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can't access (portable) E: drive,  got message "The disk in drive E is not formatted.  Do you want to format it now?"  message

Posted on 2006-11-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a portable hdd.

for some unknown reason, it doesn't seem to work anymore when i plug in the usb.
it won't open up in my computer.  There isn't information associated with it in the "Total size" or "Free space" columns in the "Detail" view in my computer

when I double click on the drive I get the message box with the yield sign and exclamation point icon

"The disk in drive E is not formatted.  Do you want to format it now?"  message


Any ideas on what to do to diagnose and fix this drive?
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Question by:sivil
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simpswr earned 500 total points
ID: 17876361
The drive may have failed . . have you tried it in another pc? . . You cna take the drive out of the enclosure and temporarily attach it to the secondary channel ( the one with the cd/dvd drive ) and see if you can access it.  If not, download and run the manufacturers drive diagnostics to check the drive.
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Expert Comment

by:grahamdon
ID: 17877680
If you have a spare drive it would also be worth dropping that into the external enclosure to check if it can be seen.
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Expert Comment

by:Ryan_R
ID: 17878146
Try backing up any data on the drive and then when you are asked to format it on that PC, say yes.
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Author Comment

by:sivil
ID: 17879913
simpswr: i've tried a couple of pc and mac.
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Expert Comment

by:simpswr
ID: 17880521
You tried it attached internally and could not access the drive? . . sounds like the drive has failed
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Expert Comment

by:Ryan_R
ID: 18110351
If you've got nothing to lose (since nothing is working) maybe try formatting the drive (you will lose all the data - but it already seems lost anyway) and just see if the drive still works - otherwise you'll just have to replace it.

Did you always eject/unplug the usb disk correctly (by clicking "Safely Remove Hardware" from the system tray?)  NB- in older versions of Windows you do this by going to My Computer, r/clicking the drive and choosing 'Eject'.
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Expert Comment

by:Ryan_R
ID: 18692201
I think the answer is "the drive has failed" - provided by simpswr
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