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Windows 7: Intl. hard drive has disappeared from Windows Explorer whilst in use

02 Jan 2016   #1
mipak

 
 
Intl. hard drive has disappeared from Windows Explorer whilst in use

There I was, minding my own business, watching a film in my computer's e:\ drive when the film suddenly stopped so I thought, okay, perhaps some dust in the plug and/or socket so I shut it down, did the cleaning bit then fired it back up again. All was okay through the POST sequence but when I got back to Windows Explorer, the drive in question wasn't to be seen. I run c:\, d:\, e:\ & f:\ drives and e:\ was missing.
Then I went into Control Panel > Admin Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management but it wasn't there either but a small window entitled 'Initialise Disk' appeared with a tick alongside Disk 2 & a choice of choosing a pre-ticked MBR button or GPT button. I chose neither purely because I didn't want to run the risk of losing any data. There was also a size of 128gigs against an un-allocated and un-initialised drive showing in Disk Management. I can only assume that this is my missing drive, despite the fact that the total capacity of it is 2000gigs (includes perhaps 500gigs free) which contains files etc. going back 8+ years ... thus the rising panic inside me!!

If I intitalise, will it only apply to the 128gigs leaving the balance of 1500gigs intact or will it wipe the lot?
I know there are a number of programmes on the net such as GetDataback which might help, I don't know, but I have no intention of doing anything unless there is no risk of data loss. As to the cause ... I haven't a clue.

I'm running W7 Pro.

Think I'm going to need some serious help ... would be very grateful please.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jan 2016   #2
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Can you post a Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image Be sure and spread the columns so we can read all of the print.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #3
mipak

 
 

hi ... i've attached 2 pictures ... dm-04 which is the first window that comes up after clicking 'disk management' and shows the initialise disk window.
dm-3 shows an expanded view without the initialise disk window.

the 'missing' hard drive (full name = 3-F&M--2000Gb (E) can be only be seen at the bottom of both and is referenced as Disk 2.

hope this helps.


Attached Thumbnails
Intl. hard drive has disappeared from Windows Explorer whilst in use-dm-04.jpg   Intl. hard drive has disappeared from Windows Explorer whilst in use-dm-03.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jan 2016   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Please read the tutorial again and complete exactly as the tutorial indicates.

Their should be no side columns or things over the top of the information.

Example:

Intl. hard drive has disappeared from Windows Explorer whilst in use-disk-management-dec-5-2015.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #5
mipak

 
 

can't get this any bigger ... showing in a full window in a 1:1 ratio on a 15" screen ...
hope this is what you're looking for ...


Attached Thumbnails
Intl. hard drive has disappeared from Windows Explorer whilst in use-dm-06.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you very much and I think that bigmck will also thank you.

The size wasn't the problem. All the clutter was the problem.

Let me see if I can gather some information before bigmck gets back.
Hope you don't mind.

What is or was on Disc 2 unallocated?

What were you doing on your computer when this problem happened?

Did you by chance unplug the drive while it was in use?

The reason I ask is just watching a movie doesn't turn a drive to unallocated.
Something else had to happen or the drive turned to junk while watching the movie.

Is the drive in question a internal or external drive?
I'm I correct that the drive in question was/is a 2 TB hard drive and now shows 128GB?

Don't do anything to the drive at this point or you may loose everything that is on the drive.

Could you complete this tutorial by Brink. It will give us more information about your system.

System Info - See Your System Specs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #7
mipak

 
 

No worries & thanks for your prompt reply which I'll now start to answer ...

1) What is or was on Disc 2 unallocated?
The straight answer is ... I don't know.
Originally, it was a single partitioned & formatted 2000gig hard drive bought new within the last 12 months on which I only stored films and music files such as mp3, wma, avi, mp4, flv & mkv. (See further comments under 6) below.)

2) What were you doing on your computer when this problem happened?
Just watching a film. The rest of the computer was quiet apart from the volume so to my knowledge, nothing else was happening.

3) Did you by chance unplug the drive while it was in use?
No. The e:\ drive was & still is enclosed with the others inside the desktop computer box.

