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I need help with my full inaccessible hard drive

Last response: in Storage
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June 21, 2010 5:29:28 PM

i am having trouble getting into my d:\ hard drive it is full i get the message D:\ not accessible not enough space on the disk.It seems my comp doesnt recognize i have a D hard drive.I hace a c and d hard drive
a b G Storage
June 21, 2010 6:11:57 PM

Can you run disk cleanup? start/all programs/accessories/system tools/disk cleanup
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June 21, 2010 7:02:22 PM

anonymous1 said:
Can you run disk cleanup? start/all programs/accessories/system tools/disk cleanup

nah i cant run a disk cleanup or defrag on D:\ hard drive it tells me to insert a disk into the drive,and make sure the drive door is closed.ive tried disk management also.heck even if i go to itunes to play a song i have in my D hard drive it wont let me play it says the file cant be found
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June 21, 2010 7:16:36 PM

can we have a little more detail infomation about what your OS is and what it thinks you have?

it sounds a little like it thinks your D: drive is a cd/dvd drive and not a hard disk.

make sure in disk management that you are seeing the all the info. there may be scroll bars on the window.

also try double-clicking on My Computer.

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a c 342 G Storage
June 21, 2010 8:21:49 PM

Paul Elliot is heading in the right direction. You tell us you can't clean up the D: drive because it tells you to insert a disk and close the door. When you try to play a file from the D: drive it says it cannot find a file there. It really does sound like your computer is using the label D: for a n optical drive. Maybe your old D: hard drive has stopped working, and somehow your OS has re-assigned the label D: to your optical drive.

Start in My Computer and look at exactly what drives you do have there. For each one, right-click on it and ask for its Properties. What type and size is each drive? When you tell it to show you the drive contents, what does it show? Are the files you expect to see there, or does something odd come up?
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June 21, 2010 10:58:39 PM

well in hard drive in my comp i have C,D,E and J which says it has to be formatted.I`m using windows xp for my operationg system.My C hard drive has the operating system on it the size is 127 gb 117 gb free.The D hard drive is for my music and movies which has 487 gb which is full.My wife didnt pay attention to the space of the hard drive and filled it completely.She said she didnt get a warning message that it was nearly full.The E hard drive has 337 gb with 299 gb free space.You are on to something Paperdoc,when i look at properties for the D hard drive hardware tab it brings up all disk drives.How would i go about switching it back? This all happened when the Hard drive was filled to full.Thanks in advance.
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a c 342 G Storage
June 22, 2010 12:14:34 AM

In My computer LEFT click on your D: drive. Does it show you a list of folders, and maybe a few files? Yes? OK, now use the round green Back Arrow button at upper left to go back to the display of all the computer's drives.

This time RIGHT click on the D: drive and choose Properties. If you then click the Hardware tab you SHOULD see all your drives listed. Now click on the General tab. Near the lower right is the Disk Cleanup button. Click that. A little window will show up with a progress bar, then another window will open to show you stuff that it can get rid of for you. The one really safe thing to check off here is the Recycle Bin. check it and let the Cleanup run. That will free up some space. This operation is on only the D: drive.

If you got this far your disk is in better shape. Now to see if there are any files corrupted by the over-filling operation. In Properties, click on the Tools tab. In the top box for Error-checking, click on the Check Now box. In the Options, click Automatically Fix file and system errors, but not the other box, and then Start. This job may take a while. If it finds mixed up bits of file it may place a bunch of new "files" with odd number names in the root directory of the D: drive. In My Computer, look at the D: drive root directory for such odd files. These are file fragments it could not associate with any recognized file and so it saved them for you in case you want to try recovering them and fitting them into something. Unless you REALLY know what you're doing it is extremely difficult to do that. So, if there are only a few, you're better to just delete them and suffer the loss of a few files. After that's done, exit out of here and, back on your desktop, RIGHT-click your Recycle Bin icon and choose to Empty it.

If things go as planned, you may have access to your D: drive back. Now you can plan how to move files around or add new hard drives - whatever you want to solve the shortage of space.
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June 22, 2010 12:26:25 AM

do you have access to another computer ? if so remove the drive your having trouble with and slave it to this functioning computer. if you do not have another computer then try using an external case for your hard drive. either way you should be able to now see what is on the drive so you can "back-it-up"
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June 22, 2010 11:12:21 PM

well i tried to left click on my D drive and it gave me the D:\ drive not accessible there is not enough space on the disk i`m not able to do any disk clean up or defragment of my D drive
Paperdoc said:
In My computer LEFT click on your D: drive. Does it show you a list of folders, and maybe a few files? Yes? OK, now use the round green Back Arrow button at upper left to go back to the display of all the computer's drives.

This time RIGHT click on the D: drive and choose Properties. If you then click the Hardware tab you SHOULD see all your drives listed. Now click on the General tab. Near the lower right is the Disk Cleanup button. Click that. A little window will show up with a progress bar, then another window will open to show you stuff that it can get rid of for you. The one really safe thing to check off here is the Recycle Bin. check it and let the Cleanup run. That will free up some space. This operation is on only the D: drive.

