My 1TB Seagate hard drive has stopped working today, just after clearing out a virus from my computer. (The anti-malware doctor one to be exact)
Running Vista, it is recognized under Device Manager, but not in My Computer. When I plug it in, a popup appears telling me I need to format it, but I'd rather not with all my data on it. I tried plugging it into another laptop and it worked fine, just as normal, but it still doesn't with my primary computer.
I transferred most of the data on it to the other laptop and tried the format option, but it gives an error saying it cannot be formatted.
I have heard of that problem before, you do not have multiple devices trying to show up as the same drive letter, do you - such as a multifunction printer with lots of places to insert media, each with its own drive letter?
Are you able to boot into safemode at all? If so, to get rid of the virus you will need to copy (from a good OS) the winlogon.exe and explorer.exe files. Copy the Windows directory back to the C drive renaming it to Windows2 or something. Replace the winlogon.exe and explorer.exe in the new directory (windows2). Rename the original windows directory to Windows_old or something fitting and change the name of the windows2 directory to Windows. Reboot the machine and it should come up normally. Once you get it booting - delete the Windows_old directory.
This was a bear to rid my machine of, and I tried everything else just short of reformating the drive. This corrected my problem and has fixed this issues on other machines as well. Good luck and let us know if this worked for you!
I agree with pdonaghy it is defiantley a explorer problem if you can fix the explorer you should be fine.
Also what sometimes happens is the virusus are autorun services and because the service would be running it will disallow or deny formatting options, you could download Kaspersky Anti Virus and install a trial version of 30 days i find it to be the best Anti Virus on the market to date, it should take care of any autorun executables on the drive. once done you should be able to access the drive through the Computer Management console.