Can't Access 2nd internal SATA Drive

Posted on 2008-10-30
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
    Background: I had a trojan of some sort on my hard drive. It was caught, and Avast appeared to have removed it, but this trojan made Windows Explorer function abnormally. I do back ups, so I restored the OS files rather than do a repair install. This resulted in Windows not loading- the pc boots, but Windows is stuck on a black screen after logging in.
     I bought a new SATA hard drive which was needed anyway. After a fresh XP install (didn't go for Vista - my pc has only DDR, and someone told me you need DDR2 for Vista), I added my first SATA hard drive as a second internal drive.  The problem is, I can't access this drive- it does not show up in Explorer.  I have gone into Computer Management, and the drive is listed as a Healthy (Active) Volume on Disk 1, but right-clicking on it only gives the options "Delete Partition..." and "Help".  The obvious answer is that the software problem on the original drive is causing this, but I am surprised that booting from a new drive would not allow access.  So the question is- are there any other options?  Would I have to hire a data retrieval service to get my files back?  I will try putting the original drive in an external usb case.
Question by:webguy7
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Expert Comment

ID: 22842918
Do you get the option in Computer Management to 'Change drive letters and paths' for the original drive?

From your description it sounds possible that both the original drive and the one with the new install will be assigned to c:, which would be a reason why the old drive wouldn't show up in Explorer.

Changing the drive letter would stop registered programs on the old drive from running, but would give you access to all of your old files.


Author Comment

ID: 22843084
No, Computer Management does not have the option 'Change drive letters and paths' for the old drive. The new (primary) drive does have this option, but of course, it won't let me change the letter...

Accepted Solution

NahThenLad earned 90 total points
ID: 22843218
How's about using diskpart from the command line?

Open a DOS prompt


list volume
select volume n (where n is the a volume that is not your current c and hopefully your old drive)
assign letter=a (where a is an available assignment)

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Author Comment

ID: 22843488
Thanks for your suggestion. However 'list volume' doesn't list the old drive in DOS. I think recovery might be the only option, and i'm barking up the wrong tree...

Author Comment

ID: 22843585
Wait...Disk part does list the old disk- Can I make changes by selecting the old disk?

Author Comment

ID: 22843927
Hey, using diskpart, I got the pc to assign it a letter and now it is listed as a healthy, active volume...But it is requesting me to FORMAT it.  How can I convince win XP that it is formatted? Or can the disk formatting be repaired?

Author Comment

ID: 22845486
I found the solution to repairing the disk format on this webpage:

Couldn't have said it better. :)


Expert Comment

ID: 22847088
Glad you got it sorted :)

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31511746
Helped lead me to the solution.

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