Can't see second HDD

I am running 2 hard drives, a small one for the OS, and a larger one for storage. I re-installed windows XP, and I can no longer see the second HDD. Before formatting the 1st HDD I partitioned the larger drive, and put XP on it, so that I could make sure I had all the drivers I would need handy before hand. After I formatted and installed windows on my smaller drive, I can no longer see the second drive or partitions on that drive in My Computer. It does show up in the device manager and BIOS, and I can still boot to windows on the larger HDD. I tried going into the disk management, but it doesn't show up there either. Is there any other way to get windows to recognize the drive?
6 answers Last reply
More about tomshardware
  1. Well, lets start simple, if you unplug the large drive, can you still boot the XP installation on the smaller drive? If you cannot, (if you have done what I am thinking, you won't be able to boot the small drive by its self) leave the large drive unhooked, and do the install to the smaller drive again. After you do the complete install again, then hook up the large drive and see what happens.
  2. If a HDD unit really does not show up anywhere in Disk Management there is very likely a hardware problem, or maybe the BIOS is not set right. But first let's be sure you have looked for the right things in Disk Management.

    I will assume you have both drives installed and are booting from the small disk into the re-installed XP. Go into Disk Management. On its right side are two panes. Each of them SCROLLS so you can see all their contents. The UPPER RIGHT pane will show you all the disk devices Windows already can use. The LOWER RIGHT pane has the hardware devices listed, including those that Windows cannot understand and use yet. Each is represented by a horizontal block. On the left end of each block is a label. For your small drive it probably says something like "Disk_0", a size, and a couple other bits of info. To the right of that the space is occupied by one or more blocks, each representing a Partition on this hardware unit. In your case, you may have only one Partition that occupies all the available space. If the HDD unit has space not yet assigned to a Partition, there will be a block called "Unallocated Space", but I expect you don't have one of those on your small drive.

    For each block representing a Partition on one HDD unit, there will be information like its letter name (for example, C: ), its volume name that you assigned like "Boot Drive" or "Harry's Comp", its size, and its status. Now, scroll down the list in the LOWER RIGHT pane. Besides the small drive with its C: Partition, there should be other units represented: your optical drive unit (it will NOT have separate Partitions in it) and the large drive unit. If there is no large drive unit anywhere here, we'll have to go back into BIOS to figure that out. But if there is one, look at its Partition block(s). Does it (each if more than one) have a letter name? What is its status? If it is there but shows the status as "RAW", then some of the Partition information is mangled and you will need to get that fixed with Partition Recovery software or maybe with simpler File Recovery software. But if the status is OK (for example, says it is an NTFS volume) but it has no letter name, then the problem is simply that Windows needs a name assigned to use it. In that case, RIGHT-click on the Partition and choose the option to change it name, then assign it any letter not currently in use. In fact, you can do this with any drive (Partition) in the lower right pane and re-arrange them all to the names you like (except C: - you can't change that!). When done, exit out of Disk Management and reboot so Windows can update its Registry and use the disks.

    Now, suppose instead that Disk Management fails to show you in its lower right pane any trace of the large drive. You say, however, that it does show up in BIOS and in Device Manager, so likely it does not have a hardware failure. Maybe its SATA mode is set oddly and / or Windows does not have the correct driver installed to use it. So, go into BIOS Setup and look where the SATA port is Enabled for this drive. Check that it is Enabled, and then check right next to it what the port mode setting is. Usually you have choices like IDE (or PATA) emulation, native SATA, AHCI, or RAID. In your case I'm sure you do not want RAID, unless your BIOS uses that as a general heading for everything that is not IDE. On your small drive that is working OK, I expect its mode is set to IDE Emulation (unless you set it to SATA and installed the required driver during the XP re-Install). The trick here is that XP does NOT know by itself how to use anything but IDE drive devices (oh, and ATAPI for optical drives, and floppy drives). So you have two choices. You can set the SATA port mode to IDE (or PATA) emulation and the mobo will make Windows think the drive is just a plain old IDE drive it understands, and all will work. However, there are a few extra features in SATA (actually, AHCI) mode you won't get to use that way. IF you actually want those you can set you port mode to SATA or AHCI. BUT then you will have to go into Windows and install the driver required to use a SATA (or AHCI) device. That driver may have come on a CD with your mobo or system, but even better you should download the latest driver for your mobo from the manufacturer's website and install that. Once that is installed in Windows (the version you have installed on your smaller drive) you can actually use a HDD unit that is operating as a native SATA or AHCI device.

