Need help with a external hard drive not showing up in explorer

By Spacekiwi
Nov 15, 2010
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  1. I have a 1.5TB WD external hard drive. It was running extremely slow so i ran a defrag and it fixed it. But it also has a mac partition on it so i ran the repair disk thing for mac in disk utility.
    However my mac is a laptop so it ran out of battery part way through the operation. Now when i plug it in it both the mac and PC it is not picked up in explorer and Disk management (under computer management).

    So no partitions show up in either finder on mac or explorer on windows

    Edit: When i connect the hard drive it has a flashing light on it like it normally does when it connecting to pc just before it shows up in explorer. It has been flashing like this for hours as it has been plugged into pc this whole time. when it connects and shows up in explorer and is not in use that light normally stays solid
  2. hughva

    hughva Newcomer, in training Posts: 309

    I'd start with test disk:
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
    \
    FWIW: I have Ubuntu on my Netbook. If I start a lengthy operation like defrag on battery, it will ask me if I really want to do that. I've run into a number of prompts like that, and it makes me wonder why Windows never figured that out.
  3. Spacekiwi

    Spacekiwi Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    test disk

    Ok I tried test disk but the problem is test disk wont pickup my external hard drive.
    Thanks for the relpy any other help is appreciated.

    If linux is the answer I have ubuntu 10.04 or something like that and could i just run it off the DVD and use a program on linux to sort it out?
  4. hughva

    hughva Newcomer, in training Posts: 309

    It won't hurt to try the Ubuntu disk, but Test Disk is pretty good, so I'd say try it again.
  5. Spacekiwi

    Spacekiwi Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    tried test disk multiple times in different USB ports and no answer. What in Ubuntu should i do?
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,269   +149

    When you plug the device into a USB port are you hearing the Windows device connect ding-dong sound?

    Does your external drive have its own AC power??
    > How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers AND
    > Make sure the drive is POWERED OFF before you reconnect it to USB
    > Power it back up AFTER you reconnect the USB cable
  7. hughva

    hughva Newcomer, in training Posts: 309

    If the disk is going to show, and that's looking very unlikely, you may be able to access it from the home folder. Look for a drive letter you don't recognize.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,269   +149

    Oh. One added bit.. when you look in Disk Management are you looking at the lower pane? you want to see if the physical disk drive appears in lower pane of Disk Management
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,000   +710

    Does this drive show up in BIOS?.

    Boot from the Ubuntu CD (or DVD), and see if it shows up "computer" or whatever Ubuntu is calling such things nowadays. If LInux finds any files on the drive, just copy and paste everything you find off to anyplace else but another external drive.

    Those things are just too, "handy" for my taste.
  10. Spacekiwi

    Spacekiwi Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I tried all of your stuff and i wasnt working... :( thanks for the ideas..

    i gave up and just plugged it in for another cry one rainy day and OMG it works. making a very loud scratchy noise when running and im just backing up data then i will format it and hope none of this ever happens again
  11. Spacekiwi

    Spacekiwi Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok still need help. I ran the backup last night and woke up with it stopped with only one file copied. the hard drive froze and crashed my explorer whenever i tried to click on anything. I had no choice but to unplug it as my pc would not even shut down with it plugged in, and now when i plug it in it has the wrong size for the disk...
    The hard drive comes up as only 300gb now and it does not show up in my computer only in disk management

    Edit: The Disk is Not Initialized and if I try to Initialize it i get a popup saying "The media is write protected"


    Ok now back @ square one its not showing up again. I have followed ur tut on drive cleanup to no avail. Wont show up anywhere :(


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