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Last post Author Topic: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.  (Read 9382 times)

Deozaan

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Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« on: March 14, 2010, 11:06:20 PM »
Hi folks,

I recently found some old HDDs and decided to put them into my pc to see if they still worked. After all, I had them removed because I thought (but wasn't sure) that they were going bad so they were replaced with new HDDs.

Anyway, I've got one that is recognized in the BIOS but doesn't show up in Windows 7, not even in the disk management. I thought that was a little strange, so I booted into an Ubunto LiveCD and Ubuntu at least recognizes there is an HDD there. It doesn't display the contents of the drive but it tells me the label and even knows enough to say it may be failing since it has a lot of bad sectors.

So I tried booting back into Windows 7 and before it booted, it made me run scandisk/check disk on that drive, and as expected, found a bunch of bad sectors and unreadable files and stuff, but when it finally finished booting into Win7 it once again does not indicate the drive exists at all.

I figure the drive is toast, and I certainly don't care about salvaging whatever data may be on it, but I'm really interested in finding out why the drive just seems to disappear in Win7 (ultimate, 32-bit) but everything else (BIOS, Linux) recognizes the drive is there.

Anyone got any ideas?

« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 11:08:26 PM by Deozaan »

lanux128

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 11:12:45 PM »
maybe partition table is broken since Ubuntu also can't read the HDD info in full, try something like TestDisk to view/fix partition headers. most likely there's bad sectors abound, as you've already mentioned.

Target

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 01:27:59 AM »
your only goal at this point is to see if windows will recognise them, so the first step is to make sure you have a valid partition. 

given that you're not interested in any data that might be on those drives my approach would be run the partitioning tool of choice over it and create new partitions (if you can - if not, then you can be pretty sure you don't need to go any further ;)).

you can then clean up any dud sectors in windows afterwards if you decide you want to use them...

Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 01:57:32 AM »
I used GParted from the Ubuntu Live CD to format it to FAT32, then back to NTFS. It showed it still somehow had about 75MB of data used on the partition, so I deleted the partition completely and created a new NTFS partition and it still has the data (though no files show up when browsing the HDDs contents).

So I booted back into Windows and it now shows up in Explorer. :Thmbsup: I'm running a full scandisk/check disk/whatever on it now. Thanks!

I wonder what the phantom 75MB is.


f0dder

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 03:02:02 AM »
I wonder what the phantom 75MB is.
Bad cluster map? That'd be a helluvalot of bad clusters tho :P
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 03:36:31 AM »
I'm not sure how to interpret the data from Ubuntu's Disk Utility, but I think it said the drive had about 800 bad clusters waiting to be reassigned.


Target

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 03:40:06 AM »
try running a diskwipe util on it, then repartition it again and see what happens...

4wd

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 05:10:25 AM »
You could try a Low Level Format like I did with my badly behaving WD a few months ago, which seemed to 'repair' it, (or at least fixed the problem I was having).

f0dder

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 05:20:57 AM »
You could try a Low Level Format like I did with my badly behaving WD a few months ago, which seemed to 'repair' it, (or at least fixed the problem I was having).
Why do people keep calling it a low-level format when all it is, is overwriting the disk with zeroed out sectors? (If it's doing anything else than that, please enlighten me - but giving the scarcity of info on that site, I doubt it).

Zero-filling kicks in sector-reallocation, btw - seemingly "fixing" problems, but in reality just masking them.
- carpe noctem

4wd

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 08:43:00 AM »
I was linking to the page for purely the program as an easy method of implementing what passes for LLF these days - not for any info that might be on the page.

LLF is just the convenience term for what you describe.

If you prefer please amend all my LLF references to ZSFwSR - please note I have Pat. Pend. on that acronym.

 :P

PS. It did 'fix' the problem I was having, (ie. OS freezes), even if it has not 'fixed' the specific cause of the problem.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 08:45:23 AM by 4wd »

Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 01:20:43 PM »
I'm still waiting for the check disk to finish doing it's thing. When it's done I'll look into doing more with the drive.


40hz

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 02:11:48 PM »
Just out of curiosity - do you really want to trust that hard drive - even if it does successfully format?  :)


Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2010, 03:19:08 PM »
Well I left before the thing finished with the check disk and when I came back the screen was blank and wouldn't turn back on after moving the mouse. Also the box would beep after several seconds, making noises as if the box was trying to go through POST, but displaying nothing on screen. So I cut the power to the machine and turned it back on and the HDD didn't show up in the BIOS.

Just out of curiosity - do you really want to trust that hard drive - even if it does successfully format?  :)

Well, I had hopes when I installed it that it wasn't really bad. But now that I have an idea of how bad it is, I think I probably ought to just take it back out and... So what do you do with dead hard drives, anyway? Toss them in the dumpster? Take them apart and look at the cool disks inside?


JavaJones

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2010, 03:26:03 PM »
You make a hard drive clock, of course!

- Oshyan

40hz

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2010, 04:03:19 PM »
So what do you do with dead hard drives, anyway? Toss them in the dumpster? Take them apart and look at the cool disks inside?

Definitely take one apart if haven't done it before. They're really interesting mechanisms. And the platters make very nice sounding wind chimes or experimental percussion instruments. So be creative. And send us some pictures! (Especially if you make a clock like the one in that link Java-J mentioned.)
 :)

Also the box would beep after several seconds, making noises as if the box was trying to go through POST, but displaying nothing on screen. So I cut the power to the machine and turned it back on and the HDD didn't show up in the BIOS.

