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my computer recognizes the drive letter but not the data on external hard drive

Question: my computer recognizes the drive letter but not the data on external hard drive

i can't get my puter to read the data on an external hard drive. wants me to format it even though it recognizes the drive letter i gave it when i did format it. don't want to lose the 100+ gigs of data i have on this drive.

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Preferred Solution: my computer recognizes the drive letter but not the data on external hard drive

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You can download it direct from this link (This link will automatically start a download of Reimage that you can save to your computer.)

Answer: my computer recognizes the drive letter but not the data on external hard drive

Does the external drive work on another machine?

Also, while the drive is still connected, can you go into Device Manager (right-click My Computer, click on 'Manage...', click on 'Device Manager') to check for any yellow exclamation marks or red crosses next to anything in there?

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I recently formatted my 1TB Seagate External HDD to FAT32 to backup and redo my PS3. I reformatted it on my Windows 8 laptop easy peasy, but my windows 7 desktop will not recognize it as a drive with a letter to access it. If I uninstall the drive in device manager it will reinstall, be recognized as a general drive and in that small instance it is accessible, but then it gets fully installed and is recognized as BUP Slim BK. It doesn't see any info for the drive or even know that there is a valid partition on it.
Any help to get this drive working again is much appreciated.

Answer:PC recognizes External HDD. No drive letter assigned.

If THIS is your drive and Seagate software governs it...I'd say that the software for the drive may need to be installed/reinstalled.

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Ok, so I have an external hard drive that I use for both of my computers. We store albums, videos, photos, etc. on it. However, neither computer recognizes the hard drive anymore. It is connected through a USB cable and is a LACIE. It won't even show up in My Computer. I have tried restarting both computers, unplugging the drive for thirty seconds and plugging it back in, but none of this has worked. If someone can help, it would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:My computer no longer recognizes my external hard drive

kasmsod said:

Ok, so I have an external hard drive that I use for both of my computers. We store albums, videos, photos, etc. on it. However, neither computer recognizes the hard drive anymore. It is connected through a USB cable and is a LACIE. It won't even show up in My Computer. I have tried restarting both computers, unplugging the drive for thirty seconds and plugging it back in, but none of this has worked. If someone can help, it would be greatly appreciated.Click to expand...

What brand is the drive?

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Hi. Here's a screen shot.

Woke up and fired up computer this morning.

Went to access my External Hard-Drive.

I have several of these, and the one I needed has been assigned drive letter G:

Was showing up as 'I' and not letting me access.

Upon closer look it appears some 'CD' drive showing up out of nowhere assigned itself to 'G' now.

I put a disc into the 'D:' drive and that shows up when I do.

But I can't change this new 'CD' drive that's showing up as 'G' in explorer, because it doesn't show up in disc manager where we can reassign new drive letters.

Anybody know how to over-come this?

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Hi. Here's a screen shot.

Woke up and fired up computer this morning.

Went to access my External Hard-Drive.

I have several of these, and the one I needed has been assigned drive letter G:

Was showing up as 'I' and not letting me access.

Upon closer look it appears some 'CD' drive showing up out of nowhere assigned itself to 'G' now.

I put a disc into the 'D:' drive and that shows up when I do.

But I can't change this new 'CD' drive that's showing up as 'G' in explorer, because it doesn't show up in disc manager where we can reassign new drive letters.

Anybody know how to over-come this?

Answer:Computer Assigned A False Drive Letter - Cannot Access External Hard-D

Hello Jackson,

You might see if you may be able to change the drive letters for them using Option Four in the tutorial below via Registry Editor.

Change and Assign Drive Letter in Windows 10 Hardware Drivers Tutorials

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My master hard disk has failed and I have successfully replaced it with a
new one and reinstalled windows XP etc. Before the crash I had a second slave drive with some data I would like to keep on it. When I connect this drive, it shows up in disk management, but does not get assigned a drive letter. How can I get windows to assign a drive letter to the drive without formatting it and losing all of my data?
Both drives are IDE drives, the master is jumpered to cable select and is on
the master cable, the slave seems to have lost its jumper, or never had one,
but shows up in the bios as the secondary hard drive.

Answer:Get a drive letter for an old slave hard drive while keeping the existing data

In disk management did you first left click to highlight the drive then right click for assign or change a drive letter option?

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Help! On my old (Windows 2000 pro) machine, the computer (under "My Computer) only recognizes my external USB DVD-R drive (Pioneer DVR-S706) as a CD-Rom Drive! It plays CDs fine, but when I put a DVD in, I only get a "incorrect function" message. The "my computer" doesn't change to a movie title or anything; it just says "CD-ROM."

The weird thing is, it USED to work just fine. I could play movies, burn discs, etc. The only thing I can think of is that something might have happened when I uninstalled Ulead Movie Studio about a month ago (the DVD burning program that came bundled with the drive). I downloaded the latest firmware updates from the pioneer site, but that hasn't really seemed to make much of a difference.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.


Answer:Computer only recognizes external DVD drive as CD-Rom drive

Have you connected the drive, uninstalled it in Device Manager, then rebooted to let Windows discover it again?

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I have a USB external hard drive that I keep all my documents etc on (had it for years)

I upgraded from Vista Home to & Home Premium then had to upgrade recently to Professional to run my Sage. Through all these upgrades my ext. drive ran fine. Occasionally the drvie letter would change if I had something else plugged into the USB, this was always easily corected in disk management by changing the drive path.

The connection on the case packed up so I had to get the drive put into a new case, now when I plug it in the drive is assigned G instead of F, I tried to change the drive letter allocation in Disk Management but it won't let me as the program still thinks I have a second ext. hard drive which is labelled F. I suspect this has happened because when the usb connection broke the drive was disconnected suddenly instead of a proper eject.

