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Windows 7: Can't Access External Hard Drive/Former laptop Hard disk

18 Dec 2017   #1
RobertN

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Serice Pack 1
 
 
Can't Access External Hard Drive/Former laptop Hard disk

About a year ago my laptop hard drive stopped working. Got another one, but would still like to access the data on it. Don't know how. Have connected it to USB externally, but when I do that, two drives show up- E: and F:, and neither of them are accessible. Properties shows 0 bytes on both, and when I try to access disk management, it stalls and I never get any info to see what's going on. Any ideas please? Would like to access it all again without having to reformat and delete any data.

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2017   #2
looked

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobertN View Post
About a year ago my laptop hard drive stopped working. Got another one, but would still like to access the data on it. Don't know how. Have connected it to USB externally, but when I do that, two drives show up- E: and F:, and neither of them are accessible. Properties shows 0 bytes on both, and when I try to access disk management, it stalls and I never get any info to see what's going on. Any ideas please? Would like to access it all again without having to reformat and delete any data.
Try to load one of these Linux based operative systems on cd-rom and see if they can access the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2017   #3
RobertN

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Serice Pack 1
 
 

I don't know what that is, what you're referring to, or how to access it. Not very tech savvy. Sorry.

-Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Dec 2017   #4
TrustMe

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Linux is an operating system the same as Windows. There are different versions of Linux such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint. You can make what is called a “live” version of Linux. This is when you use a DVD or USB flash drive and put the Linux operating system on either one of them. The operating system runs off the flash drive or dvd. No files are written to your hard drive. You boot from the dvd or usb flash drive and you will reach the Desktop, just like you do in Windows. When you Shutdown, there is no trace of it left behind.

If you are going to try Linux, I would make a live Linux usb flash drive. It will be a much smoother experience.

When you boot from the flash drive or dvd, you might be asked if you want to “Install Linux” or “Try” Linux. Make sure you select “Try”.

Here is one guide to make the live Linux usb flash drive. If you do a google search, you will find many others.

How to Create Ubuntu Live USB in Windows [Step-by-Step]

Just to get familiar with Ubuntu or Linux Mint, do a YouTube search of the either one. You will see how to use them. They are similar to Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2017   #5
looked

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobertN View Post
I don't know what that is, what you're referring to, or how to access it
You need to download Linux Mint (it's the most common) and choose the "Cinnamon 64-bit edition" if your computer is 64 bit or choose the 32 bit installation https://linuxmint.com/download.php
You should have a burning program on your computer so you've to burn the downloaded file (.iso file) on a DVD or USB drive. To load the DVD or USB restart the computer and don't forget to change the settings in BIOS (press F8 or Esc, or F2 depending on the computer) so you have to set to load from optical drive (DVD) or USB drive, they have to be on the top of the list.

Once you load the DVD or USB Linux will start (it is not an installation) as a fully functioning operative system, from there you can try to access to the drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2017   #6
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobertN View Post
About a year ago my laptop hard drive stopped working. Got another one, but would still like to access the data on it. Don't know how. Have connected it to USB externally, but when I do that, two drives show up- E: and F:, and neither of them are accessible. Properties shows 0 bytes on both, and when I try to access disk management, it stalls and I never get any info to see what's going on. Any ideas please? Would like to access it all again without having to reformat and delete any data.

Thanks.
Due to the way that NTFS works It's possibly due to permissions issue ( assuming you re-installed onto the new drive)

To get around this right click on the root of each partition in turn ( the drive letter level ) in File Explorer , click on security and either Take ownership of the whole partition or add your user name to the user permissions with full permissions

These tutorials may help with these tasks

Permissions - Allow or Deny Users and Groups - Windows 7 Help Forums

Take Ownership of file

Take Ownership Shortcut - Windows 7 Help Forums

Note   Note
As you said that this drive was failing before you changed it out there is also a chance that the files maybe lost completely without the skills of a professional Data recovery company, and may be even then
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2017   #7
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobertN View Post
Have connected it to USB externally, but when I do that, two drives show up- E: and F:, and neither of them are accessible. Properties shows 0 bytes on both, and when I try to access disk management, it stalls and I never get any info to see what's going on.
If you replaced the HDD because it wasn't working, It can be because the HDD is dead.
Open disk management, expand the columns, and with the sniping toll take a snapshot of the hole screen.
Post it here as an attachment. Use the paper clip - browse to the file - upload.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2017   #8
RobertN

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Serice Pack 1
 
 

I can't even open disk management. I just get the little blue circle that says it's working but it never opens. And for some reason, when I connect the external hard drive, it creates local disk E: AND local disk F:. The external drive seems to stall the functions on my computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2017   #9
RobertN

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Serice Pack 1
 
 

"To get around this right click on the root of each partition in turn ( the drive letter level ) in File Explorer , click on security and either Take ownership of the whole partition or add your user name to the user permissions with full permissions"

It won't open the tabs when I right-click. Yesterday for some reason it did, but security was not one of the tabs. Today it's just not cooperating at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2017   #10
RobertN

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Serice Pack 1
 
 

I can't figure out the prtscn function. Like I said, not savvy. But finally got computer management screen open, clicked disk management in left column. Nothing appears in the middle. Below it just says "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service..." but it just hangs there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't Access External Hard Drive/Former laptop Hard disk




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