4) The reason I ask is just watching a movie doesn't turn a drive to unallocated.
Something else had to happen or the drive turned to junk while watching the movie.

Agreed but just what actually happened, I have no idea.

5) Is the drive in question a internal or external drive?
It's a standard(I guess) 3" Seagate SATA hard drive fitted internally.

6) I'm I correct that the drive in question was/is a 2 TB hard drive and now shows 128GB?
You're quite correct. In my original post, my 500gig figure was an estimate of what I thought was unused space on the drive but it may well of been less. It's a long time since I last checked the figures. It begs the question ... where did the figure of 128 gigs come from? Quite possibly, I may well have used up in the region 1872gigs instead of 1500gigs which could account for the unallocated space figure of 128 (there or thereabouts anyway). A further point too ... if the actual storeage capacity of the drive had been reached, this would have halted the transfer process when I copied the last file over but to date, all files have t/f'd over smoothly & without any problems.

7) Don't do anything to the drive at this point or you may loose everything that is on the drive.
Don't worry, I'll not be touching it. Anyway, I've disconnected both the power & data leads.

8) Could you complete this tutorial by Brink. It will give us more information about your system.
No problem, I'll be dealing with this shortly but wanted to get this post out of the way first
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #8
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi mipak,

Is your local time as shown correct? I think it is not. Most probably you didn't set the correct time zone in User CP. Anyway that isn't the real problem.

Tackling your problem, some firmware corruption seems to have taken place. It may be reversible or irreversible.

Read this diligently and execute the Hard Drive Capacity Restore Tool. Restoring Factory Hard Drive Capacity - Official Atola Technology Blog

Note:
1.The program has to be run only on 32bit Windows. If your OS is 64 bit Windows do not run this program.

2.Re-power your computer before running this tool. That means, completely power off your computer; then power on, start Windows and run the tool.

3.According to the authors " it does not read from or write to the user data area at all (including partition tables, boot records, etc). It only alters HDD firmware (HPA and DCO settings)." You can believe them.

If the firmware corruption is reversible, your HDD capacity will be restored.

If the firmware corruption is irreversible you will get an error message something like this ""Hard drive is not accessible or damaged in some way. Therefore factory capacity cannot be recovered. Please try to run this program in another platform."

In such a case you have the following options:

1. If your drive is under warranty contact Seagate Tech Support for a replacement.

2. DIY data recovery is not possible by any means. But truly Professional Data Recovery Agencies can recover the data if you are intent on recovering the data. It may cost you. You have to find out what it will be if they promise that they can recover the data.

3. If you give up option 1 and 2, try this. I picked it up from another thread. So I am not answerable if it does not work. I shall only take the bouquet if it works ( for dishing it out) but not the brickbat .
"I figured it out.. So if anyone else ever has this problem

download "Seatools for dos"
burn .iso to cd
find HDD with problem
advanced ->"max"

thats it.. 3 hours searching the web 3 minutes to fix it.. Thanks to everyone who posted in here"

Also I do not know whether it will retain the data if it successfully restores your hard drive. You may ask Seagate Tech Support.

I presume that it basically does the same thing as Atola's HDD Capacity Restore Tool.

End of my day today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you mipak for answering all my question. It will help others help you.

I would recommend following jumanji guidance and suggestions.
He is what I call a expert in such matters.

Be aware you must follow
instructions EXACTLY. Not doing so could cause all data to disappear.

Don't forget to fill in your system specs.
Look at mine and you will get a idea of how it is done.

I will go back to watching this thread.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2016   #10
mipak

 
 

my thanks to both layback bear and jumanji ...
have not forgotten the system specs but will be out for most of today ...

I checked my local time ... it was showing up as 6 hours behind GMT ... don't know how or why ... anyway, have reset it back to GMT again ... many thanks ...

Your article on the Hard Drive Capacity Restore Tool was really interesting but I have one question ...
it says "Supported OS: 32-bit versions of Windows XP/Vista/2003" but my computer is runing on Windows 7 Professional 32bit. if I download & run the Restore Tool, will it still work? If not, is there an updated version of the Restore Tool available to download?

will be back later ................
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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