Sounds like the integrated controller finally gave up the ghost.

Oh well...better now than two months later when you have it loaded up with data and programs.



« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 04:06:18 PM by 40hz »

JavaJones

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2010, 04:09:47 PM »
Yeah, hard drives are finicky enough things that I think it's best just to stop using one the moment it does *anything* odd. Usually oddness is a sign of current or impending doom (failure). Sometimes we can be lulled into complacency if the problem goes away or is intermittent or something, but I find that almost inevitably it comes back, eventually gets worse, and then it's all over. So better safe than sorry. Hard drives are cheap! In fact, I'll have a batch of 500GB drives just sitting around pretty soon as I'm consolidating onto a couple of 2TB drives. So if anyone wants one and can pay shipping... :D

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2010, 06:04:44 PM »
i agree with javajones and 40hz -- i adopt a zero-tolerance for hard drive problems.  once a hard drive starts acting hinky, i immediately put a label on it saying "untrustworthy" and will never again use it for anything important.

Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2010, 08:02:55 PM »
Hard drives are cheap! In fact, I'll have a batch of 500GB drives just sitting around pretty soon as I'm consolidating onto a couple of 2TB drives. So if anyone wants one and can pay shipping... :D

I'd be willing to take you up on that offer. See PM. :)


Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2010, 06:04:52 PM »
Interestingly enough I'm having the same problem with another drive from another computer, however this time I do care about that data on the drive and would like to try to restore the partition headers.

maybe partition table is broken since Ubuntu also can't read the HDD info in full, try something like TestDisk to view/fix partition headers. most likely there's bad sectors abound, as you've already mentioned.

I can't figure out how to get this to work in linux (from a liveCD) and I don't think/know if the Windows version would work if Windows doesn't recognize the drive. Any tips?


lanux128

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2010, 02:06:28 AM »
I can't figure out how to get this to work in linux (from a liveCD) and I don't think/know if the Windows version would work if Windows doesn't recognize the drive. Any tips?

if the problematic HDD is hooked onto the computer as a secondary HDD then TestDisk will scan and display all the attached devices. of course this is subjective but worth a try.

Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2010, 02:19:38 AM »
I managed to get it to work by using a Win98 boot CD and using the DOS version of TestDisk. Managed to save quite a bit of data, too, so thanks a lot for recommending that to me!


lanux128

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2010, 03:16:43 AM »
ah, the booting disk trick.. almost forgotten in these days of Live CDs. glad to be of help, btw.. :up:

techidave

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2010, 05:16:34 AM »
So how was the win98 boot cd different than using any other kind of a "live cd"?  I was under the impression if the HD didn't show up under the BIOS, it wouldn't show up under anything.  Reply #12 says the BIOS didn't see the HD.

maybe my information is wrong? :-\

40hz

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2010, 08:09:05 AM »
+1 with techidave on the Win98 Boot/Setup CD question.

That's a new one for me too. What's up with that?

(Always looking to learn something new! :) )

Deozaan

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Re: Windows doesn't recognize HDD.
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2010, 12:23:19 PM »
So how was the win98 boot cd different than using any other kind of a "live cd"?  I was under the impression if the HD didn't show up under the BIOS, it wouldn't show up under anything.  Reply #12 says the BIOS didn't see the HD.

First of all, Reply #12 was in regard to the HDD mentioned in the original post, but the one I used a Win98 Boot CD on was a different hard drive in a different PC (a laptop), as I stated here (Reply #18):

Interestingly enough I'm having the same problem with another drive from another computer, however this time I do care about that data on the drive and would like to try to restore the partition headers.

I suppose I was a bit unclear in that post. What I meant was that I was having the same problem as the original post (HDD showing up everywhere but Windows), not the same problem as Reply #12 (HDD no longer showing up in BIOS).

And I think I may also have been unclear in this post:

I managed to get it to work by using a Win98 boot CD and using the DOS version of TestDisk. Managed to save quite a bit of data, too, so thanks a lot for recommending that to me!

What I meant was that I managed to get TestDisk to work from DOS.

So, here's the final report:

I booted into DOS from the Win98 Boot CD and ran the DOS version of TestDisk to read the laptop's hard drive contents and backup a bunch of stuff to another drive. The reason why I used the Win98 Boot CD instead of a Linux Live CD was simply because I couldn't figure out how to get TestDisk to run in Linux.

As for the HDD in the PC this thread was originally created for, (i.e. status update directly related to Reply #12): Somehow after running scandisk and the computer locking up and then the HDD no longer showing up in the BIOS, the bootloader (or something) on the Windows HDD got messed up and the PC wouldn't boot into Windows anymore. It would tell me to insert a system disk and press Enter. In other words, now I'm talking about a 3rd HDD, which is unique from the laptop HDD and the one this thread originally asked about.

So I booted into an Ubuntu Live CD and ran the Disk Utility and checked the partitions on the drive for errors. It said everything was fine. Thinking I hadn't accomplished anything, but unsure what to do, I rebooted the computer and now I'm back to all drives showing up in the BIOS, the PC booting properly into Windows, but once again the HDD this thread was created for is not showing up in Windows.

So, for the Desktop PC: I'll just call the one that shows up in BIOS but not Windows dead. I'll keep my eye on the Windows Boot HDD in case it starts acting wonky again.

For the laptop: Everything important has been backed up and a replacement HDD has been ordered.

Phew! Is that confusing or what?