How do I get Disk Management to remove the inactive drive - i can't find any obvious way - eject, delete etc are all missing when I click on tools or tasks.

If there is no easy way then how do I stop program updates for Adobe etc. failing because they can not find the F drive. I don't know why they look at that drive anyway.


Answer:External Hard Drive - Drive Letter changed - unable to change back


Welcome aboard.

Try this:

Download V 0.8.1 from

Drive Tools for Windows

Unzip to a folder. In it you will have two folders Win32 and x64, each containing DriveCleanup.exe for Windows 32bit and 64 bit respectively.

Now unplug all the USB devices from your PC (except of course the Keyboard and mouse), right click on the appropriate DriveCleanup.exe for your system and run it as an administrator.

This will remove all non-present drives from the registry.

Reboot and then plug-in your external drive.

The drive will be installed and hopefully you should be able to assign any free drive letter to it.

Please report whether it resolved your problem.

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xp cannot find it.......disk manager format and no drive letter help please.....thank you

#1 (permalink)
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1
OS: xp

help trying to initialize an external hard drive on xp home ed


i may not know enough about the problem to completly describe it...but i will 80 gig external hard drive was given to was rebuilt on a win 2000 home edition of win xp--reconginzes disk 1- in disk manager....however it is not formatted or able to be found, and does not have a drive letter assigend to it... i logged on as "administrator" safe mode, to see if i could get the drive path settings option to come up in disk manager ...i could not-------does any of this make any sense to anyone?.......that option still does not come up..under user or disk managment--so it is unformatted and has no drive letter......thus xp cannot find it......

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model ME051
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 13 Stepping 8 GenuineIntel ~1396 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. A04, 12/22/2005
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot ... Read more

Answer:maxtor external hard drive unformatted and undesignated by drive letter

What size is the hard drive?

Do you know what motherboard you have?

STEP 1: CHECK POWER (click for expanded instructions further down the page)

Verify that the drive light and the light on the AC adapter (power supply) is illuminated normally.
It is sometimes necessary to contact Technical Support for troubleshooting and/or possibly to replace the power supply if it behaves unusually.

STEP 2: CHECK CABLING (click for expanded instructions further down the page)

Confirm that your USB/Firewire cable is firmly connected in a port that is on the rear of your desktop computer (if you have a desktop).
Try another USB or Firewire port.
If your drive is powered only by USB, such as the FreeAgent Go, the Maxtor OneTouch mini, and the Seagate Portable drive, then the drive's cable has two USB connectors. Try connecting both of the free USB connectors into a USB port for maximum power availability.
Avoid connecting the drive via a USB hub for now.


Follow these instructions to ensure that your installation of Windows XP/2000 has been updated to the latest Windows Service Pack.

Right-click on My Computer and choose Properties.

The System Properties window will appear. On the General tab (which will be at the front), see the "System:" information.

For Windows 2000: Update to Service Pack 4.

For Windows XP: Update to Service Pack 2.

Allow your computer to complete the installation ... Read more

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My External Hard Drive (My Book) was always Drive letter F.

I went to sleep and woke up to find Windows 7 Pro had updated and rebooted and I was welcomed by my login screen.

Consequently now my My Book external HDD now reads as Drive letter G.

I went into Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management

Drive letter F is not available.

F is assigned to a drive that does not exist and never has. I am confused. I only have one CD drive and it says now that I have 2 even though the one addressed as F doesn't have any information. If I click on F it says "Insert Disk"

Answer:External Hard Drive (F) Drive Letter changed to G - Can't change back

Update: The mysterious other CD Rom drive seems to be MagicJack.

I did some research but the following tech help did NOT work as you can see by the previous post picture that it doesn't not show it up in Disk Management:

MagicJack/Support Resources/How-To/Assign Drive Letters - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

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I have an old BYTECC hard drive enclosure. Trying to use it on an older XP system for back up. Got a bunch of 40G hard drives I can use.

The OS will detect the external drive is connected and powered up, arrow shows in the tray for a USB drive, checked the device manager and it sezs the drive is there and operating properly, recognizes it, but does not assign a drive letter.

AIDA32 sezs it is there but same deal shows no drive letter.

I've tried four different hard drives with the same results. I know the hardware works on other computers, this particular computer USB works with other canned external drives, it reads a flash memory stick as a drive no problem. I know the BYTECC is set up properly, should be the same as with other computers. Works ok on a Win2000 system.

What could be the problem? Is there something to tweak?
I do know this XP system would not read hard drives that had been formatted on non-XP computers before. Don't exactly know what systems all these drives were formatted on. Isn't making any sense to me at the moment. Doing it just like I did on the Win2000 system with other drives, everything worked as it should.

Thinking I could try to slap one of the drives in as a slave and try to format it that way, hopefully can get it to be read as a USB drive instead.

Any help greatly appreciated.


Answer:Solved: External hard drive not assigned a drive letter

If the drive shows up in Disk Management (Start/Run/diskmgmt.msc/OK), right-click the drive icon or the area showing the drive below, select "Change drive letter and paths". In the next window click "Add". Next window click the radio button for "Assign the following drive letter". Select a drive letter. Click OK.


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Hi all,

I bought a Western Digital MyBook (Essential Edition) about a month or so ago. Set up was easy and I moved all my music to it, and also backed up my photos. I used it quite a few times and then was out of town and did not use it for about two weeks. Today I tried to connect it again, and while it will show that a "external drive detected" and my device manager shows WD as a disk drive which is functioning properly and enabled - I am unable to access it. It does not show up on My computer or when I try the Explore function. I have it connected now and the light is glowing - but I cannot access it!! Please help.
Thanks so much.

