time you can "undo" the most recently queued operation, or you can flush the entire current queue in order to start over from scratch for whatever reason.

And as you queue up an operation, the Partition Wizard graphical presentation changes to reflect that operation as if it had been applied... even though we realize it hasn't yet been applied. And of course any "undo" steps back in the graphical presentation to reflect the backout of that last queued operation.

As you've no doubt surmised, I am a BIG FAN of Partition Wizard... even when working in the simplest of situations such as yours, where you simply have a hard drive and you'd like to set it up to be just one single partition. It's pretty much impossible to make a mistake, and it's pretty much guaranteed that the graphical interface and intuitive controls will intuitively guide you through accomplishing exactly what you want.


Ok... case closed. Again, glad you're in business.
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 Seagate Expansion Drive 320GB Not Showing Up In My Computer Anymore!!




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