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XP wil not regonize formatted drive....

Last response: in Windows XP
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March 28, 2007 1:15:38 AM

I had to do a reinstall of XP on a brand new HD I just bought and I can't remember how to get XP to utilize my seperate HD I use for storage. It keeps asking me to format it. I have all my data on it so I definatley can't do that. I did something a year ago to get this to work, but I can't remember what I did. I installed XP service pack 2. Anyone know what to do? I remember I did something in disk managment. The drive I can't get to work is used for my backups. It is formatted and partitioned using XP and the same NTFS system as the new HD with XP on it. Even my bios detects the 320gb HD at 136gb max capacity. So its not showing that the drive is a 320gb HD. I am pretty sure my bios specified that it was 320 gigs before.

When I go into disk managment the drive I am having problems says it has 128gb as a primary partition(in blue), but then in the black highlighted box to the right says 170 gb unallocated. Shouldn't all the drive be in blue as being partitioned like it was before I did an install?
Please help!! I can't lose the stuff thats on that HD.
March 28, 2007 2:49:07 PM

Could you clarify a few things? If I understand you, you have 2 hard drives in your computer, one with XP and your programs and the second with your data. You can boot into Windows. Windows recognizes the 2nd hard drive, i.e., it tells you to format it. When you go into my computer, is the OS on the C Drive? Are there drive letters associated with the backup drive and if so, what are they? What do you do when Windows says the backup drives needs formatted, e.g., Click on the Drive letter in My Computer? Have you tried the backup drive in another computer? Are the drives SATA, PATA, or one of each? If one of each, which has the OS and which is the backup? What are the jumper settings if PATA, Master, Slave, or Cable Select?
March 28, 2007 3:05:24 PM

Yes...
2 hard drives. both are Pata The new one is 120gb and is on master and the storage is on that same ide as slave. The OS is on C: and XP put my storage drive to d:\. When I had my old HD(that burned out) the storage drive letter was G:, but I think thats because I had virtual drives that were set as d:\ so it set it to the next letter.

My Bios states that the max capacity for the storage drive is 136gb, but its a 320 gig drive. When I did the install of the OS I had the storage drive disconnected for safety reasons, but when I updated XP to SP2 and other updates I had the drive connected. Do you think I should reinstall XP and do all the updates before I connect the storage drive? maybe because I had the storage drive hooked up to the mobo during the XP updates something screwed up? I know without SP1 or 2 windows can't regonize a HD bigger then 129gb...
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March 28, 2007 4:24:23 PM

Have you tried running the diagnostic/repair software from the storage drive mfg? If not, try running it from a Floppy. Have you disconnected the storage drive, started up the computer, turn if off and reinstall the storage since you've done all the Windows Updates. Have you tried the storage drive in another computer?
March 28, 2007 4:55:03 PM

I have tried starting up the computer without the storage drive after the updates and then installing it back in after the second startup and no luck. The western digital diagnostics show nothing wrong with the drive. I haven't been able to try it in another pc. I don't have one at the moment to try it on.
March 28, 2007 6:10:56 PM

Never had any programs on it. Only partitioned once.
March 28, 2007 6:50:03 PM

I'd try the above from the WD website. If that doesn't do it, I'd take the drive to a friends house and see if you can get the data off of it and into another machine or on to disks. It really sounds like somehow the drive got screwed up and as often as not you end up having to format, which I know you do not want to do.
March 28, 2007 7:52:46 PM

I am using getdata back to see if I can find all the data and write it to the system drive then burn to disks... Anyrecommendations on recovery software??? When I looked at the Data life guard tools which is Western Digital's diag software it showed my 320 gig storage drive as fat 16 under the partion table/type. I originally partioned this in NTFS. Has anyone ever heard of this happening?
March 28, 2007 8:27:47 PM

I don't really know of any good recovery programs. If the 320 is showing up as FAT rather than NTFS, I bet that's your problem. There is a disk management program I've used for years called Partition Magic, which among a lot of other things will let you change a FAT to NTFS and when I've done it I didn't lose anything. Partition Magic is a really good program for partitioning and resizing partitions. Found this in the Help Section of XP

"To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt
1. Open the Command Prompt window.
2. In the command prompt window, type
convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format.
Notes
· To open a command prompt, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
· You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command. "

I've never tried this because I've used Partition Magic but I have run into a NTFS drive become a FAT drive for mysterious reasons. At least I think the problem may have been narrowed down. Does Data Life have a Utility that does this?
March 28, 2007 9:06:52 PM

I will get P. magic and try it. Is there anyway in doing a fat--->NTFS would lose the data on the drive???

I loaded up P. Magic and it highlights my drive I am having problems with in yellow and says partition type=Bad...