Answer:Recognizes my external hard drive but it wont show up!

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I have a Western Digital 160GB external hard drive that connects via usb port. Recently when I connect the external hard drive to my laptop (Dell Latitude D505 with Windows XP) it no longer starts automatically. The unit does power up and come on, it just doesn't show up under "My computer" as a drive that I can access (although it does show up under Device Manager as one of the disk drives). I've run diagnostics on it and it says it is working properly and I even hooked it up to a friends computer and it works fine so it's not a problem with the hard drive itself. This problem started over the weekend after my son loaded a Creative Zen Stone mp3 player software and connected that to my laptop. After that it stopped recognizing my external hard drive. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

Answer:Laptop no longer recognizes external hard drive

If you find out the exact model of your External Hard Drive on the Manufacturer's website, locate and reinstall the drivers.

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My WD Elements 1.5 TB USB 2.0 external hard drive is no longer being recognized by Vista. It will not appear in either the system tray or when I click Start>Computer.

Below are the specs for my desktop computer:

Dell Studio XPS 435 MTIntel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz8.0 GB RAMVista Home Premium 64-bit1 TB hard driveDual Dell 2408WFP Digital monitorsATI Radeon HD4670 video card 512 MB (one card only)All my drivers are updated (using Microsoft Device Manager)
When I plug the WD hard drive into my computer nothing happens, even if I give it 5 or more minutes to try to find it. When I plug this same external hard drive into my Windows 7 laptop, it is recognized quickly, leading me to believe the hard drive itself is fine.

I unsuccessfully tried to access this drive on my desktop computer though ?Computer Management? by: Start>R-click Computer>Manage>Disk Management. There I see ?Disk 0,? which includes my C and D drives, but nothing else.

When I plug the external hard drive into the computer?s USB port, I hear my computer make the normal ?ding? that accompanies the plugging of an external device. Also, the external hard drive begins to hum.
I recently ran CCcleaner and don?t know if that was the source of my problem. I would try a System Restore, but that function has not worked on my computer for a long time.

Any advice is appreciated.

Answer:Vista no longer recognizes external hard drive

Try this, see if it makes a difference: USB DEVICES - How to delete all (resolves some USB problems)

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Is there any way to keep the same drive letter (in this case, E) for my external hard drive?  I plugged a printer into my laptop yesterday, and how my EHD has become drive F. Now none of my shortcuts or file locations work any more.  The EHD is a plug-and-play device connected via a USB port.1) Can I change it back to E somehow?2) Can I set it so that it will always be drive E?I've tried removing the printer and the hard drive, then rebooting with just the hard drive.I've tried uninstalling the hard drive via device manager, reconnecting and rebooting.  It still says F.My next thought is to do a system restore back a couple days, but even if I do this, I'd like to know if there is a way to permanently assign drive E to this device.Thank you!!

Answer:External Hard Drive - Drive Letter Changed

Well, it looks like I may have solved my own problem:START --> Control Panel  --> Administrative Tools  --> Computer Management.In the left pane, expand Storage, and then choose Disk Management.  Select the external hard drive and from the right-click menu, select Change Driver Letter and Paths.  Select the drive, click the Change button, and then change the letter in the drop-down box.

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Lately, my HD Passport has been changing from J:/ to H:/ and stays there. I end up having to go to "Run" and go to "Regedit.exe" and renaming H:/ to J:/, and then restarting. But then I'll go out along my business, I'll hear the sound like something has been disconnected, and reconnected right after. It's like my hard drive is disconnecting by itself and changing to a letter drive I DON'T want. When I leave it alone, it'll have the sound it disconnected again and reconnect, but it doesn't change from H:/. It stays at H:/. I don't think it's a virus. So why do you think this is so? And how can I fix it?

Answer:External Hard Drive Keeps Changing Drive Letter


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I purchased an external USB2 hard drive case (that has a power cable and USB output cable) and installed a 120GB Seagate drive. It seems like my laptop (running XP, USB1) will recognize the drive when I plug it in (as an USB Mass Storage device) but it does not give it a drive letter (like E) for me to access it. I have tried changing the Master, Slave, Cable Select jumper on the drive with no success. When I plug in a USB thumb drive, my laptop assigns a drive letter and I can access it via Windows Explorer with no problems, but with the 120 GB external drive, I have no luck? The drive shows up under the Control Panel.....Device Manager as a hard drive just under my laptop drive, but there is no way to store files on this external drive. Any suggestions?

Answer:USB External Hard drive - no drive letter

Hello and welcome... You may need to configure the drive in winXP for it to be seen properly.

Go here...
Control Panel---> adminstrative tools---> computer management---> disk management...

Does it see the hard there? I believe it will show up as Disk1... Select it and format it, you can also change the drive letter if you would like

Good luck,

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I am setting up a new computer running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. I attached an old 500GB USB 2.0 hard drive. System notification showed the driver was successfully installed. However when I looked for the drive in Windows Explorer, it did not show up under Computer.

I ran Microsoft's Computer Management application. Under Disk Management, I see that the drive does not have a drive letter (see attached screenshot). However when I right-click on the drive, the option to assign a drive letter is grayed out. I searched Microsoft's documentation, but the only reason I could find for not being able to assign a drive letter would be if the disk was a system partition or boot partition. But this is just an ordinary HDD that I want to use for backups. What am I doing wrong?

