Vista WD External hard drive not showing up, don't want to format

By Mwilliams
Dec 28, 2009
  1. I have a 320GB external hard drive from WD which I was using to back up my personal laptop running XP Pro. My laptop has since crashed and I need to access the files on my external while the laptop is being repaired. I have a laptop from work running Vista and the external does not show up in My Computer when I plug it in. I suspect this is because the work laptop's cd drive and my external both have the E drive letter.

    My question is this: is there a way to access my files on the work computer without formatting the external and losing all my backed up documents? I am under the impression that giving my hard drive a new letter will require it to be partitioned/formatted?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    The hd letter shouldn't have anything to do with it normally. But your work computer may be locked down in such a way that it is. But no, you do not have to reformat to get a new drive letter. See if you can get into disk management from the administrative tools control panel, in there you can change drive letters (ie - make the cd drive drive X or something temporarly).
  3. Mwilliams

    Mwilliams TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Still stuck

    Unfortunately, changing the cd rom drive letter to X in disk management did not solve the problem. It appears now that something may be wrong with my external, as it has failed to work on every computer I have tried. In disk management, there is a black line and an "unallocated" tag. I'm guessing that this means my external has somehow become unpartitioned after it worked fine days ago.

    As I stated, this is my only copy of this data. Is there any way I can salvage it?
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

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