Window XP does not detect additional storage drive

By vuvietd ยท 22 replies
Sep 30, 2006
  1. Hi there:

    My WD 320 ATA100 hard drive were working as an additional storage. It used to work well. One day, I removed the drive and then plugged it in again, and Window XP does not detect it!
    I open My Computer/Manage/Disk management and find the drive there marked as "Unallocated" (which must be initialized to be "healthy")

    I am concerned if it got initialized, my files kept therein will be deleted. Please teach me what to do.

    Thank you.
  2. Bluemouse

    Bluemouse TS Rookie Posts: 195

    I have a few questions:

    1) Is it a new drive? Did you format it when you got it?
    2) Did you change anything on your computers?
    3) Did you try mapping it? Right click on the drive in disk management and assign it a drive letter. Does it show now?
    4) Have you tried it on other computers? Does it work?
    5) If it works on other computers, did you try other usb slots? How about other devices, do they work? Flash drives?

    Cheers :)
  3. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This WD 320GB ATA100 was new and good working hdd, I did format it when first time used. I did not change anything on computer, except that I replaced it with a bigger Seagate 500GB and then put the WD back in again in order to release its files into the Seagate 500GB. There's no command for me in Disk management to rename the hdd except 3 options: Initialize disk, Properties and Help.
    The Wd did not show up in My Computer of another computer either.

    Thank you
  4. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    Is it in an external enclosure? If so, take it out and put it in your computer connecting by IDE ribbon cable (make sure its set to slave). If this doesnt work, try another IDE cable (about 50cents). If this doesnt work your drive is most likely knackered. If its still under warranty, get a warranty replacement. If it has very important data on it, you may need to buy an identical drive, open both of them up, and swap the defective parts to recover the data.


  5. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    But the Manage/Disk management and Device Manager still recognise the WD 320 drive. So the IDE cable is still good or not?

    And I use only internal drives, no external enclosure.
  6. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I would appreciate any more help!
  7. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    try rescan under disk manage
    initialize will not reformat
    put your hand on drive do you feel it spinning?

    do screen shot of disk man. and upload
    or better discrip. of prompts for that drive
    no letter, can you assign letter
    3rd party softs like acronis paragon can sometimes reactivate drive if theres a windows I/O error
    jumpr should be set to slave and in the middle connector of ribbon cable
    what does bios show for drive
  8. Bluemouse

    Bluemouse TS Rookie Posts: 195

    Initializing shouldnt format it, but dont quote me on that. I would try that first though...
  9. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How are you sure that intializing should not format disk
    (i.e delete files in the disk). Please convince me.

    I am concerned about possible deletion of my files.

  10. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    everything I have read and done suggests it does not format drive
    on macs it will erase all data
    on windoes the formatting is another step
    you may need to do this just to recover data off of it
    or use a good boot disc utility softs that will recover data from the drive
    as it is you can try that 3rd pary softs I mentioned
    see if you can activate drive and or assign drive letter to it
    when installing a 2nd drive with an os on it xp may see it as unInitialized
    as unallocated it means windoz sees it as unformatted
    if you can go to propeties here of drive maybe just taking possion will do the trick
    fro mwhat ms says you should be able to do a Initialize and convert to ntfs
    and I know converting one time does not remove data
    thats diff from format
    if it where me I would try to get the data off it if the 3rd party trick did not work
    then try above

    thats my story and I'm stick'n to it
  11. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    How is the WD drive formatted NTFS or FAT32? Can you put the drive in another system and "see" the files? If not, you're probably out of luck in saving anything off of it
  13. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    it is NTFS formated. When it was put in another system, window Explorer can not see it too
    , except in Disk Management.
  14. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    As I said earlier... you're out of luck :(
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Active @Partition Recovery is an example of a computer that can fully restore a drive after it has been formatted or had its partitions erased/damaged.

    If the destruction is due a bad drive or turns out to be a complicated file system problem, such utilities don't work so well.

    They have a free version you can check out which will allow you to see if your files are recoverable. To recover your files, it will cost you $30. :)
  16. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have not re-formatted/initialized this drive yet (so I suppose my files are still in there, not yet erased).

    What is you solution to access the files. In Device manger, it says "this drive is working properly".
  17. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    I had the same problem with a data drive I re-installed in my brothers computer. Initializing will not erase the data.
  18. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I found this instruction on the web, whic says "Once a drive is initialized the data on the drive will be erased."

    you say that initializing will not erase the data, but what about the instruction on the web?

    Could you enlighten me further?
  19. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    'This device is working properly' means very little. It indicates the device has been recognized, but does not indicate the actual physical or logical health of the drive.

    If your data loss was unexpected, it is due to a corrupted or deleted MBR (Boot Sector and partition data) and/or corrupted or deleted file system. This can be caused by software and hardware problems (particularly hardware).

    This isn't necessarily true. 'Initiliazing' always deletes your data, when referring to RAID controllers and some OSes. However, when Windows initializes a drive, it does not necessarily delete your data. It writes a disk signature (last sector of the drive) and a new MBR. Writing a new MBR could very possibly make your drive unreadable. Interestingly enough, the same process of writing a new MBR could also fix your problem (if you had a corrupted MBR and a standard partition table).
  20. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So what is your advice, initialize or not?

    if you want, I can give you more information

  21. vuvietd

    vuvietd TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi friends,

    Thank you very much for posting answers. That is really helpful.

    Anyway, I would like to know for sure initializing hard disk in Window XP will delete data in the hard disk or not?

    I would appreciate all your help!
  22. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You should have backed up your valuable data. Go ahead and initialize and cross your fingers... At this time, you have nothing to loose
  23. Peter42y

    Peter42y TS Rookie

    Hello . I am new here.
    Hi everyone.
    I found out this board while looking for a solution to my own problem.
    My XP does not recognize the slave drive either.
    I had instaled windows 98.
    It worked file.
    Operative system recognized both drives.
    I did install windows XO Professional and the operative system does not recognize my drive.
    In computer managment I can see the drive there but he has no allocated letter.
    It does say the drive is healthy..., online...,
    There is no option to allocate a letter to it , either.

    The drive is ok.
    With a linux CD live I am able to see it.., and to see my files also.
    They are all there but windows XP does refuse to see them.
    Bad windows.
    I think I am realizing the problem of hard drives not being recognized is not something of simple , straighforward resolution.
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