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Drive not recognized in Windows 7 when I took a USB External Drive and made it internal!

Posted on 2014-01-27
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Last Modified: 2014-01-31
I have a 3TB Seagate External USB drive with data on it.  I took i out of the case and put it in my Windows 7 PC as an internal drive.  The system boots, I see it as drive E: and then click on it.  It then says "need to format" drive!!!  

I click on cancel and it says the volume does not contain a recognized file system.

However, when I put it back in it's USB case, everything works fine.

What do I need to do to get this drive working internally on my Win 7 PC and keep my data that's on it?
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Question by:cashonly
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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 170 total points
ID: 39813480
I don't think you're going to be able to do this without copying the data from the USB connected drive and then reformatting it.  It's to do with the formatting that has been applied via the USB enclosure's interface.  This means that when you read and write the drive externally the hardware is emulating a larger logical disk sector size than Windows is expecting on the internal drive.  Think of it as breaking the 3TB into different size chunks.  in the External drive these chunks appear 512k big but Windows is expecting them to be 4k so doesn't know how to handle this "foreign" format and assumes it needs to be reformatted so it can be used.

The technical stuff on this is here

I'm not going to be the best person to take you through it - hopefully one of the hardware gurus will arrive shortly :)

But in the meantime - if you want to use that drive as an internal you are going to need to reformat it and consequently lose the data on it - so you'll need somewhere to "park" it in between.
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by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 165 total points
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I think you hit the nail on the head by your answer. The drive definitely is not formatted in a version that the windows operating system recognizes, when it is connected internally vs connected via usb.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 165 total points
ID: 39814401
If you connect the drive internally then is it GPT or MBR formatted? The USB Enclosure has its only firmware which makes it to be recognized as GPT drive and thus takes the whole drive size for you.
If you have backup of the data on it - then you need to make the attached drive GPT format. But Windows cannot convert nonempty drive to GPT. So you need third party software for this.
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