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Windows 7: new hard drive enclosure, drive doesn't register

13 Feb 2015   #1
5thman

windows 7 home premium 64-bit
 
 
new hard drive enclosure, drive doesn't register

I'm having the same issues as this lady. I have two IDE hard drives from older computers that I want to try to recover data from. I got a new enclosure all set up, plugged the first drive in (Drive 5), and it doesn't register under My Computer. I right click My Computer, go to Manage, avoid initializing/formatting the drive, and find that it's offline and unallocated. This is what it looks like.

I right click the drive listing (left side) and click Offline, hoping that'll bring it online. "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error." Right click the right side, and I see "new simple volume, new spanned volume, new striped volume, properties, help." The latter two are clickable, the rest gray. I do everything the 'net tells me to do: change the jumper to Master, clean it with compressed air, restart the computer, restart the enclosure, reinstall the enclosure driver. Nothing changes.

I try plugging the enclosure into mom's laptop, and "offline" is now grayed out when I right click the left side of the drive listing. On the right side, "new simple volume" is clickable now, but my friend says that will also initialize the drive and erase everything, so I didn't try it. Apart from these differences, everything was exactly the same.

So I use the steps in the thread I linked in the beginning, hoping that the data recovery tool might be able to access the drive. When it scans all devices, however, the enclosure's light goes out, as if it's hiding from the scan. Once the scan ends, the light comes back on. The external drive is unlisted.

I haven't tried the other hard drive yet, but I'm not expecting much better from it. Any suggestions?

EDIT: A photo of the drive itself. It might be the older of the two, as the circuitry is facing outward and not inward.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Feb 2015   #2
dsperber

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

What kind of enclosure did you buy? The drives may be genuinely unusable, or it might be a problem with the enclosure.

When I want to salvage data from old drives I use this old tried-and-true Kingwin SATA/IDE->USB 2.0 adapter. Very inexpensive (so you can try it out yourself for minimal cost investment), but very reliable in my own experience. If you have a very large drive (e.g. SATA) that you want to access, it might be worth considering their USB 3.0 version for just a few dollars more because of the much faster USB 3.0 transfer speed.

I wouldn't give up yet on your IDE drives yet until I'd given this other adapter approach a shot. Never failed for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2015   #3
5thman

windows 7 home premium 64-bit
 
 

I got a "Sabrent" enclosure for about $20 bucks brand new.

Also, shortly after posting here, I tried the second hard drive and it worked with no trouble at all. So I guess either the first hard drive has its own problems, or it's too old for the enclosure to handle. I have my doubts about the latter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Feb 2015   #4
5thman

windows 7 home premium 64-bit
 
 

What exactly is the adapter for, anyway? The page you linked seems to assume I know what it is already. That is, what exactly does it do?

Also any further suggestions would be appreciated, especially regarding what to do if the drive is damaged. It is definitely the older of the two drives and possibly ran Windows 2000 when it was our family comp. I'm anxious to recover the data if at all possible, since it's basically a time capsule now.

Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2015   #5
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

The adapter lets you plug a hard drive into it and then plug the USB cable into your PC to access it. I have one just a different brand. It has IDE, laptop IDE, and SATA ports on it. It's meant for file recovery, not everyday use. There is no enclosure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2015   #6
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 5thman View Post
What exactly is the adapter for, anyway? The page you linked seems to assume I know what it is already. That is, what exactly does it do?
As Alphanumeric explained, it's just a way to remove a hard drive from a case and using appropriate cables and/or IDE/SATA connectors provided in the adapter kit box, you just plug this "naked" drive into the central gizmo. Then you plug another cable into the gizmo which has a USB connector at its other end, along with a drive power cable (and adapters, for drive power connector type IDE or SATA) that also comes with the kit.

So you've now got the standalone IDE or SATA drive connected to power, and to the gizmo through the appropriate connection type for data. I usually then sit it down on the cardboard carton of the adapter kit so it's on something solid.

With the drive already powered up and running in this standalone external state, you then plug the USB end of the data cable into the PC. Presto, that external IDE/SATA drive now appears to be an external removable USB-interface hard drive, same as you might by from Western Digital MyBook or Verbatim or any external USB drive. Today these external USB drives are ALL actually SATA drives inside of an enclosure that provides a USB interface, i.e. EXACTLY LIKE THIS ADAPTER SETUP I JUST DESCRIBED... except without an enclosure.

As with all removable USB-interface drives that get plugged in, Windows will connect using MSC protocol which causes them to get a drive letter(s) assigned for each partition discovered on the drive. You then attempt to access the drive(s) contents using Windows Explorer or other tools, and salvage any data you can, copying everything to some other new storage so that you can throw the old drive away when you're done.

And as with any MSC-connected removable device, when you're done with your work you "safely eject" the device (i.e. right-click on the "safely remove hardware" icon in System Tray and select as appropriate from the popup menu), and then remove the USB cable from the PC, and then now it is safe to pull the power cord from the wall for the device and uncable the drive from its connections, and then probably throw the drive away.


