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HDD - unknown, not initialized

By awong048 ยท 5 replies
Jun 8, 2010
  1. Hi there,

    So I had a desktop with a single HDD running windows XP, the desktop overheated and automatically shutoff. The next time I powered on the PC, nothing happened - no BIOS, no beeps, nothing! The PC was pretty old so I just figured it had run it's course and I was thinking about getting a laptop anyway.

    So I got a new Windows 7 laptop, and after a few days of setting it up I yanked out the hdd from the old XP desktop and plugged it into the laptop's USB port via some SATA to USB cables.

    Win7 recognized new hardware and and seemed to install the drive correctly as "USB Storage", but nothing ever appeared in the Windows Explorer. I opened up the device manager and under 'Disk Drives' I saw a 'USB Drive' item. The properties on that item seemed to indicate all the drivers and such were properly installed and the 'device was working properly'. Under the 'Disk Management' section, the disk showed up - but it said it was 'unknown' and 'not initialized', so no partitions showed up (it also prompted me to 'initialize' it, which I DID NOT do).

    At this point I've tried several recovery programs, but the biggest issue is that none of the programs actually see the drive, so I can't run the recovery at all. I even tried Hiren's Boot CD, but again, nothing sees the drive - although, I think that I didn't properly install the USB drivers, so I may try that again. In any case, I was hoping somebody might have some new suggestions for me on how to get any of the programs to 'see' the drive so I can at least try to recover some stuff off of it.

    Lastly, in a moment of insanity, I tried to 'initialize' the drive using 'Disk Management'...fortunately (or unfortunately), it failed saying something like function could not complete.

    (btw...i've plugged this drive into another Win7 machine, as well as a different WinXP machine only to get the same results as above)

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated - thanks in advance!

  2. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 53

    Does this drive spin up at all? Listen carefully for any "clunk" noises. It may well have died.
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,386   +616

    I see how you connected the data cable to the hard drive but how are you powering the hard drive?
  4. LukeyJB

    LukeyJB TS Rookie Posts: 27

    The HDD may have corrupted, it will still be recognised but will not function.
  5. awong048

    awong048 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't THINK I hear any clunking noises...did a quick compare to another drive i had lying around - if anything, the 'broken' one makes LESS noise.

    PS - the BIOS doesn't recognize the 'broken' one either, moreover, in the boot order it only says "USB HDD: ", instead of "USB HDD: HARDDRIVE MODEL#". That's probably not a good thing.
  6. awong048

    awong048 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There's also a cable for power that runs to a wall outlet.
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