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Windows 7: Missing 2nd hard drive

20 Dec 2009   #1
Athos

Windows XP
 
 
Missing 2nd hard drive

Hi,

I just installed Win 7 on an old Compaq pc that had been running XP. The computer has two 160GB hard drives on it. When going through the installation process I formatted both drives and deleted any partitions that I found. There were more partitions than I expected but I deleted them all. Win 7 installed perfectly and is working fine except that the 2nd drive isn't showing up. After searching a bit online it seems a 100MB partition is created during installation. By deleting the partitions I may have caused the setup to use the entire 2nd drive for whatever is in that 100MB partition and now I can't access the drive from Windows.

Does any of this make sense? From what I have read it sounds like I may have to reinstall but I'd like a second opinion before I go do something like that.

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Dec 2009   #2
DocBrown

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

Can you see the 2nd drive in Computer Management > Disk Management ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2009   #3
gregrocker

 

You did enable it to create the 100mb boot/repair partition by deleting the partitions that existed, since that 100mb won't be created on a pre-formatted HD. However, it is not likely responsible for your second HD being unseen at this time.

That 100mb if marked system active in Disk Management now holds the MBR for your installation. It also should make repair tools which are on the DVD available by tapping F8 at bootup, which is a convenience worth keeping IMO.

As Doc suggests, look for your second HD in Disk management. Assign it a letter if it is missing one and it should show up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2009   #4
Athos

Windows XP
 
 

Thanks for the advice guys. I went into Disk Management and could see that Windows had partitioned the second drive (100mb partition) so I assigned a letter to the larger partition and now I can access the drive again.

Cheers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2009   #5
gregrocker

 

Something still doesn't sound right.

Can you post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management map, using Snipping tool in start menu and attaching file using paper clip in reply box?

Let's make sure the MBR wasn't somehow derailed to the second drive, or confirm it's all good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #6
Athos

Windows XP
 
 

Will do but it might be a day or two before I have a chance as I'll be away from home for a bit. I'll post the screenshot as soon as I get a chance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #7
Athos

Windows XP
 
 

Ok screenshot attached. Is there something wrong with this?


Attached Thumbnails
Missing 2nd hard drive-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #8
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Athos View Post
Ok screenshot attached. Is there something wrong with this?

Well, yes and no. It obviously works, but....

I haven't seen this before, but the installer put the 100mb system partition on another HD with the data drive. I'm not sure how that could happen.

Normally the System partition would be established in the space to the immediate left of the Win7 partition. This way the HD is independent from any others.

The way it is now, you must have both HD's to start Win7.

The fix for this depends on whether you want the 100mb System Reserved partition, which contains the MBR that would otherwise be within the Win7 partition, but also often gives you the Repair tools which are on your DVD available by tapping F8 at startup (Check and see).

If you want to keep the 100mb partition, then I would move the data off of that drive, use free Partition Wizard CD to delete data drive, shrink the Win7 partition, copy it into deleted data drive space, then delete the old Win7 drive, create new partition(s) as desired, format logical and copy your data there. Make sure this drive is now set to boot first in BIOS setup, after DVD.

If you want to get rid of the 100mb partition, then mark the Win7 drive active, unplug the data drive temporarily, set the Win7 drive to boot first in BIOS setup (after DVD) then boot into Win7 DVD Repair console and run Startup Repair 3 times to write the MBR to Win7 partition.

Now plug the data drive back in to delete and format before copying data back. This may require setting the drive inactive first in order to delete; use Partition Wizard CD or DISKPART commands from Win7 DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #9
Athos

Windows XP
 
 

When I was installing I deleted some paritions and as I mentioned before there were more than I expected so its possible that I was seeing the 100mb partition and without knowing what it was Windows then went ahead and created it on the second disk. That is the only thing I can think of that might have caused it. Anyway from reading your post would I be correct in thinking that there is no real problem with the partition being on the 2nd drive? It doesn't bother me and if it isn't going to impact on performance or stability then I don't see any reason to change it. Or is this something that might cause problems somewhere down the line?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #10
gregrocker

 

It could be a problem if that data drive gets marked active, or becomes disconnected, since the Win7 boot partition is somehow on that drive also.

I personally would not want my Win7 installation dependent upon another data drive.

If it was formatted logical (as a data drive really should be) then it couldn't become active, but I don't think that is a risk unless further installs are done.

Copy the steps I gave above so if you have any problems you have the way to fix it.

Essentially removing the data drive requires running Startup Repair 3 times to write the MBR to Win7 drive once it is marked active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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