/ Sign-up
Your question

Cannot access my internal drive

  • Hard Drives
  • Connection
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
November 9, 2012 5:52:22 PM

Hello - Please help !

I need to access my internal hard drive. It used to be in my old machine which I gave away.
I have tried to connect it internally in another pc (it is Sata) but it does not show up.
I have also tried to connect it via USB. It shows up as F: but only gives me the formatting option :-(

I also tried to go to Computer management menu and to activate it that way. But NO.

Appreciate all help.

Thank you.

More about : access internal drive

November 14, 2012 9:13:48 AM

Could it be that the hard drive was encrypted to the previous PC and only boots from that??
I could try and get hold of the old machine and try it again to see whether it boots up?
Maybe if it did, at least I could get the data off the drive onto another hard drive.

Just need to be able to recover the files without making it all worse..
a c 459 G Storage
November 14, 2012 6:30:12 PM

How do UVCView and HD Sentinel detect your drive?

To determine whether the drive is encrypted, you could use a sector editor to examine sector 0. Let us know what you find.

Roadkil's Sector Editor:

HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor:

DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery):
Related resources
November 15, 2012 1:59:07 PM

Hello - Thank you for the reply.

I must say it is rather onfusing to go into sectors and find traces to determine
what the problem is....

However, I have done it - sort of got the hang of it :-/ I used the HxD Hex editor
and I believe found what I was looking for.

Other that a whole paragraph of just crow's feet symbols, a readable message says in SECTOR 0 :
'Invalid partition table. Error loading Operation system. Missing operating system'.

Ok. But this doesn't really tell me whether it is/was encrypted to my old machine or not.....
To be honest I don't really know what I am looking for.

Last night I did try RE- UNDELETE recovery software and it scanned for ages and did recover stuff, but not really any of my valuable stuff like my music WAV files/ Music software files.
It did kinda put it in some order where I found the folders with the names, inside ROOT folder, but
it had nothing in them... :-(
So does that mean it will make a difference to BUY this recovery software. Will that actually recover the files or not?
a c 459 G Storage
November 15, 2012 5:25:39 PM

It appears that the problem is indeed a logical one rather than a physical one. The data do not appear to be encrypted.

Sometimes a Ubuntu Live CD will be able to mount your file system when Windows cannot. Otherwise, your data recovery software should report all the files it has found, irrespective of whether you have paid for it. If it doesn't find your files, then paying for it won't change anything.

Data recovery professionals recommend R-Studio.

As for sector 0, it should look something like this:

Sector 63 or 2048 should be the boot sector of the first partition.

It should look something like either of these:
November 15, 2012 7:03:35 PM

UBUNTU LIVE CD ? Do you mean installing UBUNTU from a CD ..onto the hard drive I cannot access??
OR can already installed UBUNTU access the files on the RAW disc ????
a c 459 G Storage
November 15, 2012 7:15:48 PM

Ubuntu Live is a bootable CD. You don't need to install anything. Just boot the CD and use its OS to examine your HDD.
November 15, 2012 7:21:29 PM

but - I have to 'create' that bootable CD first, and then do it? Or do I need to purchase an already created one ??
a c 459 G Storage
November 15, 2012 7:26:23 PM

Download the ISO and burn your own CD. It shouldn't cost you anything.
November 15, 2012 7:41:27 PM

Can I not install UBUNTU on this stationary PC.... switch off, and then just choose UBUNTU to boot when the black screen appears????
a c 459 G Storage
November 15, 2012 8:27:30 PM

You don't need to install it. Just boot and run Ubuntu LiveCD or LiveUSB from a CD or USB flash drive.

Can you show us a hex dump of sectors 63 and 2048?
November 16, 2012 3:20:11 PM

Ubuntu completely useless. No detection of hard drive what so ever. Waste of time.
Looks like I need to use a recovery program. It seems they are limited to recovering small small files not larger than say 70KB....
and I can only recover larger files with directories intact if I pay for the full version. Anyone know of completely free ones that will do this ????
a c 459 G Storage
November 16, 2012 5:13:19 PM


I disagree that Ubuntu was a waste of time. It is often able to mount file systems that Windows sees as "RAW".

In fact I once had a damaged FAT32 volume that Windows XP couldn't mount, nor would CHKDSK attempt to analyse it, yet when I connected this RAW volume to my Windows 98SE box, Windows mounted it and Scandisk was able to repair it. In fact ISTR that the boot sector had been zeroed, yet despite this, Win98SE was still smart enough to use the backup boot sector.

Try running CHKDSK in readonly mode. If your drive has bad sectors, CHKDSK will potentially make things much worse if you allow it to "repair" them, so avoid the F or R options.

Could we see the partition table and boot sector with Microsoft's Sector Inspector?

If you extract the above archive to the one folder and execute the SIrun.bat file, then this will generate a report file named SIout.txt.