Answer:Cannot add a drive letter to an external hard drive

Try to reformat it with NTFS if there is nothing on it. Use Partition Wizard free if Disk Management won't

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I have a LaCie Porsche Design P9223 Slim External 500GB USB3Hard Drive that my father was using on his computer (with no problem). We're both running Windows 7. My computer, a Dell Studio XPS9000, won't recognize it in "My Computer". There's no drive letter!

It shows up in Device Manager ( says, "this device is working properly")
Show up in USB Safely Remove
Shows up in Devices and Printers
Shows up in Disk Management as Unknown/Unitialized, Disk 10. (When I right click and try to initialize it, it says "Device is not ready".)
The Driver is up to date
It works when I attach it to my husband's laptop, running Windows XP.

What can I do to assign it a drive letter???


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Ok, So I've got this
-300gig external maxtor Diamondmax 10
-model: 6L300R0
-300GB PATA133 HDD

Ok, so the problem is it used to have my entire schoolwork, business, music files, and so forth on it. It worked great and as soon as I got all of my information transfered onto it, it went kaput. Ever since then I've been unable to view any data on it. The way it works is it connects via USB and lights up, the icon usually (not always, but usually) appears in my computer. I can open it, but there is nothing there, it is just an empty window. So, even though all my data is there, I say whatever, I need the storage space, so I'll just reformat it. well, it allows me to right click and select reformat, but nothing ever loads or happens. I have tried copying and pasting files there and none of them actually pastes or transfers. I've searched the forums and tried bringing it up in computer management>disk management or removable storage but it doesn't show up there. Please help me to figure out a way to either A)get it working again with the data still intact or B)allow me to reformat it so that I can just use the darn thing for storage. Really, either option would be great, amazing, excellent. I just really could use some help and am willing to try whatever you can recomend, but I just need it to work. PLEASE HELP ME. I am ALL EARS. Thanks in advance for a quick reply, it means a lot to me. Than... Read more

Answer:external hard drive shows in my computer but won't hold data or allow reformat

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I have a Seagate external hard drive hooked to my XP computer and it is working and backing up fine. When I initially set up my Vista computer - I simply hooked up the drive with USB port - and opened like an extra drive and copied what I wanted on the new computer. When I went to add some files today - it will not reveal those files and keeps telling me access is denied. I have searched and cannot find solution to this. When I look at properties on the Vista - it shows the space is taken up but will not open to the files that are clearly visible on the XP - most of the research I found talked about security settings and nothing I did made a difference - and the mystery is that it worked just fine the last few times I have done this - over period of 2 months.
Hope I am in the right spot - posted first message today and got a great solution so hoping that someone will know how to fix this easily.
Thanks so much!

Answer:My vista computer will no longer read the data on my external hard drive
I found the fix - it took me LOTS of searching - and two tries as I chose the wrong identity the first time - not sure if it is consistent but needed to pick the administrator as the owner and now it works as it did.
Hope this helps someone else.

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Hey guys, here's what's up. My external hard drive which usually becomes F: is now becoming L: regardless of what USB slot I put it in. Now I can't get to my music files through itunes or Windows Media because they're trying to find them in F. Changing USB slots is the only thing I've tried to do because it's the only thing that I thought to do. Do you guys have any ideas? Thanks

Answer:External Hard Drive Letter switch up

Right click My Computer > Manage > Disk Management. Right click on the drive in question in the lower right-hand panel. You'll get a pop-up menu; select 'Change drive letter and paths...' and just make your choices as prompted. I have attached a screen shot below so you can see what I'm talking about....

I hope this helps!

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I have a new 120 gig external USB drive (105G free). It installed and seems to work fine except:
My prior system had hard drives C: and D:
cd reader drive E:
DVD/cd RW drive F:
four-way card reader G:, H:, I:, J: (these came and went depending if card reader was left plugged to the PC)
The new external installed correctly as drive K: and I succesfully backed up a zilllion photos.

After shutting down/startup the drive assignments redefine as
C: and E: Hard drives
D: as new external 105 GIG free
F: as CD reader
H: as a second identical new external 105 GIG free (duplicates drive D
The four way card reader is unplugged-ran out of USP plugs.

I have two problems:
1. The duplicate external drive assignment is obviously wrong but I cannot make it go away.
2. I cannot make a backup program work correctly since the drive assignment keeps changing.

How can I "lock in" the hard drive and CD assignments so the external drive doesn't jump in the middle of that alphabet. I want the External drive to always be assigned some higher alpha letter so I can use it on different computers.

Answer:external hard drive letter assignmeent

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I have a situation that isn't really a major problem, but is slightly annoying, and somewhat puzzling.

I have an external 1TB Iomega USB hard drive on my system. It is set to be Drive Y. Most of the time, everything is fine. But occasionally, after I boot the system, I'll get the pop up on the screen asking me what I want to do with Drive J. And yes, the "new" Drive J is, indeed, really my Iomega external drive. I can go into Disk Management, and reassign the drive letter back to Y, and everything is fine again.

Sometimes, it keeps the Y drive letter for several months at a time. But other times, the system treats it as a new drive and assigns drive letter J to it--in anywhere from a few days to several months after the previous time.

As I said, it doesn't happen often enough to be a problem, but I'm curious as to what causes it. Anyone have any insights into this little puzzle?

Answer:Changing External Hard Drive Letter

Look in your registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices. That's where drive letter assignments are stored. Find \DosDevices\Y: on the left side and note the data value on the right. The next time it happens, check the same registry location but find \DosDevices\J: and see if the data value is the same as before. Also see if there's still an entry for \DosDevices\Y:.

