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Disk Management is reporting Disk 1 Unknown Not Initialized

Posted on 2010-08-31
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello Experts,

I have an old Maxtor hard drive that I am trying recover data from it. It was a Maxtor Personal Storage 3100 external hard drive, where the power supply died so I extracted the hard drive from the case and now using an IDE to USB adapter to try and copy the files.

In Windows 7, it is showing up as Disk 1 Unknown and Not Initialized. Does this mean that my hard drive is corrupt? Is there anyway I can recover data off this drive?

Not Initialized
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Question by:katredrum
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19 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 33572532
You might want to wait for another confirmation but I'm 98% sure that you can perform the Initialize and be good to go (assuming the drive itself isn't corrupted).  Windows is just reporting that it's a "foreign" disk unknown to it.  It's really more like an import than an initialize.  But wait for someone else to confirm.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Matt V earned 250 total points
ID: 33572540
More than likely it means the external casing was using some other os than Windows to manage the drive.  It could be a Linux partition or some custom Maxtor drive format.

Try booting with a Knoppix or other Linux boot CD and see if it can read the drive.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 33572546
I just talked to my desktop tech.  He says he's seen this a few time on Windows 7, and running the "initialize" works to make the drive readable to Windows and has never caused any damage.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ozboing
ID: 33572597
Right click the "disk 1" and select initalise.

You might need to format after this though depending on what file system is on it

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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 33572607
I should have added, this was on NTFS-formatted drives.  After the initialize, their contents were accessible again to Windows.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Matt V
Matt V earned 250 total points
ID: 33572608
Safest bet is still a live CD.  If it is NTFS, it will read it.  If it is something else, it will probably  still read it.

No chances with the live CD that initializing will wipe it out.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:dufyd
ID: 33572620
Right click on disk1 and select initialize disk.

If that doesn't work try this:

open an elevated command prompt

diskpart
list
select disk 1
clean
exit

then try to initialize the disk

on diskpart type in help and you will see more commands some usefull ones would be "detail"

give it a try, good luck

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:katredrum
ID: 33572707
Thanks for all the replies. I am concerned on losing data. So I will try a mattvmotas suggestion first.
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Author Comment

by:katredrum
ID: 33573348
okay, i tried to mount the drive via USB and got the following error:
"mount: I could not determine the filesystem type, and none was specified."
Any other ideas using the Linux CD?

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Expert Comment

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 33573453
In the first image it reports the drive size as 4096GB, or 4TB. That's definitely not right.
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Author Comment

by:katredrum
ID: 33573477
It's actually a 80GB drive. I guess I'll try the initialization tomorrow.
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Assisted Solution

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
IT-Monkey-Dave earned 125 total points
ID: 33573507
I predict it will either fail to initialize, or it will appear to be "empty" if it does work. Let us know what happens. -dave
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 33576403
I would really not rely on these usb adapters in this case. I have seen too many problem in the years using those. Connect the drive via IDE.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:che6ausc
ID: 33576483
In disk management right click on the drive and select change letter. Assign a letter to it.  The disk is healthy it only needs a drive letter to access the data on it.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:katredrum
ID: 33580250
Okay I tried to connect the hard drive directly to IDE. The BIOS did recognize it but reported an error on PATA-1. When I booted from Linux from CD, I wasn't even able to load the OS.

So I went back to USB and connected it to my Windows 7 computer and tried to initialize. I received an error "device not ready".

Is there any hope for this hard drive?
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 125 total points
ID: 33581575
I don't think so. Whatever that is, data recovery experts will be your last hope. Or (excuse this joke please) one of the 200 ways to revive a harddrive: http://www.hddrecovery.com.au/PDF/200ways.pdf
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 33581605
Of course there is still a chance that it's just an electronical defect, so exchanging the controller electronics against one of an identical (ebay) drive is another chance.
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Expert Comment

by:Nice-Ghaza
ID: 33582299
Dear.
           just right click on the  drive and install the Initialize  the drive and ask the format


otherwise
 with out the lose the Data
please fellow the Step in the web Site

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307881
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:katredrum
ID: 33650501
Thanks everyone for responding. It turned out that this particular drive is known to have firmware corruption when not powered down correctly, which I believe happened.

Since the data is very important, I choose not to further mess with the disk, especially since it is not clicking or knocking. I am ending up sending it to a data recovery company to try and recover my data.

Points were awarded for those who's answers benefit me the most.
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