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Windows 7: Can't Read Dell SATA drive

11 Jan 2010   #1

Win 7 64
 
 
Can't Read Dell SATA drive

Here is problem. Son's computer died. Dell XPS with Raid 320's. Motherboard died. Built him a new computer. I5 system running Windows 7. Assumed I could salvage his data. Installed 1 of the drives and Bios and Windows sees the drive. However, windows wants to format the drive, says there is no active partition. Tried Second drive, which should be his old "C". Same thing. Wants to format it. Is there something special about the way Dell sets up its drives? Something Windows 7 does not see? I think the drive is fine. Any thoughts?

note: all are SATA drives, new and old

TIA

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hello,

Could you please post a screenshot of disk management for me? http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...en-forums.html

Thanks,
~Jonathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #3

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by awwall View Post
Here is problem. Son's computer died. Dell XPS with Raid 320's. Motherboard died. Built him a new computer. I5 system running Windows 7. Assumed I could salvage his data. Installed 1 of the drives and Bios and Windows sees the drive. However, windows wants to format the drive, says there is no active partition. Tried Second drive, which should be his old "C". Same thing. Wants to format it. Is there something special about the way Dell sets up its drives? Something Windows 7 does not see? I think the drive is fine. Any thoughts?

note: all are SATA drives, new and old

TIA
TIA;

The best place to go to understand why Dell ships computers with hard drives configured for RAID 0 is Dell. I just can't imagine why they would do this? Dell's customers are most likely not able to understand how to manage a RAID setup like this anyway.

The problem you have is the two hard drives were configured as a pair in a RAID 0 ARRAY. In simplist terms, the data is shared half to one drive and half to the other, supposedly increasing data access speed. Take one hard drive away from a RAID 0 and you have nothing a computer can recognize.

You may be able to salvage the data, you will need to use the RAID functions of the motherboard, if available, or some RAID software. If you can, open the BIOS (repeatedly tap the DELETE key, or what ever your motherboard requires at boot up) and select RAID in the hard drive settings for a pair of SATA hard drives, and make sure the two Dell hard drives are connected there. Hopefully, with the RAID enabled and the two drives connected, you will be able to access the data. No promises though.

Dell raid link: RAID | Dell

Jaycee posted this link for RAID information: B.C. Technology and Internet Services: RAID Info
(Thanks! Jaycee)

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2010   #4

Win 7 64
 
 

You nailed it Iseeuu...I figured this out after posting. (with a lot of reading). I am trying a tool called "getdataback" right now to see what it can recover. I screwed up big time. The first drive I put in, I let Windows setup a partition and it wiped the allocation tables. The second drive is what I am working on..about 85% done now. Will re post with the final results.

I don't understand why Dell does this either. My Son-in-law has no clue as to what RAID is or how to use it. When he bought this, I think Dell reps sold him a bill of goods because he asked for a "gaming" computer and they sold him this XPS at an outrageous cost. When something dies..i.e. motherboard...data is essentially lost. Hopefully they had this in "mirror" mode, but probably not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #5

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by awwall View Post
You nailed it Iseeuu...I figured this out after posting. (with a lot of reading). I am trying a tool called "getdataback" right now to see what it can recover. I screwed up big time. The first drive I put in, I let Windows setup a partition and it wiped the allocation tables. The second drive is what I am working on..about 85% done now. Will re post with the final results.
Ouch! I have experimented with some hard drive restore / recovery programs, most are expensive so unless the data is really valuable ... O&O Software (oo-software.com/) has some very professional software including downloads and trials, if that helps. You might be able to restore the first drive to its original condition and match the pair in a raid array again and allow it to rebuild itself?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by awwall View Post
I don't understand why Dell does this either. My Son-in-law has no clue as to what RAID is or how to use it. When he bought this, I think Dell reps sold him a bill of goods because he asked for a "gaming" computer and they sold him this XPS at an outrageous cost. When something dies..i.e. motherboard...data is essentially lost. Hopefully they had this in "mirror" mode, but probably not.
Windows 7 has delighted me with its Backup and Image utilities. It is so easy to use a second hard drive, internal or external, and save an image of the OS. Early Sunday morning I saved a new Image of the wife's Retail 7 Upgrade (we had just finished setting it up just the way she wanted it) and Sunday afternoon the hard drive died. Just quit, no power, no nothing. I shifted stuff around and freed up another hard drive and replaced her dead one. About 15 minutes later she was up and running just like before. Thank you Microsoft.

Hope you can salvage some of the files.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I use the free recovery program Diskdigger.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't Read Dell SATA drive





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