Quote:
Also any further suggestions would be appreciated, especially regarding what to do if the drive is damaged. It is definitely the older of the two drives and possibly ran Windows 2000 when it was our family comp. I'm anxious to recover the data if at all possible, since it's basically a time capsule now.
My sympathies. I know the situation, and how you're feeling. This is another example of priceless irreplaceable data for which you didn't have backed up somehow (word to the wise for the future).

I only suggest the adapter idea because (a) it's a second approach to possibly successfully accessing the drive, since your first external enclosure approach was unsuccessful, and (b) it's hardly any cost at all, so it's definitely at least worth a shot. There's no guarantee the adapter approach will work, but it's a very simple mechanism based on a USB interface that I know I've had success with and I'm not familiar with the external enclosure you tried first.

There's no guarantee it will work, as your enclosure results suggest that either the drive is truly fried or has become unusable. And of course if that's the case your only option is what will no doubt be a ridiculously expensive "data recovery" adventure with 3rd-party services that normally deal with trying to recover important data for businesses, who don't care about price. But when I've called these on rare occasion when I was in a situation like yours (i.e. my drive simply died, and I didn't have a usable current backup) the prices quoted were simply too unbelievable for me to accept. On the other hand, if the data lost is priceless than any price to recover it is not too much, I guess.

I don't know what to suggest, aside from my inexpensive suggestion to try another way to interface to the drive with the adpater, and see if you have "recognition" of the partition(s) on the drive and can actually now get to its contents. Certainly you obviously cannot "format" the drive, as that will erase its contents not preserve its contents. So if the adapter experiment also claims that the drive is unreadable or unformatted or unusable, I'm afraid you're "doomed" by conventional ordinary recovery method standards using ordinary hardware ideas.

And now it's up to you just how far you want to go with a 3rd-party data recovery service and how much you're willing to spend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2015   #7
5thman

windows 7 home premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
My sympathies. I know the situation, and how you're feeling. This is another example of priceless irreplaceable data for which you didn't have backed up somehow (word to the wise for the future).
Yeah this computer was either before reliable flash drives, or was so wracked with malware that it was unusable. I can't remember which. Probably both.

I wouldn't mind using the adapter if I thought it was any different than an enclosure. What's the difference besides the lack of a container for the drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2015   #8
DocBrown

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

Welcome 5thman

I have tried many of the different enclosures, adapters, and Hard Drive docks. Sometimes a failure with one type will be a success with another type, or vice versa.

Yes, the IDE drive jumper needs to be set to master. Also try connecting on different computers, as you have already tried. If they are full size desktop HD's make sure you have a good power connection.

Various HD Docks Computer Parts, Laptops, Electronics, and More - Newegg.com 600006270&isNodeId=1


Attached Thumbnails
new hard drive enclosure, drive doesn't register-startech_docking_unit.jpg  
Attached Images
new hard drive enclosure, drive doesn't register-hd_dock_unit.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #9
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 5thman View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
My sympathies. I know the situation, and how you're feeling. This is another example of priceless irreplaceable data for which you didn't have backed up somehow (word to the wise for the future).
Yeah this computer was either before reliable flash drives, or was so wracked with malware that it was unusable. I can't remember which. Probably both.

I wouldn't mind using the adapter if I thought it was any different than an enclosure. What's the difference besides the lack of a container for the drive?
I don't think there is a whole lot of difference really. basically the same electronics inside. The advantage of the adapter, for me anyway, is it will work with any hard drive I might have to retrieve data off of. Enclosures can restrict you in what drive you can connect. Example, those made for laptop IDE drives won't work with full sized IDE drives or SATA drives. And the those for IDE/SATA won't work with laptop IDE drives. And some are IDE only or SATA only. For data recovery the adapter is usually a better choice, especially if you know your going to use it more than once.
Enclosures are good if you want to repurpose the drive. I have several here at home. If I can boot up the PC and get into Windows, I use those to copy the data via USB.
Some enclosures can be finicky about what drives are connected. All depends on how good the firmware is. Some of the early ones that came out had size restrictions etc. They didn't play nice with all drives. I don't think that is an issue anymore. The one gotcha that is till there is jumper settings for IDE drives. Some enclosures may want it jumpered as Cable Select and some will only work if its set as master. Get it wrong and the drive doesn't get detected.
In your case, it sounds like the drive has failed. If you haven't already, you could try just plugging it in as a slave in another PC. If it's a SATA drive that should be easy enough to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2015   #10
5thman

windows 7 home premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
This came in the mail today, but the driver failed to install, likely due to our internet service being about as stable as an ice cream bridge. So I went to uninstall the device driver and try again.

It's been hanging on "confirm device uninstall" for the past ten minutes and shows no sign of finishing. I don't know what the hell to do anymore.

EDIT: Unplugged the device and it abruptly went away. Plugged it back in and it tried installing the driver again, this time with full five bars of internet (supposedly). Failed anyway. I downloaded the device driver manually but I have no clue what to do with it, nor what to do if it still fails. I can't tell if the universe hates me, or just my computer, or just the windows automatic driver update program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 new hard drive enclosure, drive doesn't register




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