How to recover a missing dynamic disk under windows xp?

swordfishsoup used Ask the Experts™
The Volume has failed but the drive is new and there have been no signs of problems until a bios update rejigged the boot order of my machine.  This then meant I was trying to boot from a non system disk without realising. I have reassigned the order in the bios but now one of the drives won't  let windows see it. Under disk management it comes up as a missing dynamic drive and has a failed status. It won't reactivate and I have important client data on!

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is there a RAID set up?
Please see here:

This may also help: however as little info is given, I can only assume.


Hi guys

Sorry for being too vague. It is an NTFS volume in win xp pro that is used to store just data and is not in a raid configuration. It's health status is FAILED and reactivating it does not bring it back online or change the health status.
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Did you try the link provided above?
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.


They support dynamic disk recovery.  You can download the Demo version.


Thanks that looks helpful....
I've found another page, here's the quote:

A dynamic disk's status is Offline or Missing.


An Offline dynamic disk might be corrupted or intermittently unavailable. An error icon appears on the offline dynamic disk.

If the disk status is Offline and the disk's name changes to Missing, the disk was recently available on the system but can no longer be located or identified. The missing disk may be corrupted, powered down, or disconnected.


To bring a disk that is Offline and Missing back online

Repair any disk, controller, or cable problems and make sure that the physical disk is turned on, plugged in, and attached to the computer. Next, use the Reactivate Disk command to bring the disk back online. For instructions describing how to reactivate missing or offline disks, see To reactivate a missing or offline dynamic disk

If the disk status remains Offline and the disk name remains Missing, and you determine that the disk has a problem that cannot be repaired, you can remove the disk from the system (right-click the disk and then click Remove Disk). However, before you can remove the disk, you must delete all volumes (or mirrors) on the disk. You can save any mirrored volumes on the disk by removing the mirror instead of the entire volume. Deleting a volume destroys the data in the volume, so you should remove a disk only if you are absolutely certain that the disk is permanently damaged and unusable.

To bring a disk that is Offline and is still named Disk # (not Missing) back online

In Disk Management, right-click the disk and then click Reactivate Disk to bring the disk back online. If the disk status remains Offline, check the cables and disk controller, and make sure that the physical disk is healthy. Correct any problems and try to reactivate the disk again. If the disk reactivation succeeds, any volumes on the disk should automatically return to the Healthy status.

See here:

Have you tried disconnecting/reconnecting the drive to the system, just in case it's a loose cable?  Have you tried the HDD in another XP/Vista/Win 7 PC, incase it's the PC?

Apart from that, the only other thing is getting a partition recover tool like what I mentioned above.  There is a freeware version: however I have never used it, so can't say how good it is.  It's up to you if you want to use it.


thanks everyone, i have had the drive in another windows 7 machine and managed to get some partition recovery software that is working really welll....thanks so much for your help....i might allow myself to breathe now!

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