USB Hard Drive not in Windows Explorer

Posted on 2005-03-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a hard drive that I pulled from a failed computer, and I am looking to pull important data from it.  It is now being connected via USB interface to another computer.  At first the computer recognized the drive and I was able to move around the file system.  I eventually got an error about a failure to write data and that the data is lost... although I hadn't begun to backup or move data.  I unplugged and plugged in the USB drive and returned to the files in the USB hard drive, and the error reproduced itself.  After unplugging and plugging the USB drive again, my computer "sounds off" that it was conected, but I don't see it in Explorer; it used to be listed as Drive L:.

I have Windows XP Pro OS

Any Ideas
Question by:Roger_Doger
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 13507300
If the computer you got it from failed because the power supply blew, it may have damaged the hard drive.  Your best chances for recovery are hooking it up as a slave IDE drive and accessing it without the USB interface.  The fact that it initially worked and now doesn't indicates it may be dying, in which case you will have to pay big bucks to a service like OnTrack to pull data off.

Author Comment

ID: 13507707
I tried to slave it from the IDE, and upon rebooting it found the hardware, displayed the name of the hardware, and said it was installed and ready to use.  I did not see it's drive letter in Explorer, however.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 13507815
It may not like having two bootable disks with an active partition; try changing the slave drive partition to not active.
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Accepted Solution

DabRain earned 400 total points
ID: 13509323
Go into Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Management  and see if the drive is listed, if it is and it hasnt got a drive letter, then right click on it and go down to Change Drive Letter And Path. If it isnt listed then the drive has failed and the only possibility of getting any data of yourself is to find an identical drive and swap the controller board.

Author Comment

ID: 13509910
When I turn on the hard drive (either in IDE mode or USB) it sounds like a normal hard drive at start-up and it spins with a quiet hum.  Is it possible that the disc is corrupt?  Is that possible with a bad conroller board?  Any other thoughts about the relationship between the board and the actual disc?
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 400 total points
ID: 13510021
Yes, a bad controller board could let the drive spin up normally but never be detected in the BIOS.  The controller board is more likely to be bad than the actual disk, because if you had a hard diskcrash, you would hear all kinds of abnormal sounds.

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