how to mount an accidentally unmounted external hard drive

Artac107 used Ask the Experts™
I connected an ide drive from my old desktop to my new Win 7 desktop using a docking station. For some reason I remember being asked if I wanted to unmount the drive and I clikced yes.
But now I have tried connecting the drive with a USB 2.0 to IDE adapter and I cannot access the drive as it states in disk management that it is not initialized and I get an error when I try. Luckily, it will not initialize as I have learned I will lose all my data if I do. Is there a way to just remount the drive without initializing? And how do I get it to initialize when it tells me the device is not ready?
If I must initialize/format, I guess I will and then use data recovery methods to restore my file, but I would prefer not to if I can possibly get the drive recognized and readable.
   Disk Management screen with drive listed as not initialized  Initialize disk dialog box The device not ready error box
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It sounds to me like the partition table is corrupt or deleted.. If you need the data off it, you are going to have to use a program that recovers data when the FAT is not there. It should still see the device but it will allow a scan and then recovery of the files to a different drive

My favourite for this is R-Studio -

But there are others out there. Spinrite is good for drive corruption.

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You can try using this software for free to recover a 1gb of data

if it works buy it of and recover the partition


you can use testdisk to recover partition
Before all that, just for interest, if you can try connecting it to an XP machine, see if the XP machine will see it.  Believe it or not that sometimes works.  Since 7/Vista implement full VSS, the suspicion is they are far more particular and picky about partition inconsistencies, where XP forges ahead and may work.

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And if you can take the USB to IDE bridge out of the equation, as the bridge circuitry on some is less than ideal at handling "situations", and the USB standard forces OS to access disks using SCSI command set so some repair or analysis or drive diagnostics are "lost in translation" "can't get there from here"


Thanks for your responses. I no longer have an XP machine -- Win 7 Premium on desktop and Pro on laptop.
My problem mainly before I even try to recover data, is getting my computer to recognize the hard drive itself. It doesn't show up under Computer dialog and in disk management, as I said in my original question, it is not initialized and not accessible because of device not ready error.
I need some grass roots help to be able to see the drive.
Any help????
(I'm usually fairly computer savvy, and this is driving me nuts not being able to figure out!!)
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Try to connect it internally (check if you have spare IDE connector on mobo).
Then when drive is connected boot the machine from Paragon Rescue Kit 10 Free CD:
There use File Transfer Wizard to copy out your data.
After that you can boot into Windows and initialize it (when connected internally).


Thanks, everyone. It's one of those crazy computer things ... I tried accessing the drive again through the docking station and it worked this time! Thank goodness, because now that I see all that's on the drive, I couldn't afford to lose it, but will for sure be backing up all my data to another drive.


Answer was good but it didn't actually turn out to be what solved the question. I did use part of the answer to learn how to do something not related to my question

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