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Problem using hard drive from different computer

Last response: in Storage
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September 16, 2010 10:11:03 PM

Hi guys, I have a SATA hard drive from a dead PC, that has 2 partitions. One partition had Win XP and programs, the other had just data.

I'm trying to use it as an external drive in other computers, but after the drivers are automatically installed successfully, it doesn't show up in 'My Computer'. I've tried it in both WinXP & Win7 machines.

It shows up in Disk Management as a Dynamic, Invalid Drive.
No issues with the drive in 'Disk Drives' under Device Manager as well.

I just want to recover data from the 2nd partition. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
September 16, 2010 10:28:58 PM

Update: I went to disk management (diskmgmt.msc) and did an 'Import Foreign Drive' and now my 2nd partition shows up.

Wondering what happened to data from the 1st partition (which also had WinXP OS installed)
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a c 104 G Storage
September 17, 2010 12:47:25 AM

Hi there,

Basic disks are HDD where each partition (volume) is on the same Hard Disk. That's how most disks are set up.
Dynamic disks (volumes) may be extended across 2 or more physical HDD's, including simple (noncontiguous sections on a single HDD, spanned such as JBOD's, stripped such as RAID-0, or Mirrored called RAID-1 and volumes with other combinations of stripping, mirroring and parity. So a volume can cover several physical drives and look to the OS as a single volume.

The reason you are not seeing it connected as an external USB drive is that you can't have Dynamic USB external drives. Also laptops are not supposed to support dynamic disks.

Here is KB article from Microsoft on converting a dynamic disk to a basic disk

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc776315(WS.10).aspx#BKMK_WINUI

but the volume has to be partitioned with DiskPart and you loose the data on that volume.

Here is a discussion about how to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk, but it is very technical and requires a hex editor and something you may not want to attempt.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=191006

If you could attach the SATA drive directly to your desktop, if the dynamic disk is listed as "Simple" possibly you will be able to see the data on Partition 1, and save what you want. You can save the data, of course, to an external USB, or IEEE 1394 drive which are normally partitioned as Basic drives.

Then go ahead and convert as per MS the Dynamic disk back to a Basic disk.
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a c 303 G Storage
September 23, 2010 12:35:29 AM

Could we see the partition table and boot sector with Microsoft's Sector Inspector?
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/SecInspect.zip

Extract the above archive to the one folder and execute the SIrun.bat file. The procedure will generate a report file named SIout.txt which you can then upload to a file sharing service so that we can examine it.
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