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Hard Drive is visible in BIOS and Disk Management, but not in Windows Explorer

Posted on 2006-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I bought my girlfriend a new computer and set it up with XP Pro SP2.  I took her old hard drive and set it up to be the slave drive in her system.  Everything looks kosher in the BIOS and it shows up in Disk Management, but not in Windows Explorer.  I've tried it on 3 different systems and a USB drive with the same results.

1) It appears in Disk Management, but under Volume no drive letter is listed (the volume name is listed correctly).
2) The status is Healthy (Active) and it's NTFS (the old drive was XP Pro SP2)
3) Right-clicking in DM, only allows Delete Partition or Properties, not Open, Explore, or Change Drive Letter.

I've tried changing the jumper settings from Master to Slave to Cable Select, with no change.  I've connected the drive as the primary slave IDE, secondary master IDE, and secondary slave IDE.  I'm downloading the PowerMax utility for this Maxtor drive (D540X-4K 40GB).  If that doesn't work, I'm going to load it up in her old computer as the master and see if I can slave the new drive to transfer the data.

Has anyone come across this before, or does anyone have any ideas?


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Question by:carlosbob
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Lee W, MVP earned 800 total points
ID: 16361582
Norton GoBack.

Did she have Norton Utilities on the old system?  If so, it probably changed the master boot record of the drive and the partition type.  Try using a program like Partition Table Doctor (ptdd.com) to recovery that - problem is PTDD is not free but if the data is important, it's well worth the $50.  (Note, they have a trial which should be able to detect it correctly, just not save the "fixes").
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by:carlosbob
ID: 16361750
I think she did use Norton GoBack.  I'll download the Partition Table Doctor and see if that's the problem.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16361802
Obviously, I can't be 100% certain, but I've seen this problem on at least 2 machines with GoBack on them.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16361808
By the way, if you only need a few files, you can download a copy of Knoppix and boot off that - that will still read the drive and if you have a USB thumb drive, you can just copy the data to that.
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by:shankshank
ID: 16385648
If you can see it in disk management, and no drive letter, you can right click on that drive an assign a drive letter.
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by:shankshank
ID: 16385660
and if you can't do it by clicking on the bar graphics, try clicking on the actual drive
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by:carlosbob
ID: 16460784
After running Partition Table Doctor, everything works.  Thanks!
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