(Option Two)

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Can anyone provide me with assistance?I have an external USB hard drive which was originally assigned a Drive Letter M. I use this drive to store Norton Ghost Backups / restore points. The drive letter never changed, always remaining as M, even when the drive was switched on after boot up. Since using a SanDisk USB stick drive, the assignment for my External Hard Drive has changed to F. This will not be recognised for backups by Norton Ghost. I can still see the contents of my external drive in Explorer but it is now under Drive F.Is there any way I can re assign the correct letter to the External Hard Drive and also fix it so that it doesn't change in the future.Any assistance would be appreciated.Many thanks.Keith.

Answer:External USB Hard Drive letter re assigned

Control Panel> Admin tools> Computer management >Disk Management> Right click on the drive and select Change Dive Letter path

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my macbook pro is currently our of commission due to a mishap with a cup of water. the person i spoke to on the phone at the apple store said to have the hard drive transferred to an external one in case they need to reformat it. is this even possible if my laptop won't turn on?

Answer:transfer data from laptop hard drive to external hard drive

Depends on the type of water damage has been done.
If your laptop has been a small puddle of water for a little bit of time, yes it will mess up your hdd's connectors and possibly damage it.
If the water spill was like a splash on the keyboard and quickly cleaned up, you have a good chance of the hdd working.
Just depends on what got damaged badly enough for something not to turn on for quite awhile.

Also get rid of that macbooks battery, I have a bad feeling it might not work with your macbook anymore.

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My hard drive crashed so I went out and bought a new (and bigger) one. I went through the system restore with the recovery discs without any problems, but now when I open the My Computer folder, the total storage space between the C: drive and D: drive is only 58GB! Did I miss some crucial step in the system restore? Does anyone have any experience with this problem? I thought there was a chance it was just displaying the wrong amount of storage space, but I tried to install a game and it told me I didn't have enough space for it.

Windows Vista Home Premium
HP Pavilion Media Center PC - Desktop
WD Caviar Black Desktop Hard Drive - the box says it's compatible with Vista

This is my first time posting, so if I didn't provide some needed information let me know!

Thanks guys! This site is wonderful, it's great that people that know how to fix computers would give some of their time to those of us less knowledgeable!

Answer:Bought a new 1TB hard drive but my computer only recognizes 58GB?

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My hard drive crashed so I went out and bought a new (and bigger) one.  I went through the system restore with the recovery discs without any problems, but now when I open the My Computer folder, the total storage space between the C: drive and D: drive is only 58GB!  Did I miss some crucial step in the system restore?  Does anyone have any experience with this problem?  I thought there was a chance it was just displaying the wrong amount of storage space, but I tried to install a game and it told me I didn't have enough space for it.Windows Vista Home PremiumHP Pavilion Media Center PC - DesktopWD Caviar Black Desktop Hard Drive - the box says it's compatible with VistaThis is my first time posting, so if I didn't provide some needed information let me know!Thanks guys!  This site is wonderful, it's great that people that know how to fix computers would give some of their time to those of us less knowledgeable!

Answer:Bought a new 1TB hard drive but my computer only recognizes 58GB?

The remainder of the space is "unallocated", you have to grow (resize) the partition.Vista allows you to shrink or extend the partition: Vista won't do it, use this:

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I have Toshiba Satellite, in case that matters. I have drive C, D, E of course. I also have 2 external hard drives. G is for movies only. F is for backup. Anyway, yesterday I noticed that the letter F wasn't showing when I clicked on Computer. I went into Disk Management and tried to assign a letter but I saw 3 G letters. One was fine but the other two confused me. I tried to change each one but the letter F was missing. In frustration I deleted that drive. Well, now I can't get it back. What do I do? BTW, I see the two externals in Device Manager and I think I see one in MiniTool Partition but the drive in question is marked as Unallocated.
Can you help me? All my important backups are on there.

Answer:I Foolishly Deleted External Hard Drive Letter

Check this article.

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I turned the computer on today and one of the external hard drives has changed from 'K' to 'L'. Two other external hard drives have not been affected. For some reason the 'K' drive has been allocated to the CD Drive (which was previously 'F').

So how can I get 'K' back to the external hard drive using the same path as before. It doesn't matter what the CD drive is called but getting it back to 'F' would be nice.

Thank you.

Answer:Solved: External Hard Drive Letter Has Changed

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My C: drive only has a 9.43G capacity and I only have 240MB of free space left. I bought a 500G external hard drive, but I need to know if I can transfer all the files and programs from the C: to the external hard drive? Helpppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

Answer:Transfering c drive data to external hard drive

You can transfer all your data files safely - the operating system (windows XP Pro) should stay on an internal drive and I wouldn't attempt to run programs from your external drive - internal hard drives are quite cheap and easy to install - I would be inclined to get a bigger internal drive into your computer and use the external one for portability and back up purposes.

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My laptop is a Dell Latitude D830 running Windows Vista.

I've bought a Freecom USB 2.0 Hard Drive XS 1TB (Model Code SSYBBA) which came FAT32 preformatted. I wanted to reformat to use NTFS so I plugged it in to my USB port. Opening Windows Explorer, the drive was picked up as G:\ and I could view files on there and copy and remove files so I knew the disk was working OK.

I started reformatting by right-clicking on the drive letter and selecting "Format" from the menu and select NTFS and kept the default settings. After an hour I cancelled the formatting (clicked Cancel) and a message popped up asking me to confirm, so I did.

Since doing this, the drive is now no longer recognised and doesn't get a drive letter assigned. I've tried rebooting, reconnecting and checking in Disk Management and it just doesn't appear (although is powering up when the laptop starts). Also, Device Manager doesn't show it. Screen shot of Disk Management attached.

