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Windows 7: Hard drive *invisible* to Windows 7

11 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
Hard drive *invisible* to Windows 7

I created a system image backup copy of my recent Windows 7 installation (including all programs and files) on an external 500GB USB-harddrive using the Windows 7 built-in *Backup and Restore* utility.
I also created a system repair disc using the same Windows 7 tool (found under Control Panel -> Backup and Restore).
These two activities seemed to work exactly as expected.

To test the restore process I took another (no OS on it, empty, in working condition) harddrive (same size, same manufacturer, but different model) and put it into my computer.

I then booted to the CD drive, with my previously created repair CD in it.

After that copies some files into RAM, I would expect to be able to restore my computer from the image on my external harddrive to the empty new internal harddrive.

That doesn't work, though - because the new (empty) harddrive is not even visible
in Windows.

I checked in BIOS - the drive is visible there perfectly.

Just not in that *mini*Windows 7 from the repair CD.

Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2010   #2


possibly the following: New (different) hard drive = new (different) driver set. Your current installation has record of those drivers being installed on the 'other' hard drive and therefore has those drivers set to load... If you want that os to load on a different hardware setup (yes, even hard drives) you should sysprep the install then "back it up" with your favorite imaging software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2010   #3


I analogize I don't want to boot a restore disk to test this, if I did I'd try:
run, cmd.exe, diskpart, list disk. I would expect the drive to show up there, if so
1. "select disk X" (where x is the number for the empty drive)
2. "clean"
3. "create partition primary"
4. "select partion 1"
5. "active"
6. "format fs=ntfs quick"
7. "assign"
8. "exit"
exit the console window
The drive should be available
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7

thank you for your replies.
I was able to solve my problem last night.

Here's how:

I hooked the new (empty, invisible) hard drive up to a running Windows 7 on a different computer - temporarily unplugged the DVD drive, plugged that 'invisible' harddrive onto the (now free) SATA cable for the DVD drive.

Then I used Windows 7's Disk Management to format the entire 80GB as one NTFS partition.

After that my test restore from image worked like a charm.

What did we learn from this:
you still need a computer to fix a computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2010   #5

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)

This is what exactly happened with me. So I booted my PC from live Ubuntu Cd and formatted the entire disk and then installed Windows 7 again. It worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard drive *invisible* to Windows 7

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