Hdd not detected

By earfood
Nov 15, 2008
  1. I accidentally hit the power button of my laptop and it rebooted. But my external hdd can't be detected anymore. I'm using windows vista. the hdd doesn't show up in 'my computer', shows up in device manager as 'working properly' but is considered an 'unknown' drive in disk management.

    Please help! Let me know if you need any other information.
  2. NunjaBusiness

    NunjaBusiness TS Rookie Posts: 36

    Did you disconnect the external drive and power down the PC?
    Do that, then let the compuiter boot without the drive once.

    Then while up and running, reconnect the drive. Vista is better than absolutely any other OS, as regards properly detecting new devices.
  3. Rottenweiler

    Rottenweiler TS Rookie

    Yeah, shut down both.
    Power the external drive back on first, then reboot the PC.
    Should pick it right back up...if the drive is OKay!
  4. NunjaBusiness

    NunjaBusiness TS Rookie Posts: 36

    I forgot to mention this.

    If you can see the drive in disk management, be sure it is formatted in NTFS. I find many of them come from the store with a FAT32 system which will cause problems with files approaching 4GB in size.

    If it is FAT32 and you already have data on it, you can either get the data off and reformat using NTFS or use convertfs to convert it the way it is.
  5. earfood

    earfood TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yea I actually did reboot a couple of times but my hdd is still not detected. I already have data on it, all 800gb of it actually and I'll reformat it when I'm totally sure it's hopeless for any data recovery.

    thanks a lot :) any other tips?
  6. NunjaBusiness

    NunjaBusiness TS Rookie Posts: 36


    First, it is not clear whether you actually rebooted WITHOUT THE DRIVE CONNECTED, then reconnected it. If you have then:

    Go to Runtime Software and download GetDataBack and install the correct version (NTFS or FAT).

    The demo will allow you to see if there are any recoverable files on that drive before you pay for it. Be careful to analyze only the drive you want to work with or it will take a LOOOOOOOONG time. I have personal experience with this software and it is the best available to the general public. It is actually on par with most of the so-called professional products and has recovered files for me from drives that were not even detected by windows.

    Good luck!
  7. earfood

    earfood TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i actually tried rebooting with the drive connected, then the second time w/o the drive connected. both proved ineffective of course. thanks so much for that link. I'm trying it out now.

    In step 1, I have to select a drive for the scanning to take place but my drive is not detected. What should I do?

    thanks for being patient.
  8. NunjaBusiness

    NunjaBusiness TS Rookie Posts: 36

    If GetDataBack doesn't show that drive, then your BIOS doesn't see it.

    Are you sure the drive is getting full power? Did the cable it came with have two USB male ends? If so, plug both in - you may not be getting enough juice to fully power on. The double plug is really for USB 1.1 ports but ...

    Can you connect it to a different computer?

    Bottom line is, if your BIOS doesn't see it, it is toast.
    Warranty time.
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