Can you tell me, how do I get the drive letter back to restart reformatting?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Answer:Cancelled external HDD hard disk formatting, now no drive letter

What options do you have when you right click on the drive?

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I recently bought a Lacie 1TB external harddrive to store some of the data on my old PC (Win XP, SP2, I cant seem to udate to SP3 because windows update wont work).

The drive is working fine as I've used it on my laptop running Win Vista (64 bit). However, the drive is not being displayed in windows explorer. When I go to My Computer>Manage>Disk Management, I can see the drive there saying it's online, but there's no name attached to it and when I right-click, all the options are grey (otherwise I could of just changed the letter through there).

Using diskpart on command prompt, I still couldn't change the letter. I also found out that there is no volume assigned to this disk.

Can someone please help me?? I'd be forever greatful

Answer:USB external hard drive recognized but not assigned to a letter/not mounting (Win XP)

I didn't see where you formatted the hard drive. Before you can use any hard drive, external or internal, you have to format it at some point. For hard drives with Windows installed on them, they are usually formatted during Windows setup. For external storage drives, you can format it through Disk Management.

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Hi everyone,

I have a PC running Vista Ultimate x64 and I just installed a 1Tb external hard disk (an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo) Through USB.

The problem is that the OS doesn't assign any drive letter to the external disk.

I tried to reinstall but it doesn't work at all.

In Disk management, choosing to "initialize" the disk, I selected the MBR partitioning style...but it returns an "invalid function" error message.

How can I fix this problem?

The system reads that there is a disk but it doesnt' recognize it and it doesnt assign any drive letter.

Answer:Vista Ultimate x64 - External hard disk doesn't receive drive letter

Did you format it ? ?

Many drives ship unformatted...

TIP: If you want it to keep the same drive letter even when USB devices are added ( handy for all sorts of reasons ) once it's formatted select a drive letter that's not currently in use and assign give it a Volume name.

This also works with thumb drives as well...

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Hi all: Was hoping for some help from the thinkpad gurus out there.  I have a T43 (2686) with the 60G 5400rpm drive.  I recently tried to swap it out with a Western Digital 320G HD.  Yes - I received the dreaded "2010 Error".  However, once I made it through that, everything worked 'fine.'  Except that when it wanted to partician the drive, only 130 G of the 320 G hard drive is recognized.   I've read through the posts (here and other places) about the BIOS upgrade / downgrade.  I'm okay with dealing with the "3 beeps" - I just want the thing to recognize all 320Gs of my new hard drive.  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance for the assistance! Michael

Answer:T43 Hard Drive - only recognizes 130G of 320G drive

That 130G is suspiciously close to the old 127G hard drive size limit.  A little googling blames BIOS, XP not having SP1, and the tooth fairy. I don't have specific info about this limit for T43.  Hopefully someone here will chime in. In the meantime, is there a BIOS update for your machine?  Update to XP? When you say "partition the drive" do you mean durning an installation, or within a running XP?  If this is an XP problem you may be able to do the install, install updates and service packs, then use a tool like gparted or other to expand the partition.  Or maybe split the drive into two or more partitions. Z.

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My computer no longer recognizes the cd drive/burner on my dektop PC, and I think the problem is related to a removeable USB flash drive.

It's a really old Compaq Presario with an added cd burner(drive d now), and the original cd rom(drive e). My PNY usb flash drive installed some software(drivers I think) when I 1st ran it, and shows up as drive f.

Worked fine a couple of times, but then the lights went out on the cd burner(drive d), it would not open, and it didn't even show up on "My Computer" either.

Searched on internet awhile, and read something about a flash drive problem, so I removed the flash drive from the USB slot, restarted the computer, and both cd drives re-appeared, and worked fine, as long as I removed the flash drive, and turned computer off after burning cd. But I forgot, and left it on for several hours, and now even when I remove the flash drive, and restart computer the 2 cd drives don't show up on "my computer". The cd rom(drive e) light comes on, and will open, but the burner(drive d) light is off, and will not open. Neither drive registers on "My Computer". The flash drive still reads as drive f, even with no drive d, or e.(lol)

Suggestions anyone?
Thanks in advance.

Answer:Computer no longer recognizes cd drive - think problem is related to USB flash drive

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Hi,Bit of background first, my old harddrive , which was split into  C and D ,approx. 500 gig each, went Kaput,had it replaced with an SSD(at my request because I heard they don't overheat and are faster) by an experienced computer technician, and no longer  having to deal with split drives suited me fine.I only  have half the storage space now, about 500Gg in comparison to 1,000 Gg,  but cost was a factor at the time, SSD's being so expensive.Very happy with the new SSD, speed etc. My operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit , SP1. My backups were all stored on a Goflex external harddrive, which  the technician accidentally  dropped on the floor, he then replaced this with an external drive with an on/off switch. (Pleased about the on/off switch, the other didn't have one, very upset about the dropping my other one). All working fine, doing my backups to my new external drive  he gave me, using  my Acronis True Image software 2015 version, that I had always used.My old external  drive was set up to drive E, and all my previous backups in Acronis show drive E, so perhaps this is why the technician set this new one up to Drive F, not sure.And maybe this is why I got the error message below? Well, in my infinite wisdom (which with computer technology isn't great I must admit) I suddenly decided I wanted to backup to an external drive with the letter E,(E for External seemed so much mor... Read more

Answer:Changes to Drive letter & rename causing backup problems to external drive

 I don't use Acronis, but if you think changing the drive letter caused a problem, can't you just change it back?  The Administrative Tools applet of the Control Panel is what I've always used to change drive letters. Changing the name (I assume you mean the drive label) should have no effect.
 Good luck.

