How to recognize external hard drives without formatting?

Hi folks,

I'm having some problems with my new external enclosure. I have an older IDE external enclosure which I used via USB today without issue.

I just received a new Icy Dock MB559 e-sata/USB external enclosure. I put in a SATA drive that doesn't appear to have any place to adjust jumpers. The computer installed drivers for a USB Mass Storage Device and also a small balloon popped up with the ID for the hard drive.

I have a laptop and a desktop computer. In the desktop computer where the drive used to be connected without issue, it is recognized in the disk management utility, but does not come up in my computer. I turned off the enclosure's power and removed the drive from disk management. Then turned it back on and re-scanned. It came up again and I was able to assign a new drive letter and it was recognized at the appropriate 298.02GB. It also came up under my computer but when I clicked on it to open it, it said the drive is not formatted.

I then tried it with the laptop and it again did the USB mass storage device and briefly popped up the balloon w/ the hard drive. It was listed in disk management as a foreign drive. I right clicked and imported the foreign drive and again it appeared in My Computer as unformatted..

So I'm stuck as to how to make it come up as an existing drive - plug and play - that doesn't need to be formatted.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

8 answers Last reply
More about recognize external hard drives formatting
  1. If the drive isn't formatted, it won't be recognized. You usually don't need jumpers on SATA although I understand if you're using a SATA 1.5 on SATA 3.0 connection or vice versa you may have to adjust jumpers.
  2. The drive is formatted. It's full of movies/etc and I pulled it out of my desktop computer to put in the external enclosure to transfer some of the files to my laptop. When I plug the external drive into the Laptop USB, it recognizes that it is there to the point of knowing the capacity, but then won't let me open the drive because it says it needs to be formatted. When I plug the drive into the USB port of the computer it just came out of, same shows up in my computer, but when I click on it to open it, the must be formatted alert pops up.

    I don't get it.
  3. right click my computer(for windows) and go to manage. then go to... storage then to disk management, it should be in there, unformatted.

    what os are you using? if its formatted to ntfs windows xp 2003 2000 and vista should all see it. if its an external, you might need to install drivers for it?
    for linux... i dunno.
  4. Uhh... So this was a SATA drive connected to your system somehow, presumably via an SATA port. You pulled it out of that system, plugged it into a USB enclosure and it isn't recognized as formatted.

    Is this the situation?
  5. Yep..I actually have two SATA drives, both filled with media files and both were originally connected to my desktop's Sata ports and used as storage drives. Now I'm having the same problem with both of them...neither my laptop or desktop recognize that they are already formatted and full of stuff.
  6. Found this on a review of the enclosure.

    "Powered up but hard drive inaccessible?

    With many removable hard drive racks a little LED lets the operator know when the hard drive is powered up and ready to be accessed. The situation is slightly different with the IcyDock M122SKGF because the LCD receives power once the caddy is inserted into the bay. Yet, just because LCD is illuminated doesn't mean the HDD is accessible in WindowsXP (or the operating system). To ensure that the HDD is up and running, the lock must be engaged.

    This little step is easily forgotten when using the IcyDock M122SKGF, and it can lead to frustrating moments. So make a habit of engaging the lock when the hard drive caddy is put into the bay, every time. "
  7. Actually Windows XP and after have a modded version of NTFS and can not read Win 2000/NT partitions, and those 2 can't read windows XP and after.
  8. Try selecting the drive properties and then the security tab. The drive may have lost its ownership info. Put yourself or "Everyone" as the owner and you should see the drive's contents again.
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