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Connecting a good hard drive externally; computer says it requires the drive be formated

Posted on 2014-07-16
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Last Modified: 2014-07-18
I have 2 Windows 7 laptops, both relatively new, both running W7 Pro x64. They are both running well. If I remove the hard drive from one computer and connect it externally to the other computer, I get a message saying the hard drive must be formatted before it can be used. In Disk Management, the drive shows as RAW.

I used to do this type of thing all the time for backing up files, transferring files from one computer to another, etc. It seems only recently I've been getting this problem.

How can I connect a drive externally and access that drive successfully?
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Question by:Jono Martin
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by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40199964
I have seen instances of this happening and something as simple a doing the safe remove process on the computer that it works on and then transfer to the other computer. The first computer may have something trivial open and the second computer recognizes it and does not want to mess with it until that is corrected.
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by:Jono Martin
ID: 40200002
Thanks for the reply. The HDD is the primary HDD of the first computer. I do a proper shutdown of the first computer before pulling it and connecting it to the second.

Can you think of anything else that may be causing this?
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by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40200220
Other possibilities are: encrypted hard drive, password protected hard drive, or the partition is corrupted. Other than that, I have seen or heard of no other causes. Fixes would be data recovery. If the hard drive can be ran perfectly in the first computer then I would look at the first two. After that, I am at a loss.
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Author Comment

by:Jono Martin
ID: 40200518
Hmm. Well, in the original computer, there are no hard disk or administrative passwords required to get to the boot process. Also, it doesn't ask for a password when first connecting it, so it seems unlikely that either of the first 2 options would be the case. The drive works perfectly well in the original computer, so it's not corrupted.

Does anyone else have any idea what could cause this?
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Gabriel Clifton earned 2000 total points
ID: 40200538
Toshiba and IBM have been known to have hard drive passwords (not bios passwords but a password protecting the hard drive), enabled by default in the bios and cannot be changed. This prevents them from being taken out of the system, put into another and having all of the data extracted. I know you said you have been doing this and it just recently started but I wanted to make sure.
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by:Jono Martin
ID: 40200595
You may have a point there. These are Dells. I wonder if Dell has recently started doing the same thing.

I'm leaving for today, but I'll check that out tomorrow and report back.

Thanks!
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by:nobus
ID: 40201341
does that drive have it's own power supply?
many systems do not provide enough power  for external drives ( max = 5 V at 0.5 A)
you can test by connecting the drive to a powered usb hub
since you did not post the model of the drive - i can' t be sure
here an example of a powered hub http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/295825/sweex-us014-powered-4-port-usb-hub.html
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Author Comment

by:Jono Martin
ID: 40205244
nobus - Thanks for the reply. I was using a powered chassis kit, so power wasn't an issue.

PantherTech - I think you're right about the encryption, but the drive is gone now and I don't have another one handy to test. Points awarded. If I remember to, I'll post back when another drive comes along (it happens frequently).

Thanks!
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