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My Computer does not recognize my second hard drive

(27 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by Haddo
  • Latest reply from skysearcher
  • Topic Viewed 44617 times

Haddo
Posts: 10

I reinstall Windows XP on the main hard drive on a Dell Optiplex GX-260 Desktop. After the installation, I went to “My Computer” and the second hard drive with some important data is missing. The drive was present in “My Computer” before the re-installation. I went into “Disk Management” and the drive is present, it shows that it is “Healthy (Active)”. When I right click on the drive, the only options that are allowed are “Help” and “Delete Partition”. How do I get “My Computer to recognize the second hard drive so that I can retrieve the data which is important?

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Haddo, hello and welcome. The "Healthy (Active)" refers to a partition, not the hard drive. A partition that is Active is one that can be used to boot an Operating System. There should be only one Active partition, the one that contains the OS you are running on.

In Disk Management, do you have Disk 0 and Disk 1? That would represent the two hard drives. Does each Disk, 0 & 1, have an Active partition?

Posted 6 years ago
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sparky7415
sparky7415
Posts: 419

Try your jumper settings on the new drive,maybe slave?There are guys here better than me,be cool.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

ScottW: Thanks for the welcome. Both drives show up in Disk Management. “Drive C” which has the operating system says “Healthy (System)”, while “Drive D” says “Healthy (Active)”. The problem is why is “Drive D” not showing up in “My Computer”? They both show the amount of free space on the drives, so the data is still there.

Posted 6 years ago
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k9
k9
Posts: 129

Go to command prompt and type "d:" (without the quotes). Does something like D:\> show up?

I think you have 2 'partitions' and not 2 'drives', usually people use the term drive 2 mean a partition. Its important to know that both are not the same, and esp. in your case it can be misleading if you use the 2 terms interchangeably.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

K9, Both drives show up in the BIOS and in "Disk Management", but not in "My Computer".

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Haddo, here is an image of a complicated Disk Management environment that is useful for illustrative purposes:
http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk.....ent_XP.gif

This screen shows us that there are 2 physical hard drives in the system, Disk 0 and Disk 1. Disk 0 has 4 partitions, C, E, F, and G. Disk 1 has 3 partitions, H, I, and J. Note that the C: partition is marked as Healthy (System). This is not only a bootable partition, but it is *the* partition that the operating system is currently booted and running from. Look at H:, which is marked as Healthy (Active). This is a bootable partition, meaning that it contains an operating system, but the OS on that partition is NOT running. That other active partition will also not show up in Explorer because Windows only allows 1 bootable partition to be shown in Explorer and that is the one that it is booted from.

So, your D partition is Active, but not booted and that's why it doesn't show up in Explorer. In order to see that data while booted from the C partition, you first need to mark the D partition as inactive. I don't believe that Disk Management will let you do this operation. You will need to use the diskpart.exe command line to perform this operation. If you need help with that, I will need to know all about your drives and partitions in order to insure the correct partition is marked inactive.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

ScottW,

"Disk 0" has 1 partition which is "Drive C".
"Disk 1" has 1 partition which is "Drive D".
Both disks shows up in the BIOS and also in "Disk Management".
Both disk could be seen in "My Computer" before I reinstalled XP to Disk 0. If the disk had more than one partition, which it does not, each partition would normally show up in "My Computer" as a separate drive.

The Computer is used by a local non-profit organization so both HD are small. "Disk 0" is 40 GB, and "Disk 1" is just 6.5 GB. The data on "Disk 1", which is a backup drive, is less than 1 GB, is what we are hoping to recover.

Will a data recovery software recover the data if the HD does not show up in "My Computer, and how to get "My Computer" to recognize the disk?

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Haddo,

The machine sounds to be fairly old especially having a (8) Gig HD.

How are the hard drives formated IE. Fat32 or NTFS ??

Does the machine have a Floppy Disk Drive ??

Do you have a Dos floppy boot disk or can you make one ??

Another thought, can you pull the HD and put in another machine ??

I remember there was an issue years ago with some HDs, during the (8) or (9) Gig transition period but can't remember all the details. This may or may not be applicable in this case but it was an issue during the period. Is that small drive by chance a Western Digital ??

