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Can't access HD in WinXP. No drive letter/volume. HELP!!!!

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December 29, 2005 10:10:17 PM

Hey guys. Im in desperate need of help. I can solve 99% of things myself, but this one has got me stumped. I have a Western Digital 250 gig SATA hard drive hooked up to my computer (AMD 3000+ system) through a Promise TX2plus SATA PCI card. Yesterday I tried installing a piece-of-crap refurb WIFI card and after the drivers installed, my computer just restarted on its own (not the normal way). After that, I booted up Windows XP Pro again and the same thing happened. Then every time after that the computer would just restart in the middle of Windows booting up. In safe mode it would show it restarting at mpu.sys, so I replaced mup.sys with a good copy and it just stalled on ndis.sys then. I replaced that one too but it didnt help.

So anyway, I put a 30gig HD in my computer and installed Windows XP Pro on it, but can't access the hard drive. It shows up in the Drive Management, but it is not given any volume or drive letter. Formatting would probably make the drive usable again, but I have a lot of files that I still need on it. I did an extended test with WD's Lifeguiard software, and it came up with no errors. I don't think the drive itself is bad, but maybe just the MBR or something. THe problem is I can't just format because I have files that I need on it.

The only way I'm able to access the files fine is using the Windows Recovery Console. But the Recovery Console doesn't let you to copy files or directories using any wildcards so copying 1 by 1 through DOS isn't an option. Also I can't run any DOS programs through the Recovery Console, and and im not sure how to use a regular boot disk and still have the drivers for my SATA controller load. I tried fixmbr but that didn't do anythign either.

Here are some pics of my Disk Management. Any info is really appecaited. I just want to be able to get my files off and then I can format it or whatever.



This one is what shows when I right click on the drive...



I also tried HD Tune and it showed 1 error but it's unknown. Here's the pic:



Anyway, any info is really appreciated! This thing is driving me nuts, and I'm out of ideas.
December 30, 2005 2:08:51 AM

Using your 250g hd only, can you boot up into Safe Mode and delete eveything wifi that you did? This may help.
December 30, 2005 2:43:20 AM

Quote:
Using your 250g hd only, can you boot up into Safe Mode and delete eveything wifi that you did? This may help.



No, with the 250 gig I can't boot up into safe mode or anything else for that mater. I tried that and saw it was replacing on mup.sys. Replaced it, then it crashed on some agp.sys file, replaced that, crashed on ndis.sys... etc etc. So I gave up and can't boot into anything.
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December 30, 2005 1:32:17 PM

Hmmm, for the 30gb, inside Disk Manager did you right click on the volume graphic and select 'Assign Drive Letter' ? That has worked for me in most cases in these situations for me.
December 30, 2005 1:44:59 PM

I would take out the WIFI card. There is probably a hardware conflict somewhere. The system files that are having problems is probably a side effect.

As for the 30GB drive, I had a similar problem come up when I attached my drive to PCI MegaRAID Hard Drive controller. Unfortunately, I can't see any of the pictures in your post. But, I remember having to go into Disk Management, select the drive, right click->import, or something like that. After that, the drive letter appeared fine. I don't remember the explanation thought on why I needed to do this.
January 2, 2006 4:49:20 AM

Quote:
Hmmm, for the 30gb, inside Disk Manager did you right click on the volume graphic and select 'Assign Drive Letter' ? That has worked for me in most cases in these situations for me.


The 30 gig worked fine. I used the 30 gig to install Windows on just to see if I could access my files on the 250 gig. The screenshots are of the 250gig had drive... I can't assign a drive letter to it.

After looking into it more, it looks like the file system changed from NTFS to some garbage. I ended up just getting my files out using this program I found, and reformatting. I have no idea what happened.

Also, I did take out the wifi card right away.... but it was too late (if it was even the cause). Either way, I still don't know what caused hte problem and just hope it doesn't happen again.

Thanks for the help.
January 2, 2006 5:22:23 AM

The problem is your drives have the same drive letter and this is an easy fix. Start windows using your 30 gig, go to Start>control panel>administrative tools>computer management>disk management. When you click it it will start the disk manager and you will see your drives. Right click the drive you have problems with (250gig) and you will see a option to change drive letter change it to whatever you want then you should be able to access it.




Good luck
January 2, 2006 6:21:21 AM

Quote:
The problem is your drives have the same drive letter and this is an easy fix. Start windows using your 30 gig, go to Start>control panel>administrative tools>computer management>disk management. When you click it it will start the disk manager and you will see your drives. Right click the drive you have problems with (250gig) and you will see a option to change drive letter change it to whatever you want then you should be able to access it.




Good luck


No, that wasn't the problem. I wish it were that simple. :D  Maybe I didn't explain it well above... but Disk Management doesn't give me the option to change the drive letter. I even posted a picture of what I see when I right click on the 250 gig partition.:



I also tried restoring the MBR in the Windows Recovery Console but no luck with that either. Oh well, I just got my files off it and formatted again. I just wish I knew exactly what happened so I can prevent it in the future. I've never seen that happen before.
January 2, 2006 1:22:35 PM

Sounds like a hard error.

Remove data and power from the 300 (for now) Reset BIOS to point to the 250 as the master. Boot to the WinXP cd, and then the recovery console. Run FIXBOOT, then FIXMBR, and then CHKDSK /P on the 250Gb. That may solve the boot problem. If not, reboot to the CD, and revocery console and try CHKDSK /R.

If Windows is able to repair the disk, then you can boot to it, OR use it as a second w/ the 300 as the master - your choice.

You can also try making it a Dynamic disk - which re-writes the header that may be corrupt. Right Click on the "disk 1" button in Disk Management, and chose "make Dynamic".

Hope this helps,

Joe
January 14, 2006 9:01:46 AM

This happened to me a few weeks ago and I almost had a heart attack (200 GB of mp3's gone!). Luckily I work at an ISP help desk with lots of geeks who were more than happy to help me. Don't worry, this is easy to fix.

I almost guarantee you that you have an improperly dismounted NTFS partition (I messed mine up by unplugging the master IDE from a DVD drive, the HD was the slave). All you need to do is unhide the partition. You can do it with PartitionMagic just by right clicking the drive and choose unhide under Advanced.

Or if you don't have PartitionMagic, I found this on another forum that will let you do the same thing:

"Download this file http://www.freewebs.com/computer-guides/test/gdisk.exe

use a startup diskette or any bootup floppy or CD that gets you into native DOS. Run gdisk and use the the /-HIDE switch to make your partition visible again. Run gdisk /status or gdisk (1,2,3,etc) /status first to see which partition number is hidden. you must specify the right partition."
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