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I can no longer get the information I have saved on my Maxtor External Hard Drive (Maxtor Personal Storage 3200). It worked well for a few years then a few days ago I got the following message: ""A USB device has malfunctioned and exceeded the power limits of its hub port." A few days after, when I picked up the drive, I heard something rattling inside. There is a small piece where the USB cable was plugged into the drive that fell inside the case. The piece that fell inside the case had 4 metal connectors from the USB cable to the board. I soldered these to the board and the USB cable but that didn't work.I have now removed the drive completely from inside the case (see pics) and have tried to hook it up internally in my PC. I have found two cables in my PC that plug into the back of the drive just as they do into my internal drive - however, the computer won't start with the new drive plugged in. When I remove it, the computer starts.The drive label says it's a 200GB PATA133 HDD DiamondMax 10.What can I do? Why won't the computer start with the drive connected internally? Is there some other way I can get the data on that's on the drive? Any help would be immensely appreciated! Thank you! AJ

Answer:How do I get data from an external hard drive?

First thing you should do is STOP trying to get the drive to boot...this is unneccessary for getting your data.Jumper it as slave and hook it into a known working machine with a should be able to see it in Explorer and hopefully copy/burn your important data.Slave Drive InfoIf this does not work after 3 attempts then stop.From there you will either have to troll eBay for a similar drive and swap the circuit board out ( the serial and model #'s need to be real close for this to work ) or hire a data recovery service...the 2nd option is expensive...Best of Luck.

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hello, ive recently bought a new dell laptop, i have also got my external hard drive with everything backuped from my old pc. i was wondering how would i go about extracting the files from the external hard drive to the new laptop, i have no idea how to do it :S i dont know if i should restore it or what

many thanks people!

Answer:external hard drive data onto a new pc, how?

What kind of a backup is it? Is it an image backup or file-by-file backup? What backup software did you use or did you just copy selected files to the external drive? That's the kind of info we need to know before we can answer your question.

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Hi, I got the Medion Drive & go, 500gb external hard drive, its installed PERFECTLY on my Windows XP laptop, installed the drive, appears as Drive F on the "my computer" and has already taken a large file of photo's to the drive and stored them and plays them back fine. HOWEVER when I try and install it in my VISTA laptop it says its installed the driver BUT it doesnt show in the "my computer" in start. I seem to remember having this trouble before with this particular Asus Vista laptop with my Buffalo 500gb external drive (though it installed on another Acer Vista laptop no problem!!!) so my question is: how do I "see" where this drive is appearing and how do I "assign" it a drive letter?? thanks PCDIMWIT

Answer:+++ Assign a drive letter for Medion 500gb external drive ++

Firstly, I seem to remember that this Drive is USB Powered.
It is quite likely that the USB Ports of your Laptop do not deliver sufficient power to run the Drive. You may need something like this
On the point of assignation of a Drive letter. The PC/Laptop will assign it a suitable Letter every time it is plugged in.There is no reason that this should be the same every time. It will depend on the number of USB Devices you have plugged in already.

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I have a wierd problem that most of the suggestions seem not to work.
I have a HP computer with Vista basic installed at factory with no disc sent with computer. I then added an external drive on which I installed Ubuntu OS as the primary boot drive. This was needed while I was learning and using Asterisk. Now I do not need the drive which no longer seems to have a letter designation or Ubuntu OS but cannot seem to be able to use System Recovery. Near as I can tell, I need to reset the Master Boot Record back to Vista only but seem unable to do so as I recieved no disks with the Computer.
Any suggestions. I am not extremely skilled at computer technical stuff so please assume I am an idiot if responding.

Answer:Removing External drive with Ubuntu OS but no drive letter designation


Look here for one un-install option: -

How To Safely Uninstall Ubuntu From A Windows Dual-Boot PC

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hi there,
i just bought a preowned Seagate Freeagent Goflex,when i plugged it into my usb port windows installed the driver,but when i click on my computer it dosnt show though in disk management it is listed and online,i also have enabled automount and changed it from dynamic to basic.
Im not great on computers and any help would be greatly appreciated i only want to use the new disk for back ups.
Many thanks in advance.

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hi there,
i just bought a preowned Seagate Freeagent Goflex,when i plugged it into my usb port windows installed the driver,but when i click on my computer it dosnt show though in disk management it is listed and online,i also have enabled automount and changed it from dynamic to basic.
Im not great on computers and any help would be greatly appreciated i only want to use the new disk for back ups.
Many thanks in advance.

Answer:windows wont allocate drive letter to external drive

Please post a full screenshot of Windows Disk Management with only the Seagate Freeagent GoFlex external drive plugged in. ( Plug out all other external drives). Please read this tutorial and adhere to the guidelines therein to post a full Screenshot disabling Console Tree, Action Pane and adjusting the seperators as necessary to show all information. Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

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Have just installed Windows 7 on a dual boot with Windows XP. Can not seem to get to display the material on that external HD. See this HD indicated in Devices and Printers and can click on the properties for this. How do I display the partitions, folders, etc. on this HD as I can in Windows XP???

Answer:how to access data on external hard drive

First, is the drive connected via USB, eSATA or Firewire?

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Hi, I have a WD Elements external hard drive on which I have stored all of my data including photos, music and work. I have been using it for over a year with Windows XP and Vista and have so far had no problems, however today I received an error message saying
'Windows Delayed Write Failed. Windows was unable to save all the data for the file E:\$Mft. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.'
All of the data appears to have been wiped from the hard drive, however when I open Properties it says that 322GB is still being used. Is there any way that I can recover this data without sending the hard drive away?

