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Can't read old partitioned hd. Drive letter conflict?

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April 4, 2011 4:13:15 AM

Hello,
I recently purchased a new pc, with a new hard drive and installed windows xp. I pulled my old hard drive (WD 500GB) to try to use it in the new machine. I had partitioned that hard drive into C:/ and F:/ drives. When I tried to install it (SATA) I found I couldn't access. I purchased an external ATA to USB cable, but still can't get it to work.
The drive starts to load, but then drops off. I am not sure if there is a conflict when the new machine reads the C:/ drive designation on the old drive (conflict with current C:/ drive) or if there is some other disk error. The disk powers up and spins. No clicking. I would consider changing the board on the drive if I knew that my problem was not a drive conflict or something else that might be fixed more simply.
I would appreciate any advice.
a c 379 G Storage
April 4, 2011 12:12:35 PM

Did you check in disk management? It probably just needs assigned a new drive letter(s). There should be no problem with conflicting C drives as windows will enumerate the drives.
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April 4, 2011 5:12:45 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Did you check in disk management? It probably just needs assigned a new drive letter(s). There should be no problem with conflicting C drives as windows will enumerate the drives.


I can't seem to use disk management as the drive is not recognized long enough to become available. It shows up, but then quickly drops off. If I wait about a minute it will load again and quickly drop off again (matter of seconds).
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a c 379 G Storage
April 4, 2011 5:16:48 PM

If you have the ports available on your motherboard, have you tried connecting the drive internally, at least long enough to see if it works? This would at least eliminate the USB->SATA converter cable.
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a c 415 G Storage
April 4, 2011 6:02:30 PM

It can't be a drive letter conflict. The drive letters aren't stored on the drive, they're stored in the Windows Registry.

When Windows sees a new drive that hasn't been connected to it before, it will assign the next available drive letter to it. From your description this is the case that should apply, since this is the first time you're connecting the drive from your old system to your new system.

When Windows sees a drive that it's seen before, it will try to re-use the same letter the drive had the last time - but if there's a conflict with another drive having that letter then it will assign the next available letter anyway.

In either case, drive letters are never a reason why you can't attach a new drive (unless you run out of drive letters!).
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a c 379 G Storage
April 4, 2011 6:16:26 PM

sminlal said:
It can't be a drive letter conflict. The drive letters aren't stored on the drive, they're stored in the Windows Registry.

When Windows sees a new drive that hasn't been connected to it before, it will assign the next available drive letter to it. From your description this is the case that should apply, since this is the first time you're connecting the drive from your old system to your new system.

When Windows sees a drive that it's seen before, it will try to re-use the same letter the drive had the last time - but if there's a conflict with another drive having that letter then it will assign the next available letter anyway.

In either case, drive letters are never a reason why you can't attach a new drive (unless you run out of drive letters!).


I'v had up to 3 USB flash drives run into problems with having the same drive letter (All trying to use M as the drive letter). At that point, windows will give the usual "ding" that the USB device is plugged in, but it will not show up in windows or disk management. There are ways to repair that. I have yet to run into this problem with hard drives, but I imagine it could be possible.
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a c 415 G Storage
April 4, 2011 7:07:31 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
I'v had up to 3 USB flash drives run into problems with having the same drive letter (All trying to use M as the drive letter).
That's odd - I've never seen that in my system. I wonder that the difference is?
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April 5, 2011 2:39:32 PM

I have tried to attach it to motherboard with SATA, but will not boot.
Is it worth it to try to replace the PCB?
WD5000AAKS - 00YGA0
DCM: HHNNHT2MAB
PCB: 2081-701477-900 AD

I have never done this.

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a c 379 G Storage
April 5, 2011 2:50:59 PM

Have you tried attaching it to the motherboard as a secondary drive instead of as a boot drive? If it still doesn't work when attached this way, I think I'd give up on it.

You only need to replace the PCB if you know it's damaged, like a power surge fried some of the electronics.
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April 5, 2011 5:42:23 PM

I have attached it to the board as a secondary drive but it still can't be read.

I have seen in some forums that replacing the PCB can save the data on the drive -- if you can find the right match. My drive was manufactured in 2007, so I haven't seen many around.

I saved all my downloaded music on this drive - - along with other stuff. This is the first time I have a had a drive fail on me - - but I guess it was bound to happen.
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Best solution

a c 379 G Storage
April 5, 2011 6:02:52 PM

It seems most people don't have a backup strategy in place until they lose a drive. It's a bummer that you've got all that data on there.

I've never had to replace a PCB on a hard drive. You might be able to find one on Ebay. At the very least, find the drive and remove the PCB from it to use on your current drive.
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April 12, 2011 8:23:23 AM

Best answer selected by mrczarnecki.
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