    I am intrigued that you say the old installation of Win XP already on the large drive can boot and run from there (I presume you change the BIOS's Boot Sequence to do this). Of course, if you run this way, in Disk Management it will have renamed drive units so that C: refers to the large unit that you just booted from. But the very fact that you can boot from this unit says one of two things must have been set up. That unit's SATA port already may be in IDE Emulation mode; alternatively, if it is in SATA or AHCI mode, then the XP installed on it also had the required driver for that device type added in when XP was first installed on it, so that the device could be accessed for boot purposes. In that latter case, your problem may be that you did not add in that driver when you re-installed XP on the smaller drive. For what you are doing (booting from the smaller drive, then using the larger unit just as data storage), simply installing the driver after Windows is running (from the smaller drive unit) will fix the problem.
  3. jit, I will try that and see what happens, what would having both hooked up do during the install mess up?

    Paperdoc, that was a lot of info, and a very good read, but I forgot to say they are both IDE drives. And its running both versions of windows as a dual boot, I get the screen to choose a drive, with the countdown. Also, when I boot to the large drive, on partition I, drive C is still the small drive, not the partition I booted from.
    Also when I boot from the small drive, it is drive C, but D,E,and F, my 3 partition on the big drive are skipped, and my dvd burner is drive letter G. But I cannot see the drive in the upper or lower pane of disk management.
  4. OK, both IDE drives, so port mode and drivers for the units are not an issue. You successfully created a Dual Boot configuration during one installation of Windows, and both options are to different installations of XP. In that scenario, it makes sense that the system keeps one set of drive letter names and does not change which one is C:.

    I don't dual boot, so I may well be off on some ideas here, but I'll offer them anyway.
    1. Do BOTH of the XP installations use versions of XP with at least SP1 installed? If either does NOT have 48-bit LBA included it won't be able to deal with a 1 TB unit properly.
    2. The first time you did a second installation of XP and created the ability to Dual Boot, I suspect that the installation was on the larger drive, and the existing older XP install already was on the smaller unit. Is that right? Later, you wiped out the smaller drive (said you formatted and re-installed there) and installed XP on the smaller drive again. At that time, did you AGAIN create a Dual-boot option?
    3. To boot from the small drive, how do you do it? Does the dual-boot option screen always come up and you choose from there?
    4. When you boot from the small drive, it comes up as C: and your optical drive comes up as G:, but there are no other drives in My Computer, and no others show anywhere in Disk Management. Right?
    5. When you boot instead from the large drive, all the drives show up with their correct names, right? And all have perfectly good file structures you can use, right?

    What I am thinking here is that the files that are created for Dual Boot purposes are placed on the drive to which that installation is being made. So to find those files, the machine's Boot Priority Sequence must be set to use that same physical device as the boot unit. Once it finds those files it will offer the dual boot menu and away you go. BUT if you set the BIOS to boot from another drive unit that does NOT have the Dual-boot files on it, you will never get the menu. However, that still should not make Windows unable to recognize the existence of a second HDD in the system.

    Somehow the installation of XP on the smaller drive appears unable to recognize the second drive, even though it is just fine from a hardware standpoint. I'm now wondering if it is too confused to be able to assign drive letters. So, here's a procedure to try. First, boot from the small drive and use Device Manager to Remove both your optical drive and the large drive. Shut down. Open the case and disconnect both the large drive and the optical drive, leaving only your smaller unit functioning. Boot from that, look around a little (examine the files using My computer for example), then shut down. Now, reconnect ONLY the large hard drive and boot up again from the small drive. See if Windows can figure out that there is a new piece of hardware in the machine that has three Partitions on it, and maybe can assign it the drive letters you want - D:, E: and F:. If that works, you will be able to see and use all three "drives" (Partitions) on that large unit. Shut down again. Reconnect the optical drive, and see if Windows can recognize that unit, too, and assign it the letter name G: and use it.

    Let us know what you find out.
  5. Well, I figured it out. I was thinking about it last night at work, and I installed some drivers from that hard drive, and once I restarted, the drive was gone. So after I got home, I re-installed windows, and went through 1 by 1 and installed the drivers and restarted. I have an older intel MOBO with a pent 4. One of the downloads from the Intel website was an application accelerator, and installing that drops the second drive. Sorry for taking up your time, but thank you for taking the time to try to help. I'm not going to install windows while tired again.
  6. Great! One more success story we can all learn from.
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Windows XP Storage