Trouble reading old drives in new system - No drive letters and partitions not showing correctly

Posted on 2007-03-19
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I recently built a new PC (XP Pro SP2) and tried to install 2 of the drives (80GB WD IDE) in it from my old PC (each has 3 NTFS partitions).  They show up in device manager as working properly but Windows does not give them drive letters.  When viewed in Disk Management, it shows the correct size for the disk but shows the partitions all screwed up, with small data partitions and unallocated space between them.  My new PC has 2 500GB SATA drives in a RAID 0 configuration.  Any ideas on what's going on?
Question by:ufpcit
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Expert Comment

ID: 18752536
Does the bios recognize them?
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 18752737
Was a disk overlay program used or maybe norton's go-back installed on those old disks? If so that is causing the problem. A further possibility is if they were disks in an IBM PC. IBM used a legacy patition table in many PC's, and that often causes problems reading the disks in other PC's.

Expert Comment

ID: 18753406
Try installing one drive at a time as a master without a CD drive installed.
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Expert Comment

ID: 18767615
Have you attempted to give them drive letters through the disk management snap-in yet?  

Author Comment

ID: 18772643
Sorry guys for not answering sooner.  

Yes, the BIOS recognizes them.
No, there was no overlay used and they were in a system I built.  No Norton's anything (I HATE Norton's).
They were standard partitions.
I have tried them one at a time and also in an external USB enclosure.  
I've been afraid to assign drive letters as they're not displaying the partitions correctly and I did not want to risk any chance of corrupting the data until they show up right.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 18772990
Assigning drive letters isn't dangerous, just try that.

Assisted Solution

Computerguy107 earned 250 total points
ID: 18781372
When you connect via USB you might want to try changing the jumper on the drive selection. I have seen USB not recognize a drive as a master but will as a slave or cable select. If all else fails might want to use drive recovery software to recover the data.

Author Comment

ID: 18826200
OK, again sorry for the delay getting back to this post.  I found a way to get the data.  Slow but it worked.  I put the drives in an old PC and of course, it would not boot due to the drastic hardware changes.  I did a repair reinstall of XP on it and that got it booting.  Popped a NIC in it and transferred the data over the network.  Took all weekend last weekend but I got it all.

Guess I'll just split the points between rindi and ComputerGuy since they had the only real suggestions.  Thanks for the efforts!
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 18826316

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