If you got this far your disk is in better shape. Now to see if there are any files corrupted by the over-filling operation. In Properties, click on the Tools tab. In the top box for Error-checking, click on the Check Now box. In the Options, click Automatically Fix file and system errors, but not the other box, and then Start. This job may take a while. If it finds mixed up bits of file it may place a bunch of new "files" with odd number names in the root directory of the D: drive. In My Computer, look at the D: drive root directory for such odd files. These are file fragments it could not associate with any recognized file and so it saved them for you in case you want to try recovering them and fitting them into something. Unless you REALLY know what you're doing it is extremely difficult to do that. So, if there are only a few, you're better to just delete them and suffer the loss of a few files. After that's done, exit out of here and, back on your desktop, RIGHT-click your Recycle Bin icon and choose to Empty it.

If things go as planned, you may have access to your D: drive back. Now you can plan how to move files around or add new hard drives - whatever you want to solve the shortage of space.

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a c 342 G Storage
June 22, 2010 11:58:05 PM

It appears Windows will never deal with this HDD properly because it has some confusing data in its directory and / or sector allocation structures. Ideally we need some utility able to find and fix odd data in those File System structures, but I don't know what to recommend for that. Maybe others do.

The other possibility is File Recovery Software. That sort of tool can read and find files all over your HDD even if the File System is corrupted or missing. The most common form will analyze your disk (it takes many hours!) and then allow you to copy all the files it finds off the original disk to a new one. So obviously you need a spare HDD a little bigger than the full 500 GB unit you have.

I'm sure there are freeware tools for this, but I have not used any so cannot recommend. I have heard good things in these forums about a NON-free one called GetDataBack NTFS. Many claim it works well, and it has a unique "free trial" setup. You go to their website and run the software on your drive (you probably need to have some stuff downloaded to a different drive). After it figures it all out it will show you exactly what files it has found and you can see the directory structure, open and examine files, etc. to be sure of what it has. IF you believe it will do the whole job you need, you must pay them their price and it finishes the job of helping you copy everything it can to the second drive. When you are finished it leaves a fully licensed paid copy of itself on your drive. That MAY be the way to copy all the files your full drive has neatly to another unit where they can be accessed properly. If that is done, you would be free to simply wipe the original 500 GB HDD and re-partition it to use again.
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June 23, 2010 4:16:13 AM

Thankyou for all your help and suggestions paperdoc,we just got this comp back from the geeksquad a week ago.My wife called them today and they have agreed to fix the comp free of charge,i believe because they reinstalled the OS we have on the comp.I will keep in mind all you mentioned incase i have any preoblems in the future.What OS do you use by the way?Which one do you recommend?The comp i have came with vista back when vista first came out,i always liked XP and was comfortable with it so i had my friend reinstall it for me.It pretty much seems like Xp is almost outdated or getting that way
Paperdoc said:
It appears Windows will never deal with this HDD properly because it has some confusing data in its directory and / or sector allocation structures. Ideally we need some utility able to find and fix odd data in those File System structures, but I don't know what to recommend for that. Maybe others do.

The other possibility is File Recovery Software. That sort of tool can read and find files all over your HDD even if the File System is corrupted or missing. The most common form will analyze your disk (it takes many hours!) and then allow you to copy all the files it finds off the original disk to a new one. So obviously you need a spare HDD a little bigger than the full 500 GB unit you have.

I'm sure there are freeware tools for this, but I have not used any so cannot recommend. I have heard good things in these forums about a NON-free one called GetDataBack NTFS. Many claim it works well, and it has a unique "free trial" setup. You go to their website and run the software on your drive (you probably need to have some stuff downloaded to a different drive). After it figures it all out it will show you exactly what files it has found and you can see the directory structure, open and examine files, etc. to be sure of what it has. IF you believe it will do the whole job you need, you must pay them their price and it finishes the job of helping you copy everything it can to the second drive. When you are finished it leaves a fully licensed paid copy of itself on your drive. That MAY be the way to copy all the files your full drive has neatly to another unit where they can be accessed properly. If that is done, you would be free to simply wipe the original 500 GB HDD and re-partition it to use again.

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a c 342 G Storage
June 24, 2010 6:37:49 PM

I'm still using XP Pro, mainly because I have not taken the time to install the new Win 7 sitting on my shelf for months. Win 7 looks real good to me, but I have not used it yet! I never went with VISTA because I was not convinced its advantages justified the cost. Some of that is just me. Before I moved to XP, I was using Win 98, eventually upgraded to the SE version. But I skipped entirely all the other stuff until XP came along. I don't really have an opinion on whether the Vista to Win 7 change is worth the $. But I fully agree that XP is old and losing support resources and should be replaced.
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