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Windows 7: Hard Drive "Not Initialized", "device is not ready",won't recognize

05 Dec 2012   #1
Industrial Log

Windows 7 Professional x64
Hard Drive "Not Initialized", "device is not ready",won't recognize

I used a DriveWire - Universal Hard Drive Adapter (IDE / PATA / SATA to USB HDD Adapter) to hook up A 3.5" Hard Drive (Samsung model HD502HJ) to my desktop in an attempt to get my wife's files off her old desktop machine and merge them into mine. It all started off fine, the drive was recognized and I could see the files when I plugged in the USB cord. I started a NOD32 scan of the drive and a few minutes later a spark flew off my power strip and the fuse blew - looks like a letter opener shorted between two of the plugs. I think I killed the hard drive.

I replaced the power strip and started everything back up. The drive spins, but no longer is recognized by the computer when plugged in (no drive letter for it). Under Disk Management, I see the disk listed as "unknown" and "not initialized". Originally I had the option to right click and select "Initialize", and I was given option to use two partitiion styles (MBR or GPT).. I tried both to no avail, and get the "device is not ready" message.

I can right click select "Offline", and get the same message. right-click "Properties" say the device is working properly.

I plugged in another drive on the hard drive adapter and it works (so it's not the vault of the adapter). I try the same setup on my laptop and get the same results.

So I'm pretty sure I killed the drive. I just care about getting pictures and documents off it. Any advise? I know there are data recovery services out there that can probably help me, but I'd rather not pay the big bucks if I can avoid that.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #2
Carl Lawrence

Dual-boot: Windows 7 HP 32-bit SP1 & Windows XP Pro 32-bit SP2.

If you have killed the drive, there isn't very much you do about it. Even experts cannot sometimes recover anything, and it's just a wast of money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

You could try hooking up the hard drive (Google says the HD502HJ is a SATA drive) directly to your PC on one of the internal SATA connectors and a spare SATA power connector from your power supply. This will eliminate the adapter from the equation and simplify the test.

If the drive is recognized by Windows you just want to give it a drive letter. Initializing the drive could cause a loss of data.

If the drive is not recognized by Windows you could:
  • Run the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic program on the drive
  • Run Windows Chkdsk on the drive
  • Use a third party program like Partition Wizard (using the self-booting CD from ISO) to see if you can give the drive a drive letter from outside of Windows.
By the time you are done with that you will know if the drive is recoverable or not.

If not, and while it is still hooked up to your PC, you can run a program like RECUVA to see if you can salvage the data from the drive.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Adding to what TVeblen has said, if after a direct installation on the PC, the drive does not show up in BIOS, it is as good as beyond redemption, IMO.

But considering the nature of the accident that happened, the precipitating factor in the drive becoming unreadable seems to be the sudden termination of a running program (though a possibly large transient could have also killed the electronics.). I shall give it a fair chance of recovery.

Let us see how the drive looks in Windows Disk Management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #5
Industrial Log

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for all the advise.. that gives me a bunch of things to try, I will try some of this tonight and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #6
Industrial Log

Windows 7 Professional x64

Here's what I tried:
- Checked BIOS (does not recognize drive)
- Downloaded the Seagate "Seatools" harddrive diagnostic program, both Windows and DOS versions, tried both without success.
- Tried "MiniTool Partition Wizard", did not see the drive
- Tried "MiniTool Power Data Recovery" (free edition), did not see the drive.
- Tried "RECUVA", didn't see the drive.
- In Disk Management when hooked up directly to the motherboard via SATA cable, it lists it as "Disk 2", "Removable" and allows me to designate a drive letter, and change drive letter.. but the drive won't show up. When I type the drive letter ("N:\") in Windows Explorer, it says "Please insert a disk into Removable Disk (N:)"

So it's not looking good. If anybody has other ideas, perhaps data recovery software to try out, please let me know. And thanks for the advise so far, I appreciate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

The system thinks it's a DVD or Zip drive. Interesting.

What's confusing is the fact that Disk Management can see the drive but PW or Seagate can't? And this is with the drive connected internally?

If you can get PW to see the drive you could try this to rebuild the MBR - using the bootable CD:
How to Rebuild MBR with partition manager - Partition Wizard Rebuild MBR Help

But my guess at this point is that the drive is electrically alive but the controller is shot, so the system sees a drive of some sort but can't read anything on it.
If you can't get it recognized and you need to recover files there is the possibility of switching out the control board, but that is a long shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #8
Industrial Log

Windows 7 Professional x64

Yes, all these steps were done with the drive hooked up internally. Since I can't get Partition Wizard to see the drive, I'm doubting the rebuilding of the MBR would work, but I'll give it a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #9

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

The "N" drive it is seeing might be a memory card slot or card reader somewhere on your system.

I have had good luck testing HD's with HD dock units

Attached Images
Hard Drive "Not Initialized", "device is not ready",won't recognize-hd_dock_unit.jpg Hard Drive "Not Initialized", "device is not ready",won't recognize-100_0085-600-x-450-.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2012   #10
Industrial Log

Windows 7 Professional x64

You're right, when I go into properties it's identifying it as my printer - I guess nothing is seeing this drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard Drive "Not Initialized", "device is not ready",won't recognize

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