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External HDD says signature collision and I can't change it

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November 2, 2009 12:29:23 PM

I have a Hitachi Travelstar 160GB HDD for an external drive in a WD Passport case. The HDD in my laptop is also the same just a 200GB. This didn't happen till after I used disk cloner to get Windows 7 RC Build 7100 to the 200GB. Please help.

P.S. The drive works on other comps and has been formatted.
a b G Storage
November 3, 2009 11:30:59 AM

Both hard drives contain an operating system and are identical and loaded on the same machine.
Try changing the name of the Windows directory on the USB drive.

Best solution

March 7, 2010 6:11:25 AM
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I had this problem with two 1TB Passport SE's new out of the box they couldn't both be plugged in at once, either alone, OK, but not both...

Under windows 7 the cure is simple, run control panel; administrative tools; computer management: storage; Diskmanagement snap-in.
The second drive shows up as offline with a blue (i) icom next to it. Right click the little blue icon and select online...
that's it.

Simple... it only took me a month to figure it out!

If not Windows 7, I don't know, though... but probably the same for Vista

BTW it's the drive signature collision that's the problem... a drastic solution is to copy all your data off one of the drives and then reinitialize it (as in delete patition create new partition and reformat... not the choice if you've already got lots of data on it or no place to back it up... or no hours to spare...
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May 6, 2011 7:18:33 AM

I bought two WD 2TB external HDDs and made good use of the first one. So I plugged in the second one and got the Signature Collision error in Disc Management. Rebooting only switched the online and offline drives.

A post I found spoke about the blue icon where you select "Online," so I tried it. This did the trick but I still remained skeptical: will this fix "keep"? or will it revert at some time?

The guy at Tech Support had no trouble following me though it seemed as if this was a new one for him. Maybe not.

When we finally came to an understanding (read: when he returned from discussing the problem with the lead) he told me that when we select "Online" Windows generates an entirely new signature for the drive. The OS is not merely able to see that there are now two different drives, Windows now knows which drive is which.
October 28, 2011 8:28:38 PM

uchetil said:
I had this problem with two 1TB Passport SE's new out of the box they couldn't both be plugged in at once, either alone, OK, but not both...

Under windows 7 the cure is simple, run control panel; administrative tools; computer management: storage; Diskmanagement snap-in.
The second drive shows up as offline with a blue (i) icom next to it. Right click the little blue icon and select online...
that's it.

Simple... it only took me a month to figure it out!



Thank you for saving me the month! This worked.
May 15, 2012 1:39:14 PM

Holy hell! You people need to be more descriptive haha! I found this post as I was having this issue myself, with the signature collision error. I have 2 320gb drives, one has windows on it, the other does not and then I just bought a 1tb drive last night and I have been going nuts trying to figure out why in thee hell device manager shows it it there and so does my danged bios but freaking my computer folder would not show it so I was so excited when I saw all I had to do was right click and select online! So I went and tried it, I right clicked in the box on the right, that shows the name of the disk and all that junk and I was like ugh, there is nothing there but help in that menu, what gives! Sooo on a whim I right clicked where it said the disk numbers and voila there was the online option! Must be descriptive haha! I am sure I am not descriptive enough but if you look at your computer management window you will understand, I hope. Nevertheless thanks a freaking million cause seriously I did not want to spend my day repartitioning, formatting and reinstalling windows and every single danged piece of software back on my hard drive! Yay!!!
September 11, 2012 2:51:53 AM

uchetil said:
I had this problem with two 1TB Passport SE's new out of the box they couldn't both be plugged in at once, either alone, OK, but not both...

Under windows 7 the cure is simple, run control panel; administrative tools; computer management: storage; Diskmanagement snap-in.
The second drive shows up as offline with a blue (i) icom next to it. Right click the little blue icon and select online...
that's it.

Simple... it only took me a month to figure it out!

If not Windows 7, I don't know, though... but probably the same for Vista

BTW it's the drive signature collision that's the problem... a drastic solution is to copy all your data off one of the drives and then reinitialize it (as in delete patition create new partition and reformat... not the choice if you've already got lots of data on it or no place to back it up... or no hours to spare...


__________
from Dave \W/ ~ I am well into 3 months, on and off; and am happy with this simple fix {in Win 7} - Thank You.
a b G Storage
September 14, 2012 7:37:24 PM

Thank you guys.
I had a similar problem today.
I upgraded my laptop's internal 500 gb mechanical hdd to ssd.
I used Acronis to backup/restore. Then I deleted all partitions on the hdd and reinitialized, formated it (in my desktop as an internal).
The hdd then was put in an external usb case. My desktop recognised it but not my laptop. It was in the hard disk device drivers list in device manager. The case is now solved after I opened disk management and read this thread.
December 24, 2012 4:19:55 AM

uchetil said:


... Under windows 7 the cure is simple, run control panel; administrative tools; computer management: storage; Diskmanagement snap-in.
The second drive shows up as offline with a blue (i) icom next to it. Right click the little blue icon and select online...
that's it. ...



Thank You! and Thanks to Tomshardware too!
I could just jump for joy right now! (like this)--> :bounce: 
February 12, 2013 6:39:30 PM

WARNING! If you select the "online" option, Windows WRITES a new random disk signature to the boot record of the drive! If the drive has a Windows 7 installation on it, it will refuse to start because of the new signature. There's a command-line utility that lets you set the signature to whatever you want, so you can change it back, but you have to know what it was.

When would this be a problem? When you want to add files to a bootable clone of your system drive.
July 4, 2013 9:12:51 AM


Simple... it only took me a month to figure it out!


Thank you, i will add that i had to boot off the USB drive to get it to show up as drive, so i could turn it online, then it was re-lettered.
11 minutes ago

hix...wonderful!!! thanks you very very much!!!
uchetil said:
I had this problem with two 1TB Passport SE's new out of the box they couldn't both be plugged in at once, either alone, OK, but not both...

Under windows 7 the cure is simple, run control panel; administrative tools; computer management: storage; Diskmanagement snap-in.
The second drive shows up as offline with a blue (i) icom next to it. Right click the little blue icon and select online...
that's it.

Simple... it only took me a month to figure it out!

If not Windows 7, I don't know, though... but probably the same for Vista

BTW it's the drive signature collision that's the problem... a drastic solution is to copy all your data off one of the drives and then reinitialize it (as in delete patition create new partition and reformat... not the choice if you've already got lots of data on it or no place to back it up... or no hours to spare...


!