I'm just thinking how you can save the Non-Profit some bucks by being innovative.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

Raphoenix, We tried almost everything but nothing seems to work. We install the HD in several other computers as a slave drive where it shows up in the BIOS but not in "My Computer". "Disk 0" is formatted NTFS and "Disk 1" was formatted Fat32, which I do not think should make a difference because both was showing in "My Computer" before XP was reinstalled. Ironically the second drive was installed as a backup drive for data storage in case of a problem with the computer, and that is the one that is having problems. The small HD was installed because a larger HD was not needed to backup the limited amount of data that is used. The data on the disk was less than 1 GB.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Haddo,

Yours is common problem that appears on many forums and groups. Unfortunately, I couldn't find even a suggestion of a solid answer reading thru the postings.

I'm guessing the second drive was probably formated on a machine with an (old Bios) to keep the explanation simple.

However, what bothers me is that the volume was showing OK BEFORE you re-installed XP and also the fact it won't show up now in other machines. (Could have dropped a Bit in the drive table)

You can try this if you haven't done so already.

Run Chkdsk on the drive volume.

Then go back in disk management and assign it another letter like F: or something.

Reboot.

What happens ??

I'll continue to search for a solid answer for you.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Haddo, for whatever reason the sole partition on your second disk, "Disk 1" in Disk Management, is set to "Active". To be able to access the data from My Computer you need to use the diskpart command to mark it as inactive. Here's how. You must use an administrator account, then open a command prompt. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt. Now run the following commands:

> diskpart
DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> select partition 1
DISKPART> inactive
DISKPART> exit
> exit

Now reboot the system and you should have access to that D: drive from My Computer. If anything looks wrong while you are doing this, stop and ask questions. Diskpart is a very powerful tool that can do a lot of damage if not used correctly.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@ScottW,

Just out of curiosity, why go to DISKPART when one can do the same thing with a right click on the volume in Disk Management ??

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Rick, can you mark a partition as NOT active in Disk Management? I don't have a spare active partition lying around to test this with, but I believe that is not an option that you are presented with in Disk Management.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Scott,

Yes, I think I see what you mean.

This machine has (6) drives so I went to a Volume and could mark it (ACTIVE) in the GUI, HOWEVER you are correct.

The menu does not (flip) in the GUI to mark the Volume as (INACTIVE).

Because I use raid, etc., my drives are all configured as Primary Single Volumes so I don't have a multi-partition Volume to see if the GUI menu flips so one can mark a partition on a multi-partition Volume as (INACTIVE).

For some reason I thought it would but I guess not.

I always use Ghost on a Dos Floppy to mark partitions so I haven't looked at the option for a while - Sorry About That.

I hope your solution works for Haddo as I remember there was a problem with HDs between 6 and 9 Gigs during that era.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

ScottW, before I set the drive to “inactive” I am just curious as to why the drive being “active” will cause “My Computer” not to see it? I have looked at other computers with similar configurations with “Disk 1” set to “Active” and there is no problem with “My Computer seeing the drive”.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Haddo, you are correct. Although the partition is marked active, it should still show up in Explorer. That it would not show up was my gut feeling, but I can find no evidence to support that. Still, marking this partition not active is an easy and harmless step. If that fixes it, great. If not, then we are looking for other possibilities. Is the MBR corrupted, is the drive online, is the volume mounted? It's hard to know exactly what's going on with this partition. Did you try accessing it in Safe Mode or Recovery Console? I can think of many ways to approach this problem.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

ScottW, The partition is made inactive but it is still not showing up.

Posted 6 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Haddo,

While we wait on an a reply from ScottW, do you have a machine with a Floppy Drive and an old Dos Boot Floppy perhaps laying around ?? Would be interested to see how old Dos sees the HD.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 6 years ago
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Haddo
Posts: 10

Rick, I had tried that a few days ago with a Win98 boot disk. While DOS recognizes the drive, it could not be read. It gave the message "Abort, Retry, Fail".

Posted 6 years ago
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