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Slave hard drive no longer accessible.

Posted on 2006-07-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have 2 hard drives. I just formatted my master as NTFS and reinstalled windows.  My slave hard drive is Fat32 and was no longer listed under "my computer".  I then reformatted the master drive again using fat32 hoping this would fix it.  However, my slave is still not listed.  If I go to disk management, it is showing both drives there but my slave doesn't have a drive letter (D:) associated with it.  Also, under status it shows that my master is  "Healthy (System)" and my slave is listed as "Healthy (Active).  I am running Windows XP Pro.  How can I get access to my slave again withouth erasing all it's contents?  

Thanks,

Luke
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Question by:plexus1
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Cutri
ID: 17058699
From Disk Manager just right mouse click on the slave drive and select "Change Drive letter and paths", you should then be able to assign it a drive letter.
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by:plexus1
ID: 17058709
That option is grayed out so I can't click on it.
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by:rindi
ID: 17059354
Is there an option "initialize"? If so do that, it won't delete data on the drive.
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by:plexus1
ID: 17059419
No, there is no option to initialize.  When I right click on it, the only option is to delete partition.
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by:rindi
ID: 17059702
What happens when you uninstall the disk inside the device manager, then reboot again and let the system find the hardware again?
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by:plexus1
ID: 17059743
How do I uninstall the disk?  I don't seen any option for that.  I have put this disk into another computer already.  The computer boots up, recognizes the new disk, does it's stuff and again, the disk doesn't show up under my computer.  It still shows up the disk manager of the other computer though....

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by:gleneaton29
ID: 17059762
Need more information.  Did you do any hardware changes?  Disk controllers?  Any changes to the slave parameters in bios?  If you changed the parameters in bios for this drive then revert to settings you had before.

What size is the slave drive?  Over 137 gigabyte drives/partitions you have to what out.  If your drive is over 137, including the partition being over 137 then XP might think its an invalid partition and ignore it if you don't have large drive support.

What service pack is your XP PRO?  You need SP1 or higher.  Even then you may have to apply the large drive patch as well.

Another thing to try is get the diagnostic tools from the manufacturers website.  Run a scan on the drive including file structure.  

If it is an operating system issue then once you install SP1 or apply the large drive patch then a simple restart should get it going.
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by:plexus1
ID: 17059791
I am running SP2.  I did no hardware changes, just a reformat on my master.  I made no changes to any parititions except for the master.  The slave drive is only 80GB.
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by:rindi
ID: 17059899
open device manager, select the disk which isn't showing correctly, right click on it, then select "uninstall". When done, shutdown and remove the disk then reboot. If you have a CD drive or other device that maps a drive letter just after your standard booting disk, use diskmanager to change the drive letter to be something higher up, like start with letters q:. After that shutdown and add the disk to the PC again, reboot and now look in diskmanagement if the disk can be used now.

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by:ded9
ID: 17060012
Check slave hard disk jumper settings. Set jumper to detected 32 gb setting

Seems like limitations in motherboard Bios . You can try updating the bios

Ded9
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by:SunBow
ID: 17063051
I think it is device manager.

Before knocking down data, try XP's repair option, it is different than prior OS. Boot install disk, as if installing. When you get the chance, switch to 'repair' option (not a real install). That leads to managing the devices using a few other dos utilities. It can also be installed on HD as a bot option, which would be a good choice (better than having to look for CD when in a hurry up debug mode)

NT 'likes to' write a signature on disks that they tell you are meaningless (then why they have to write it?)
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Author Comment

by:plexus1
ID: 17071840
There is no option to "uninstall" when I right click on the disk. The only option that is clickable is "delete paritition".
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by:rindi
ID: 17071930
Look inside device manager, not drive manager.
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Author Comment

by:plexus1
ID: 17072527
I uninstalled the drive and then rebooted.  When windows restarts, it detects the hard drive and install it automatically.  However, it is still not showing up under my computer.

Any more ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:ded9
ID: 17072604
best thing convert slave to ntfs.

There is a lot of risk involved in this process. If you want to try this solution.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/convertfat.mspx

Reps
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by:Gary Cutri
ID: 17072608
Did you happen to have your D: drive as a compressed drive prior to you formatting the master drive?  
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by:ded9
ID: 17072632
You can also download erd commander
http://www.winternals.com/Support/ErdCommander2005/

backup all your files from fat to your ntfs drive and then format the slave fat drive as ntfs

Reps
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by:rindi
ID: 17072733
After uninstalling the drive, remove the disk from the PC and reboot, then install all the motherboard's drivers, making sure they are the newest, from the internet, and also make sure, this time in diskmanagement, that you have set the drive letters of CD drives or other removable drives to something high up, and not a letter that comes right after the HD letters. Then shutdown again and reconnect the drive, boot and check if it now has a drive letter and is visible.
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Author Comment

by:plexus1
ID: 17072795
My D: drive was not a compressed drive prior to formatting the master.

I cannot convert my slave to NTFS because there is no drive letter associated to it.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Cutri
ID: 17072830
If you have a boot disk I boot up of the floppy and run fdisk.  Check if the drive is marked as active, and assign a drive letter to it.  Also if you don't mind deleting the drive you can remove the partition and then recreate it in windows once it boots back up.
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by:ded9
ID: 17073007
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gleneaton29 earned 250 total points
ID: 17085875
What kind of hard drive is the secondary drive and how old is it?

Did you run the manufacture diagnostic tools?  You never said you did with results.

After all of these things it appears to me you have partition table errors and or corruption.

What led you to formating your main drive to begin with?  Prior problems could help with current problem.

Do you let your system run for long periods of time?  In the process of formating and reinstalling this could have killed your partition and or drive.  I had a drive go bad but was still detectable in all managers but no partition or drive letter could be assigned.

Also, I had partitions disappear on reboot.  My power supply was being over worked and stressed my hard drives.  All 3 were going out, partitions disappearing and files disappearing before my eyes.  No viruses of any kind.  There were bad sectors found on all 3 drives.

Run the manufacture diagnostic tools and reply with your results.  Make sure you run them on the secondary drive.  And run all tests, disk controller, system memory, surface scan, file system structure and data integrity.  Any and all tests.  Post your results.
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Author Comment

by:plexus1
ID: 17093274
My slave drive is a western digital and is only about 1 year old.  I have run the manufactuer diagnostic tools and it passed with flying colors.  

I formatted because of spyware and viruses that could not be controlled.

I do not let the system run for long periods of time.
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Expert Comment

by:munu2000
ID: 17103465
may be your slave drive partition in hide mode. search in web for hide partition utility.
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by:ded9
ID: 17106036
did you try erdcommander
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by:gleneaton29
ID: 17108000
If the diagnostics passed then I would say partition table damage.

There are tools out there to assist in partitioin recovery.  I recommend Partition Recovery by Active@ I think they are called.  http://www.partition-recovery.com/

That program helped me recover almost all of my 3 failed drives long enough to back them up.
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