How do you switch partition types in P. MAgic? Fat---->NTFS????
March 28, 2007 11:22:52 PM

Right Click on the drive, Click on Convert, and Click NTFS. When I did it, I did not loose any data but understand that's no guarantee. Any time you have to correct a hdd problem, there is always the possibility of losing the data but as far as I know, you will not. Unless someone has a better idea, I don't think you really have much of a choice. Partition Type = Bas may just mean that it's FAT when it should be NTFS. The fact it's FAT could definitely be the cause of your problems because there are size limitations with FAT you don't have with NTFS. Offer the computer gods a beer and if it solves the problem, offer them a 6 pack. :)  Let us know how it works and good luck
March 29, 2007 1:03:12 AM

It won't even let me choose convert. Its greyed out. The only option I have is to format. Its all good though. I got getdataback to retrieve everything from the drive. I am transfering it right now to my 120 gig (working) HD. I will format and re partition the drive and just transfer everything over again. I will also burn everything to my dvd-r's=)
March 29, 2007 11:45:26 AM

I was afraid formatting was the only solution and glad you were able to save your data. This is the primary reason I put together an external hdd to back things up as well as use a 2nd internal drive for data. As long as the external is turned off or not connected to the computer, your data is safe. Fortunately, storage is pretty inexpensive.
March 29, 2007 1:14:08 PM

But there is always the chance the external could die out=)

moving parts= inevitable death

Thanks for all the help. An external is way better then a internal HD for storage though...I agree. Maybe I should put that on my wish list...
March 29, 2007 3:55:20 PM

You can get a good case for around $30 and the hdd cost really depends on how much you need so they're not price prohibitive
March 29, 2007 4:12:54 PM

I would get a 500gb or greater for sure. I think they are around $150 or so... Not bad...
March 29, 2007 4:59:46 PM

Storage really is reasonable right now. I have a 320GB Seagate that is more than enough for what I have, music, photo, and work, mostly word documents. Video, I burn to a DVD and then delete but I know sometime in the not too distant future I'll be up to 500GB
April 4, 2007 1:23:45 PM

Well I finally built my PC. Everything went pretty smooth accept for XP formatting my HD. I have to laugh though. I have a new 250gb SATA drive that I am using for my OS and like before it only regonizes 129gb max for any HD if XP doesn't have service pack 1 or 2 installed. I will try reinstalling windows again, but you can't install service pack 2 until you have already installed windows. So, how the hell does one get around this??? My Bios does say the correct max capacity which is 250gb.
April 4, 2007 3:24:32 PM

There is a way that you are supposed to be able to create a XP disk with SP2, basically you make a copy of XP and then add SP2 to it but I can't remember what it's called. I keep thinking it's something like slip stream but I don't think that's right. Hopefully someone will see this that knows how to do it. Have you tried installing XP and updating to SP2? Also there are somethings on the Microsoft Support site that deal with this. This is definitely a Windows problem if the BIOS is reading the correct size. To avoid this problem I always use a hdd that is 120GB or smaller for the OS and programs and use the bigger drive for storage and put in the storage drive after I update Windows. If XP is not formatting the drive because it's only reading have of it, you could try to partition it, which I think is an option when formatting it, and the make the first partition for the OS around 40 to 60GB If this works, you can deal with the rest of the drive after you get SP2 installed and the rest of it is recognized.
April 4, 2007 3:48:33 PM

http://www.theeldergeek.com/slipstreamed_xpsp2_cd.htm

Thats the site that tells you how. But will SP2 be implemented before you partition the drive for the first? Yea I have SP2 installed. The problem is that I don't think SP2 will be installed before you first partition the drive with the slip stream method. I guess I could have two partitions, but I really don't want to. stupid XP!!!!
April 4, 2007 5:02:04 PM

I don't know precisely how this works but my copies of XP already have SP2 included and I would guess once you create the install disk with XP and SP2 it would be the same. I just boot off the CD and when asked format the drive, I've done this with one that is 200GB with no problem. If you're installing the OS and programs on a 250GB hdd, it makes sense to partition so you can store data on the 2nd partition and not worry about loosing it when you reinstall Windows. 30GB to 40GB is more than enough for Windows and programs if you use another partition for storage. The only thing is that you do not use Documents Settings, which is the default for storage in Windows
April 5, 2007 1:26:56 PM

I got it to work. I just used partition magic to partition the other unallocated portion and then I merged the two. Worked like a charm. You must have bought XP after the SP2 update was made.
April 5, 2007 1:38:31 PM

Quote:
I got it to work. I just used partition magic to partition the other unallocated portion and then I merged the two. Worked like a charm. You must have bought XP after the SP2 update was made.


They do have SP2 but I almost always buy stuff after it's been out a while, no Vista until at least SP2. Partition Magic is one of two programs I don't think I could live with out, the other is a file manager called Power Desk. Glad you got it all worked out.
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