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Not able to use added hard drive! Help!!!

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June 18, 2010 2:17:50 PM

I added a 0.5TB new Hard drive to my Win 7 system. The drive shows on Windows but I am unable to open it. It says it is unreadable. I tried to format it, but it won't do that either. Do I need to boot from a floppy and format it prior to windows? Please help!!!

More about : added hard drive

a c 123 G Storage
June 18, 2010 5:00:38 PM

I hope the power cable and the SATA cable is connected, and the selected SATA is activated in your BIOS.

Open Control Panel, select Administrative Tools, then select Computer Management. Here under Storage, select Disk Management. Now you will see all the storage devices including HDDs on your computer.

Now select the particular disk in question, and format it.

You can also assign a different drive letter to this new added drive if you choose to. Personally, I like to assign drive letters with some logic in the letter - just a personal preference. For instance, the drive letter for my RAID setup is the letter "R" (Similar to US area codes - sequential area codes are never used for adjacent geographic areas)
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June 18, 2010 5:59:30 PM

Thanks, I will try that tonight when I get home.
Shhh! I'm at work and supposed to be doing work.
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a c 358 G Storage
June 18, 2010 7:36:50 PM

To use Disk Management for this you MUST look at its LOWER RIGHT pane. That's the only place that a piece of hardware that Windows does not yet understand will show up. And remember, it scrolls to show you all it has.

Before you can start to use a brand new HDD there are TWO operations necessary, but they probably will be combined into one helpful Wizard. On the rectangle in Disk Management representing the new HDD, RIGHT-click on the Unallocated Space and choose to Create a Partition. Make it a Primary Partition that's active, and you probably do NOT need to make it bootable, assuming you are using it for data. Make its size what you want, up to the full drive capacity. For Format options, choose the NTFS File System unless you really know a reason to use FAT32, and I'd recommend a Quick Format. That process will be done in about 15 minutes. If you're extra cautious you can run a Full format in MANY hours to test the entire HDD surface for bad sectors, but few new drives have any. When you're done back out of Disk Management and reboot so the Registry can catch up with what you've done. The new unit will show up in My Computer ready for use.
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June 18, 2010 9:30:34 PM

I went to Disc Management as you instructed and viewed the available drives. There is a top window section with Volume C, D (DVD drive) and System Reserved. Below that window pane is a window that lists each drive. Drive 0 is my main drive where windows is located. The new drive is Drive 1. The right pane is titled "Actions" which also has more options, none which are those described above.

The bottom pane has a "Button" list of the drives on the left side of this windowed section. You can select whatever drive you want, but it doesn't really do anything. So I right clicked on Drive 1 button (the new drive). It gave me some options, but it first said that I had to initialize it, so I did. Now when I right click it gives two new options: Convert to Dynamic or Convert to GPR. I chose to do neither since I have no idea what either of those mean. But when I click and then right click on the space right of the "button" for the drive, I then have the ability to layout the content as "Simple" and then the wizard starts where you can assign the Drive letter and chose the size of the partition (in my case, the entire drive).

I am stating all this because the instructions above were more of an overview of how to do it. So for all us newbies, hopefully this will help.

Thank you all for your help. Windows still shows the old unusable drive under My Computer, but hopefully after a restart it will disappear. I'll let you know. Thanks.
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June 18, 2010 9:35:08 PM

Ok, that didn't work. I restarted Windows and the old drive that is unusable (Drive Q) still shows in My Computer. My new formatted drive is there, though, as Drive E. Drive Q is inaccessible.

How do I get rid of Drive Q being shown on Windows since it really doesn't exist now?
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a c 358 G Storage
June 19, 2010 1:11:52 AM

Thanks for posting exactly what you saw and did. It worked in the sense that you can now see and use the new drive. But somehow there is a Q drive that does not exist showing in My Computer? Weird! Does it show anywhere in Disk Management's panes?
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June 21, 2010 1:55:57 PM

No, the Q Drive (non-existent) drive does not display in Disk Management. Could this be a Bios issue? Should I uplug the SATA cable, boot windows, shutdown, re-hookup the drive, and reboot windows?
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