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Windows 7: External Hard Drive Problem

16 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate Home 64
External Hard Drive Problem

My fiancee has an external hard drive from Fabrik, a SimpleDrive. Its a TB in size. He's using it on his Windows XP. However, yesterday it stopped working. Sortve. It works in that the light comes on when its plugged in and powered up, and it shows up in the device manager, but he cannot access it in My Computer.

I took it to see if I could get it to work on my computer. The same issue happens. It installed fine. Light comes on. Its in the Device Manager where it says its recognized and running properly, and also shows up in Devices and Printers, but it doesnt show up in My Computer.

Uninstalling and reinstalling from the Device Manager doesnt do anything.

After much googling, I found my way to the Disk Management. The disk is there in the bottom half, but its labeled as Disk 1 - unknown - not initialized.

Right clicking and clicking on Initialize Disk brings up a window with the options of a Master Boot Record or GUID Partition Table. Neither do anything. When I hit okay, all I get is "Incorrect Function".

The only info that google searchs tell me is to right click and change Drive Letter and Path. I cant do that.

I cannot find anything else via google, so I came here in hopes that someone could help. He has a LOT of important info on this drive so I cant just reformat it.

And yes, I contacted the company, but it may take until Tuesday before I hear anything from them.

Any suggestions, or should we just wait till the company gets back to us?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

It looks like the MFT (Master File Table) on your disk was damaged. The Test Disk program may be able to fix it from the mirror. Read the first link to get an understanding and then look at the second link for the program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate Home 64

I wont lose any data on the disk if I do this, right? Just wanna make sure...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 May 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

In principle you should not lose data. But that is in principle. Who knows what mistakes you are going to make. But what else are your options?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate Home 64

Yeah, good point. Kinda hard to make a mistake if I follow the instructions - which is what I plan to do and why I asked. Okay. I'll post again if it works or not. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

EDIT: Okay, I dont know what I'm doing. I tried to follow the instructions as they're listed on the wiki page. They dont match the version I had to end up getting. The second link leads to a page for downloading, but the windows download wont unzip, its corrupted. Tried downloading it from another location, same issue. I had to google for it and found version 6.10.

And the external drive does not show up in the program. There is only 2 options. I checked to make sure. Ran the program while the drive is plugged in and while it wasnt. No change.

So I'm guessing we're up the creek with out a paddle?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

fabrik? never heard of them you will be better off in the future with a brand like western digital
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

The drive may be fine inside of the enclosure and the enclosure could be bad.
If the drive is still under warranty, you could send it in for a replacement but you lose your data.
If the data is worth more than voiding the warranty, then open it up and remove the drive and put it into your computer, or into another USB enclosure and see if the drive works.

I've had a couple of enclosures go bad and the drive inside was still functional.

Where are his backup files? You aren't supposed to have a LOT of important files on just 1 drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit


In windows Explorer you said that the disk can't be accessed; but can you see it there (in my computer)? and importantly does it have a drive letter attached to it?

If so you it may be possible to run a check disk on it. If so right click on it, go to properties / tools menu / Check now.

If not, there are a few approaches, I will list all I can think of:

1. Try to get it to read:
- Unplug the drive and reboot the PC
- Turn on the drive power to spin up the drive
- Listen to the drive, you'll hear it start, when it the sound peaks and it appears to be spinning at its fastest, plug in the USB cable.
- This is particularly useful if the drive or the more usually the hardware that attaches it to the usb port is a little faulty and slow to read to the drive. While it's still booting up windows finds the usb but can't read the drive and times out. This way the drive is already spinning at full speed and it can be read by the hardware (it's case) almost immediately.

2. If this fails
- Repeat the steps in different USB ports on your computer to rule out the port or the USB controller as an issue.
- Repeat the steps on another computer.
- Try to swap the USB cable

3. If it still this fails
- Consider sourcing a recovery program that can read RAW disks, this way you can recover your data regardless of a broken MBR or corrupt partition tables. There's many free ones about which I always go for first.
- Download free partitioning software such as partition wizard to run a checkdisk on an uninitialized disk or a disk without a recognized partition structure

If at any stage you are able to read your disk, back everything up asap (i guess you know that though)

If you begin to play with partitioning software or disk manager in windows,it may be an idea to recover the data first with the recovery software so that the partition or MBR is not further damaged.

I wish you luck and if you would like any further clarification on terms or anything, please ask, we are here to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #9


yeah.. if the disk is visible. maybe you can try chkdsk (dive letter): /f
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate Home 64

Krispy - looking for helpful advice here, thank you.

Zepher - Yeah, I know you shouldnt. He usually burns things to CDs and what not, but the problem is is that we're broke and pretty well out of CDs. Its better than him keeping it on the laptop which would have fried it a lot sooner. But thanks, if the company doesnt have any options for us, we'll try replacing the housing.

Tim - Thanks... but no. I said the disk ISNT visible in My Computer. Computer installs it, reads it and it shows up in the Device Manager, but its not fully connecting to the computer because when we attempt to access it in the Disk Manager, it will not initialize - it says its an incorrect function. On his computer, it doesnt even show up in the Disk Manager and keeps disconnecting and reconnecting from the Device Manager.

However, I'll take a look into the recovery program. Thanks.

Oh, what recovery program do you recommend. You suggested it, but didnt recommend one. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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