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Thread: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]




  1. #1
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    Default Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Suddenly out of nowhere when I reboot my machine, one of my hard drives isn't even recognized as such.

    The drive spins up, but in the Windows XP Device Manager, it comes up in the Disk Drives area as garbled text.

    I can't find any reference to this online. Is there a way to fix this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Probably not. Garbled characters as the drive name generally means that the drive has either died or has become corrupted to the point where it will need to be reformatted. To make sure, though, I would plug it into another computer and see if the data is still there. If not, then you will know that the issue is the drive and not your system or a Windows issue.

    Good luck.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    BTW,,, is it a single drive? We had an issue once like this on a RAID server where the problem was one of the drives in a 6TB array was not fully seated into the mount (so a loose connection) and it gave a similar error. That would be something else to look into. There is also a command that rebuilds the MBR of a drive a supposedly does not destroy the data, so you can also use this as a last resort.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    BTW,,, is it a single drive? We had an issue once like this on a RAID server where the problem was one of the drives in a 6TB array was not fully seated into the mount (so a loose connection) and it gave a similar error. That would be something else to look into. There is also a command that rebuilds the MBR of a drive a supposedly does not destroy the data, so you can also use this as a last resort.
    I can't mbr the drive, it doesn't appear as a drive letter. It appears in the Device Manager but I can't get to it to format it. If I could, I would use "getdataback" to rescue it and be done (that's one awesome data recovery program!).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Recreating the MBR is not done through Windows, but through DOS. Thinking back, it was a 32-bit function of the FAT-32 file system, so really wouldn't be feasible if you originally formatted the drive as an NTFS device. Was just trying to come up with as many possible solutions as possible for you.

    BTW, the fix for the MBR was a feature in the FORMAT command used through DOS.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    Recreating the MBR is not done through Windows, but through DOS. Thinking back, it was a 32-bit function of the FAT-32 file system, so really wouldn't be feasible if you originally formatted the drive as an NTFS device. Was just trying to come up with as many possible solutions as possible for you.

    BTW, the fix for the MBR was a feature in the FORMAT command used through DOS.
    Ah rats, it is/was(?) a NTFS partition. I need to actually be able to access it as a drive letter to do that anyway, right?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    As long as it could be seen in DOS as a drive you could fix the MBR, but that will not work on an NTFS partition/drive. Try the drive in another system (a spare you have or a friend's) and see if the drive name still shows as garbled characters. If soa nd you are certain the cables are good, then the drive is likely toast (or at the very least the partition is corrupted).

    You should also be able to download some sort of testing utility from the drive manufacturer website and see what it has to say. This should at least be able to tell you if the drive is still functioning properly. If so, then you will probably just need to reformat the drive and start over.

    If this ends up being the case, then you MAY be able to recover the data after the reformat by using any number of utilities on the market for data recovery. Formatting does not eliminate the data still on the drive, it simply removes and overwrites the MBR and Boot Record (like a table of contents) to that data. You may still have issues with file corruption, however, since it is looking like there is something terribly wrong with either your drive or your partition.

    Good luck.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion View Post
    As long as it could be seen in DOS as a drive you could fix the MBR, but that will not work on an NTFS partition/drive. Try the drive in another system (a spare you have or a friend's) and see if the drive name still shows as garbled characters. If soa nd you are certain the cables are good, then the drive is likely toast (or at the very least the partition is corrupted).

    You should also be able to download some sort of testing utility from the drive manufacturer website and see what it has to say. This should at least be able to tell you if the drive is still functioning properly. If so, then you will probably just need to reformat the drive and start over.

    If this ends up being the case, then you MAY be able to recover the data after the reformat by using any number of utilities on the market for data recovery. Formatting does not eliminate the data still on the drive, it simply removes and overwrites the MBR and Boot Record (like a table of contents) to that data. You may still have issues with file corruption, however, since it is looking like there is something terribly wrong with either your drive or your partition.

    Good luck.
    Agh, all my drives just went similarly kaput.

    It's the 4 drive EIDE enclosure I'm using.

    The drive that first went bad, is now just fine in a temporary replacement enclosure.

    Now I need a new multi enclosure. :(

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    the other way of checking if its a windows or a hardware problem - boot ubuntu - it pickes up ntfs drives and will boot from the cdrom drive (no install needed)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hard drive not recognized in Device Manager [xp]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kheldar View Post
    the other way of checking if its a windows or a hardware problem - boot ubuntu - it pickes up ntfs drives and will boot from the cdrom drive (no install needed)
    The problem was the enclosure itself.

    The enclosure generates a LOT of heat and the connections are somehow frayed.

    Putting these hard drives in another enclosure actually got them ALL working, even an older one that mysteriously up and died on me.

    The problem is, this makes me need to have 4 enclosures for 4 hard drives and this is a huge waste of electricity AND plug sockets. And they don't seem to make EIDE enclosures anymore. I've even asked around computer stores and they don't have them. :(

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