Hard drive not detected by Windows or BIOS

By Sadoj ยท 9 replies
Jun 27, 2010
  1. Hard drive not detected by Windows or BIOS [SOLVED]

    I know this is has been addressed before; however, the responses did not solve my issue. I will include more detail about my issue in hopes of a better diagnoses.

    I accidentally changed my external hard drive from NTFS to HFS when prompted, while connecting via USB to a macbook. Now I can no longer see the hard drive via USB or direct connection to my PC.

    I took it out it's case and noticed it has an IDE connection for a motherboard that only has SATA connections. I purchased an IDE to SATA Adapter and installed it into my computer.......nothing. The BIOS and Windows still does not see this drive.

    I am aware I have two separate issues. In order to correct the file structure issue I have to gain access to the drive.



    The hard drive powers up both in the external case and with the adapter.

    1. Windows 7 Professional x64 (with all updates)

    Mother Board:
    1. ASRock 880G Extreme 3 (with latest bios)
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition

    1. BIOS is set to IDE mode

    Hard Drive:
    1. Western Digital WD2000JB-00GVA0
    (single or master pin setting)

    ULTRA SATA to IDE 100/133 Adapter #ULT40322
  2. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    Have you looked in Disk management?
    You should be able to see and format it there.
  3. Sadoj

    Sadoj TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for your response. As the the drive is not visible to BIOS it is also not viewable under disk management. I am not ready to format as I have important data that I would like to recover first. Seeing the hard drive is the first step down this arduous path. Any other suggestions?
  4. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    If you changed it to HFS, you've already formatted it.
    There might be a chance to do something on a MAC.
    Test Disk can do miracles, and is worth trying:
  5. Sadoj

    Sadoj TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I saw "Test Disk" and am seriously considering it; however, are you suggesting I use "Test Disk" via my macbook to try to restore it to NTFS? I was thinking of coming at it from Windows' perspective. I would love to image the drive prior to using any of these programs, but the computers don't see the drive and that's part of the frustration. I am an average techie and unfamiliar with "Test Disk"; however, I will follow your suggestions and post the results. Thank you for your advice.
  6. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    It's OK to use Windows.
    All you want to do is recover the NTFS partition.
    Read "Using Test Disk" first' but don't be intimidated.
    Just boot, use the defaults, and see if you get lucky.
    Develop a backup strategy..
  7. Sadoj

    Sadoj TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Just so I am clear. Are you suggesting using the "Test Disk" despite BIOS not seeing the hard drive? If BIOS does not see the drive do you think "Test Disk" will?

    I have a back up strategy now. I back up to the cloud. This issue occurred almost two years ago. I shelved the drive until I had time to research a solution or had an immediate need for the data. I have a little bit of both right now.

    Thanks again
  8. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58


  9. Sadoj

    Sadoj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I will definitely give it a shot.
  10. Sadoj

    Sadoj TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I have solved my problem!!

    I had to exchange the SATA to IDE adapter for an IDE PCI Controller. After updating both the BIOS and Driver of the Controller, my computer's BIOS and Windows 7 was able to see the drive. I then used TestDisk to recover the partition (it saw the remnants of the original NTFS partition). I had been dreading this task for some time. It seemed so daunting; however, it was quick and somewhat painless. Thank you all for your help.
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