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Windows 7: Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.

24 Jul 2014   #1
crobertson

windows 7
 
 
Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.

Every time I open Disk Management is asks me to initialize a drive that isn't even there. I connect a bad drive as a slave, and it wouldn't initialize. now every time I open Disk Mgmt, it asks me to initialize the drive. I figure it is something in the registry I need to delete, but not sure of what.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jul 2014   #2
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

From Microsoft:
A basic disk's status is Not Initialized.

Cause:The disk does not contain a valid signature. After you install a new disk, the operating system must write a disk signature, the end of sector marker (also called signature word), and a master boot record or GUID partition table before you can create partitions on the disk. When you first start Disk Management after installing a new disk, a wizard appears that provides a list of the new disks detected by the operating system. If you cancel the wizard before the disk signature is written, the disk status remains Not Initialized.
So I believe you are correct in that Windows has created a registry entry for that drive without the Disk Signature in one of the keys.

You could try and find that key in a registry search if you search for the name of the hard drive manufacturer or serial number (a long shot, and it would be best to be the only drive in your system of that brand). You would need to be very careful to be sure you are not deleting a key for one of the other drives.

Or you could just click to initialize the (missing) disk and Windows might ignore it afterward. The danger here is that you would want to be sure that only the phantom disk is initialized, not a real disk. So you should disconnect any addition drives and only have your C: partition drive connected if you decide to try this. I've never tried it, but I don't believe Windows will allow you to initialize the system drive while it is running (not promising anything).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2014   #3
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

TVeblen is correct. Initializing the drive involves creating a partition and formatting it. Disk Management will not format the System drive so you should have no worries there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Jul 2014   #4
gbs

7&8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
TVeblen is correct. Initializing the drive involves creating a partition and formatting it. Disk Management will not format the System drive so you should have no worries there.
Initializing a drive, in terms of windows, is just creating a partition table (MBR or GPT). Not creating a partition or formatting it.

Theoretically, nothing should happen if an already initialized disk is somehow initialized again. It already has a partition table and windows wouldn't be able to overwrite that to "create".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2014   #5
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

That may be true for the Primary Disk (with the Active and Boot flags), but it is not true for data disks. We have a parade of folks who come here trying to recover data from data disks they mistakenly initialized (or re-initialized).
In these cases the existing partition table was written over with a blank one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2014   #6
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

And on top of that, what we are talking about is a disk that does not exist. Plus, as you said, theoretically that may be true, but in actual practice it is much different in the overwhelming majority of cases.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #7
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 
MBR initialisation - What it does. Data is not lost by merely initiali

There seems to be a lot of misconception about what initialisation of a disk does.

When one initialises a disk and chooses MBR it merely writes the MBR code to the first sector.

The following screenshots were taken with the HDD completely wiped clean - all sectors written with 00.

Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.-28-06-2014-15-26-33.jpg

When such a disk is connected and Windows Disk Management is invoked, one will be asked to initialise the disk.

Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.-28-06-2014-15-32-50.jpg

Choose MBR and OK, it writes the MBR code to Sector 0, which includes the Windows Disk Signature and Boot Record Signature.

Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.-28-06-2014-15-58-57.jpg

The only change that has taken place in Windows Disk Management is the disk is now Basic and Online. ( It is no longer Unknown and Not Initialised.)

Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.-28-06-2014-16-01-11.jpg

Please note that nothing has been written into the space assigned to the partition table. All 64 fields still remain 00. So the disk still remains unallocated.


(When I started with this Primer on Partitioning on 26 Jun 14, I stopped at this and my attention got diverted. The following will be covered as and when I find time and free my HDD for further exploration.)

When one creates New Volumes - maximum four with MBR - for each new volume created a 16 field partition table for each new volume is written into the space allocated in Sector 0.

When subsequently one formats the drive to NTFS, a Volume Boot Record(VBR)/Partition Boot Record(PBR) - more commonly called the File System - is written into the first sector of each such partition.

So initialisation only makes Windows recognise the disk and brings it online.
OK, all this has nothing to do with OP's problem. I shall take a break now and will try to deal with it in my next post.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #8
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by crobertson View Post
Every time I open Disk Management is asks me to initialize a drive that isn't even there. I connect a bad drive as a slave, and it wouldn't initialize. now every time I open Disk Mgmt, it asks me to initialize the drive. I figure it is something in the registry I need to delete, but not sure of what.
I have what could be a probable solution but before that I would like to seek some additional information.

1. Please post a screenshot of the current Windows Disk Management along with the message you get. Please remove all other external HDDs/pendrives/docks/USB hubs (except your USB Keyboard/mouse, if you are using). Only your internal drives.
Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

Please make sure that you click on Show/Hide Console Tree and Show/Hide Action Pane icons in the tool bar to hide those to give a full screen view and upload it to SevenForums servers and not a third party server.

2. You said you connected that bad drive as a slave. Is it a PATA drive? If so is your System drive also a PATA drive as master?

3. Do you still have that bad drive with you to connect it again if required?

4. Can you give more details about your system, if you can't fill in your system specs?

5. Do you have any System Restore point prior to your connecting that drive in your system? If you have then it will be easier to restore your system to that point and that should automatically resolve the problem.

If not we have to scratch our head as best as we can and we shall do that .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #9
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

LOL.
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 Disk Mgmt ask to initialize a drive that isn't there.




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