XP Drive Hidden


I have a WD 250g backup drive I put in an external USB case. Got lots of stuff on it. Decided to put it into my main Win XP computer to transfer my data faster than USB2 so I plugged it into the IDE cable and it doesn't show up in my drives listing. Went into computer management and it shows "Healthy (Unknown partition) and I can only delete the partition. I ran diskpart and it shows it's type 17 and hidden = yes.

I put it back in the external case and connected it to my Vista laptop. It recognized it. Plugged the USB cable back into my XP machine and it also recognized it. Thought I was good to go so I plugged it back into the IDE cable and again its "Healthy (Unknown Partition) and I can't use it. Tried it in the laptop again and nothing.

Ran diskpart in Vista and it lets you change the partition type so I changed it to type 07 for NTFS. Now it shows hidden = no and type 07 and assigned a drive letter to it. In the filestatus of diskpart it shows RAW instead of NTFS. When I try to access it, it asks to format it. I thought unhiding it with type = 07 would let me access it.

Have an old Partition Magic and it shows the drive but the advanced options are grayed out so I can't unhide it there.

I don't want to have to run a disk recovery job as it will take several hours to run on this size drive.

Any ideas how I can access this drive? I know the data's still there.

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  1. Im actually in the process of doing this also, but im putting my 2gb external into my computer. When i plugged in the external hard drive via sata, it should up just like yours.
    So my solution was to just transfer everything into another external, Format the Drive that i wanted to put into my computer, and then transfer the data back.... I've been at it for about 10 hours :cry: damn you usb 2.0

    Sorry, couldn't give you an answer, just wanted to share so you knew it wasn't just your hard drive.
  2. Here's an update on things I've tried and what I ended up doing. I see lots of other posts of similar problems and maybe this will help someone out.

    I tried gparted live. A cd you create that boots linux but has partitioning tools. It recognized the drive as hidden and shows that as a flag. They have an option to change flags, hidden to unhidden. Tried it and it changed the type to 83. Still can't see the files so I put it back.

    Tried Partition Magic 8 to do a partition copy. It has an option when copying to have the new partition unhidden which I selected. It said it has to reboot the system to complete which I thought was strange since Ghost32 doesn't require a reboot to do a partition copy. You need to do one after to see it though. Partition Magic rebooted and went into dos and said it can't see the drives I selected for the operation. It can't handle usb external drives I have to use to save the data to. So can't use that.

    Tried Ghost32 for a partition to partition copy. It creates the new partition as type 17 (hidden NTFS) and gives no option to change that. Maybe a newer version has better options. I'm already buying new drives so not looking to spend more for software. Also, it said to copy my 250g drive with 200g data on it would take 11.5hrs. Keep in mind both source and target drives are external usb. My whole problem started when I connected the drive that was always external to the UltraIDE cable in the main computer case.

    Another note: Ghost recognized the vol lable as did Nero backup. Nero backup would copy the drive but wouldn't let me see any files in it. Wasn't sure if it would also restore a backup as hidden so decided not to waste more hours trying that.

    Finally I got out the old R-Studio drive recovery software from 2002. It's worked before. Did a test scan on 10g of data and it found the entire directory structure and alot of the files. Did an entire scan of the 250g drive and it found everything including deleted stuff. It took 8hrs. Decided I only needed 130g of what was there so I restored that and it took 4 hrs.

    My problem is now handled but it took considerable time getting it done by the brute force method.

    I'd still like to hear from anyone why a drive that was in an external case then connected to a internal IDE cable becomes hidden with type 17. In addition, I'd like to hear how to make the drive unhidden as changeing the type to 07 made it unhidden but couldn't see anything on it.

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