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Windows 7: External Drive Not Available

07 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise Edition 32-bit
External Drive Not Available

I have an external WD 1Tb drive which is split into 2 500Gb partitions. This was done in WinXP. Both partitions are visible and accessible in WinXP Pro.

I recently installed Win7 on a new INTERNAL 1Tb drive. This is a second drive in my system, and I have the ability to boot into either OS with the F12 Boot Options menu on my Dell Inspiron 530.

When I am in the Win7 OS, I can see both partitions listed in Windows Explorer, and I can access the first partition of the external WD drive, but I get a "Location Is Not Available" error when I click on the second partition.

The first partition is Drive L: and the second is Drive M:

I have tried going into properties/security and allowing full access, but it doesn't "take." I still get the same error.

I can boot into XP and still access the second partition.

I have disconnected the drive in XP and reconnected it in Win7, but I still get the error.

I am thinking of going back into XP, running Partition Magic and merging the 2 500Gb partitions (after securing the data elsewhere, of course ).

Any help?


Attached Images
External Drive Not Available-drive-not-accessible.gif 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64

Can you see all the partitions in Disk Management? Are you running any special software that might lock the partition?

Did you format or otherwise manage the partition with Partition Magic, and if so, what version?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Enterprise Edition 32-bit

Thanks for your response to my query, Saltgrass.

I can see the drive and all partitions in Disk Management.

As far as I know, there is no software locking the drive.

I can't remember for sure, but it's possible that the disk was partitioned with Partition Magic V. 7.0.

If Win7 is not compatible with drives partitions with PM, I guess I'll have to delete the partitions with PM in XP, and then repartition it in Win7 using Disk Management.

Thanks again,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Apr 2010   #4
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

If you're worried about compatibility from PM formatting, try Partition Wizard. It's free and I've used it multiple times with no problems.

If you haven't filled the partitions, this is what I'd suggest.

From XP:
- Open Partition Wizard
- Merge the two drives

From W7:
- Make sure the drive is accessible
- Open Partition Wizard
- Resize the one partition to it's original size.
- Create the second partition again.

Granted, atleast half of your drive has to be empty for this to work and I'd highly recommend backing up any data first, but it should work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #5


I had an identical problem. I checked the files/folders from XP and found I had an inaccessible folder but the drive and other folders were fine. I backed up the drive, formatted it and restored and then it worked fine in Win7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64

I just asked about PM. Don't go doing anything for that reason--yet..

In disk management when you right click, so it say the same thing as when you try to access it another way?

Does the partition show a drive letter in Win 7 as it does in XP? Is it an NTFS partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise Edition 32-bit

Thanks for staying with this issue, Saltgrass.

In disk management, I can right click and get the properties, which is shown on the screenshot. If I try to choose "EXPLORE" from the context menu, I still get the error message shown in my earlier post, access denied.

As shown on the current screenshot, the permissions for my own login (admin) all show "ALLOW" and it's the same for SYSTEM.

And as shown in the screenshot, the primary partition (Drive L and the logical drive (Drive M are both NTFS file system.

Attached Thumbnails
External Drive Not Available-diskmanagementscreenshot.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64

Keep in mind, I do not know why the partition is not accessible.

But I see you are running Symantec System Restore.. Does that program use the external drive to make backups? Is there any difference in the two partitions as far as Symantec is concerned? Any special backups or files that might not be accessible except by Symantec.

You might add your user with full control to see if that helps.

I also notice the inaccessible partition is logical.

If you can access one partition and not the other, I have to ask what is the difference. You have obviously checked the permissions for both and made sure they were the same. Could it be the logical one is handled differently?

My only thoughts would be to check the Symantec utility to see if there are any settings with it that might allow access from Win 7.

If that does not help, I would think about making the logical partition primary using something like Partition Wizard.

If it is possible, you might think about moving the contents of the partition and deleting and redoing it. I think this has already been suggested and might be your last option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

As to the question about Symantec's Partition Magic, it works fine in all Windows OS's. I use it exclusively.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MadMaxData View Post
As to the question about Symantec's Partition Magic, it works fine in all Windows OS's. I use it exclusively.
I have Partition Magic 8 from Power Quest, and I would never--never use it in Win 7.....

I realize at one time, Norton bought it, but I trust Norton even it appears to be shareware...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External Drive Not Available

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