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External Problem

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July 27, 2011 9:35:46 PM

I apologize if this has been asked and answered before but I seem to be having some trouble. I recently visited my parents house (where my old desktop is located) and wanted to retrieve some things off the hard drive. The power supply on the computer is dead, so I decided to bring the HD back home with me. I bought an external enclosure for the drive (WD SATA drive if that makes a difference) and hooked it up to my laptop. When I did this, It comes up with the usual "installing software" and "device connected blah blah blah" but when I go into my computer to try and look at the files it is not listed. The drive DOES come up in device manager and says that it is working properly and such. I opened up disk management, and it shows the internal drive of my laptop, but where I'm guessing where the external should be it shows it as "Disk1 dynamic and Invalid" The drive was working to the best of my knowledge last time the desktop was in working order. The drive from the desktop was my primary HD, and thus the C drive by default. Im thinking perhaps there may be a conflict if it is still labeled that way. Also in the disk management, in the top section it shows my internal HD, but there it does not list the external. I would like to keep the data on the disk intact, as that was the reason for bringing the Hd home with me and such.

Any help, thoughts, or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

More about : external problem

July 27, 2011 9:40:48 PM



That is a screenshot just to show that it is showing up in device manager, and what it coming up in disk management.
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July 28, 2011 12:08:35 AM

Hello, and Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

Does sound like a hardware problem. You are to be congratualted on sending along an image of Disk Management and Device Manager. It truly is worth a thousand words.

I would suspect that your 'old' computer was set up using a Dynamic disk style, which is the newer more high tech style compared to an MBR style. If your laptop is a Windows "Home" xxx, like windows home premium, or windows xp home, they can't read dynamic disks, so it show up as invalid. The fact that your OS sees the Disk in the Device Manager and in Disk Management means the connection is OK. Check to see what version of Windows you have on the laptop.

It that's the case, then you need to connect the drive to a Windows Professional, or Ultimate to read the drive correctly.

Interesting thing (fact) is you can convert a Basic drive to a Dynamic drive and not lose any data, but to go the other way, it has to be set up anew and you lose all data on the drive, like a one way street or avenue!

So connected to different computer,you can copy off the data, then move it to your laptop no problem, and the data will be fine.

There are other reasons why you might get Dynamic, invalid, but that's by far the most common.
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July 28, 2011 4:10:03 AM

My laptop is running windows 7 Ultimate. The desktop I pulled the drive out of is a few years older and was running vista I think I might have been vista enterprise (I want to say) or something like that. I tried hooking the drive up to my roommates computer and got the same thing.

Do you think it would be useful to connect the drive internally to a desktop, or do you think I would get a similar result? Is there something else I could try before I do this?

Thanks again for the assistance.
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July 28, 2011 3:55:28 PM

squintz305 said:
My laptop is running windows 7 Ultimate. The desktop I pulled the drive out of is a few years older and was running vista I think I might have been vista enterprise (I want to say) or something like that. I tried hooking the drive up to my roommates computer and got the same thing.

Do you think it would be useful to connect the drive internally to a desktop, or do you think I would get a similar result? Is there something else I could try before I do this?

Thanks again for the assistance.


Just double check to make sure you are running Win-7 Ultimate. By far the most common cause of Dynamic Disk Invalid is trying to read the disk from a Win x Home version of the OS.

The Disk LCM may have become corrupted from a power outage, malware etc. or who know.

The MS Disk Managment way to convert from Dynamic to Basic disk style is to remove the volume (lose all your data) and reinitialize the disk as a Basic Disk. Probably not what you want.

There are a couple other ways to nondestructively convert it back.

Can download and run HxD, a hex editor to go in and change the style designation byte. (for advanced users)
Can download and run a program called Aomei Dynamic Disk Converter (disk conversion from dynamic to basic without losing data)
There is a download trial, the Prof Edition $29.99. Here's the link:

http://www.dynamic-disk.com/

That's what I'd recommend. There may be other ways to accomplish the same result but this is fairly simple and non destructive, and not too expensive for 500GB of data saved.




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