Move internal NTFS IDE drive to external USB

Posted on 2005-02-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a standard IDE HD that is currently the D: drive on a Windows XP SP2 box, and I want to take it out of that box and attach it to another computer via a USB cable.  I have a proper enclosure, but every time I try to hook it up to a computer, I've tried XP and 2003, it reports an error with the USB device.  I know the hard drive is fine, and I know the hard drive is compatible with the USB enclosure I have because I have an identical drive in an identical USB enclosure.  I also tried swapping the enclosures with no change in results.  I'm guessing the problem is that it is currently signatured as an internal drive and that it isn't being recognized as a USB storage device because of the NT signature.

I want to move it with the data intact (none is compressed or encrypted) and both machines are part of the same NT domain of which I am an enterprise admin so permissions won't be an issue.  Removing the partitions and reformatting would surely solve the problem, but I need to keep the data intact.

Any thoughts?
Question by:SkipFire
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Expert Comment

ID: 13403714

Make sure you have backups of you 'system state' so you can restore your registry if needed.

You can clear the registry's drive letter table and then let XP rebuild it the next time it boots. To clear the table of partitions and drive letter assignments, use regedit to navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]. This key will contain a bunch of values like "\??\Volume{...}" and "\DosDevices\C:", etc.  Deleting all values will induce Windows to regenerate all signatures and assign fresh drive letters the next time it boots.

Expert Comment

ID: 13404103
If both the PC's are on the same domain why don't you just map a drive from the PC you want to copy that DATA onto to the other ones D drive, and copy the DATA across?  Or do you need the HDD attached to the other PC for some reason?


Author Comment

ID: 13404162
Speed of transfer is the problem.  I have 8 GB that I need to keep available as much as possible, and I can move it from internal IDE to External USB and have it available in less than 5 minutes, copying 8GB of files will take hours during which time the files will not be usable.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 13405095
There is an option that allows you to mark a Hard Drive as "Removable". Check the Policies Tab, on your Disk present in the device manager. See if you can change it !

Maybe that works !

Best Regards !
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 13405229
If both PCs are at the same location, just use a crossover cable attached to the network cards.  Much faster!  Even if the PC is in another room or on a different floor, WLAN will still give you much faster transfers.

Author Comment

ID: 13405711
Can't change the option on the policies tab, both radio buttons are greyed out.
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

kode99 earned 750 total points
ID: 13407339
Go to device manager,  look at the properties of the drive in question.  Select 'Uninstall' for the drive.  You will probably have to reboot.  Anyway disconnect the USB and restart the system.

When it is back up plug in the USB at let it redetect the drive.  

If the drive does not show in the device manager at all you should check the USB port with something else just to make sure they are working okay.  Maybe uninstall and redetect the USB.

If this is a one time move I would just pull the drive and open the 2nd machine and connect it directly to an IDE cable to transfer the data.  

Hope this helps.

Author Comment

ID: 13445249
Kode99, you were close enough that I was able to finish on my own.  Thanks!

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