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?
My Computer does not recognize my second hard drive(27 posts)
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?
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.
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.
Haddo, here is an image of a complicated Disk Management environment that is useful for illustrative purposes:
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.
"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?
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.
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.
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.
What happens ??
I'll continue to search for a solid answer for you.
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> select disk 1
DISKPART> select partition 1
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
That Don't sound good plus the HD is not recognized on other machines.
One last try.
Put the HD in another machine as you did.
Boot from the Win98 boot disk in the floppy drive into old dos.
If the boot disk has the program Fdisk on it, try this.
FDISK (Drive Letter): /MBR and see if that restores any HD readability.
I think the HD as (dropped a bit) out of its drive table.
Let's see if ScottW has some more ideas.
Reading back through the postings; if the drive was formatted in FAT32 and you tried it in other machines and in Dos, then the only thing I can think of considering all the attempted solutions, is that the HD has lost its drive tables which makes it unreadable thusly unformatted even though it still has all your info intact on it.
If it has irreplaceable valuable info on it, I would try to have it professionally recovered.
Otherwise, format is most likely your only solution to use the drive again.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Sorry for not responding sooner but I was out of town on business. Since nothing that we tried was able to recover the data, the drive was sent to a company to have the data professionally recovered.
No problem at all with the response time. I have been out of town for a week myself and just returned. As I indicated in my last reply, I just disliked being the bearer of bad news concerning the hard drive, especially for a "non-profit" organization. I do hope the information recovery process is very successful. Let us know how it goes.
Rick P. ♣
This topic has been closed to new replies.