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Can't access my hard drive!

Last response: in Storage
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June 23, 2012 7:33:12 AM

Hi guys,

I have a 2TB Western Digital Caviar green internal HDD that has backups of all my stuff on it. I have had to go back to using an old laptop for the time being and need to get some of the work off the HDD. I bought a HDD to usb caddy (link below) and I cant seem to get it to work!

http://www.usbnow.co.uk/Hard_Drive_Enclosures-IDE_&_SAT...(with_Power_Supply)/product_info.html

The HDD is visible in the device manager in the control panel and all drivers are said to be up to date.
When I go to disk management, it calls the disk 'unallocated' and says that it is not initialised.

The disk has implrtant data on it and I CANNOT afford to wipe it. Can anyone help me and tell me how I might be able to access the files on the disk??

Kind regards, and Thanks in advance.

More about : access hard drive

a b G Storage
June 23, 2012 2:11:57 PM

Try a disk utility and see if you get any partition errors or SMART errors. WD has a diagnostic util you can download (Data lifeguard or something) but you can also use Partition Magic and HD Tune or any of the many HDD utils out there for download. SMART data on the drive may also be viewable from the BIOS.

To start see if you can find a diag util for your drive from WD's web site.
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June 23, 2012 2:47:30 PM

For another quick check, has it been alocated a drive letter? if not try getting disk management to allocate a letter - right-click on the HDD then select change-drive-letter-and-path. Accept the default letter and see if that helps. I've had to do this for an external WD HDD a few times before windows 'sees' it.
As canadian69 said, tools like Partition Magic can help you transfer data to another HDD, if needed, as well as offering many other usefull HDD functions.
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a b G Storage
June 23, 2012 2:55:18 PM

If it's coming up as detected but with "unallocated" space you will not be able to "assign" a drive letter. Windows is seeing the drive, but thinks it's sans partition.

Start with a partition utility, but also make sure the drive capacity is being detected properly too (both in drive management and in the BIOS).

Do not re-partition the drive, you are only using the utility to scope out partition errors and to try and correct them.
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a c 353 G Storage
June 23, 2012 4:11:52 PM

If You need to "NOT" loose the data, be very cautious of what you do.
You mentiond "OLD" laptop, Just How old and What operating system?
Under what operating system was the drive initially set up on. ie if orginally setup on a system running windows 7 and now connected to windows XP, that could be the problem. If you try to "fix" it you may render it Unusable.

First Try the drive (and enclosure) on "Newer" system ie a friends.
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June 25, 2012 10:33:15 AM

Thanks for all the help so far.

As canadian69 said, I can't assign drive letters to it, that was the first and only idea I had, but it won't give me the option.

The drive was set up using win7 64-bit in my desktop. The laptop is an old toshiba satellite pro (I'm not sure of any more info than that) and is also running with win7 but only a 32-bit version. I wouldn't have thought that would make a difference would it?

It is recognised in the disk manager as the full 2TB and also in the BIOS too. I did try it on a mates new macbook. But it just couldn't read it at all. But I have no clue about macs so it could mean anything or nothing.
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a b G Storage
June 25, 2012 10:50:19 AM

NTFS file systems use a security identifier which is tied to the windows accounts for that PC. Simply that means that other PC's can't access the files on another PC without properly authenticating and/or taking ownership over all the files/folders on the drive. If this was the case I would expect that you would be able to "see" the directory structure and that a drive letter would be assigned (normally through computer/disk manger in the admin tools section of the control panel). Have you been able to launch disk management? Type "diskmgmt.msc" in the run box or navigate through the CP.
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June 25, 2012 12:02:39 PM

canadian69 said:
NTFS file systems use a security identifier which is tied to the windows accounts for that PC. Simply that means that other PC's can't access the files on another PC without properly authenticating and/or taking ownership over all the files/folders on the drive. If this was the case I would expect that you would be able to "see" the directory structure and that a drive letter would be assigned (normally through computer/disk manger in the admin tools section of the control panel). Have you been able to launch disk management? Type "diskmgmt.msc" in the run box or navigate through the CP.


I'm away with work at present, I will try it out when I'm back in a few days time. Thanks!
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