Answer:External hard drive data lost

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So I posted earlier about how I forgot the password of my Western Digital MyBook Essentail 2.0 harddrive.

I gave up, and pursued another option. Data recovery. I read that basically when data gets deleted, it just loses it's tag, so it can be replaced by something else. Therefore, if you delete your data, but never read/write on the drive, you should be able to recover many/all the files you lost.

If you enter the password wrong 4 times on the Smartware that comes with the MyBook, it gives you the option to erase your drive, losing all your data, but enabling you to access the drive again. It wipes it basically. I also think it reformatted it too, as it used to be in what Macintosh calls it, "ms dos" format or something (probably fat right?) It was in a format so it could be read/writable on both macs and pc's.

So I took the risk and went for it. I erased the drive after typing in what i wished was my password but wasn't 4 times.

Now I am trying to find software that I might be able to use to fix this predicament I'm in. At the moment, I am going to go to bed, and leave test disk running. It's quick scan only found two partitions, some efs thing that I didn't recognize, and mac hfs.

I think I watched on youtube this guy demo'd test disk and the name of his partition showed up too. I named my harddrive yonbanme. I didn't see anything like that pop up (now, the harddrive's name is reset to WD1100 or something, it'... Read more

Answer:data recovery on an external hard drive: please help

Sometimes you can recover data and sometimes you cannot. You are correct in that when you do a normal delete, you are really just removing the references to the file in the MFT or if fat32, the FAT.

Since it did format, and there was some type of security, it may have done a secure type of format or erase of the data. It may still be possible to recover data however it is most likely going to have to go to a data recovery shop. Prices for this are NOT cheap. Here a very basic data recovery costs $100 plus whatever media it used to copy the data. Prices go way up from there.

It does you little good now however we have a saying; "Data you do not have at least two copies of is data you do not care about" With an image backup of the data files, this would be a no brainer to fix. New drive and restore the data; done.

You have learned a valuable lesson regarding backups; hopefully it did not cost you too much data.

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My Dell laptop's hard drive broke so I sent it off to be recovered, thankfully they managed to recover quite a lot and put it all onto an external hard drive. My problem is that while I can access a lot of files there are also a lot of files with just gobbledegook and I'm intrigued as to what information they hold. I've tried file converter but that doesn't really tell me much more of what I already can see. I've transferred the external hard drive onto my new Imac. Can anybody please tell me how I can un-gobbledegook logs, files and extensions and everything else that seems to show all this 34£$£$%£$%ldkwoi£$%%^ sort of stuff please?

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I have a 'pre-built' external hard drive, a Seagate 200gb USB unit. It has worked for me faithfully and has been dependable. . . until about an hour ago! Yesterday, I had backed up about 15gb of data for a lady, then I formatted her hard drive and reloaded XP Pro (a very nasty rootkit was the cause). So, I'm all set to copy the backed up data over to her PC; I plug in the external hard drive, Windows says "GLONK!" and I got the 'New Hardware' balloon messages. So far, so good. So I went to do some other things and I came back after about 7 minutes and open My Computer, and the external is not listed! So I go to the Disk Management console and it shows the external as being "Unallocated". WHAAAA!?!?!?! This tells me the partition table has been corrupted, deleted, changed, whatever. Anyway, the point of this lengthy and undoubtedly boring thread is that I used an AWESOME little freeware program called Partition Find & Mount. The name says it all. It does a quick scan, finds your 'missing' drive and mounts the partition as a virtual drive. It worked PERFECTLY!! :celebrate I was able to copy all the data I needed (there is still over 100gb of customer back ups on this HD rolleyes ) and I went from almost dying (either a massive heart attack or by drowning in a pool of my own tears) to dancing around like a hippie on peyote at a Grateful Dead concert. :dancer

To sum it up: the program Partition Find & Mount saved th... Read more

Answer:External hard drive- data disappeared!

Any recovery tool that works is great to know about. Thanks for mentioning this one. Hopefully when I need it, I will remember I have it.
hmmmm, maybe I need to paste a note on my external hard drive I'm having an increase in senior moments!

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Any know either reasonable pay or free service to hopefully recover data from a WD 1TB external hard drive that worked fine for a few years and it now refuses to open.Did get a message to say it has a corruted file but cant think what that may have been?It was used to store family photos/music and a few word docs that I cannot now read off the drive.

Answer:WD External Hard Drive Lost Data

do not write to the drive until you have complete recovery

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I have an external hard drive caddy to recover data from a hard disk used as the C drive on a PC running windows XP the motherboard having failed. My new PC runs Windows 7. The drive was installed in the enclosure according to the caddy manual as 'master' and runs without a problem. When the USB connection was made the PC installed the drivers recognised the existence of the mass storage device but did not allocate a drive letter. In Disk Manager it can be seen as 'disk6 unknown not initialised'. Right clicking the disc 6 entry and choosing initialise brings up the error 'Device not ready' I have tried running the disk as slave but with the same result.The hard drive is a Hitachi Deskstar Model:HDS722516VLAT20 capacity 165GB 7200RPM PN;14R9247 MLC:BA1254 LBA:321.672.960 SECTORS CHS: 16383/16/63, an IDE device I believe. My new computer I think is SATA.Other information1. The hard disc spins.2. The fan and LED lights on the caddy are working.3. The capacity of the disk is 160GB.4. There is no icon on the bottom right of the desktop.5. In Disk Manager it is described as a Mass Storage Device and connected to the Universal Serial Bus controllers and is described as 'disc6 not initialised 96GB unallocated.I've been struggling with this for a while and any ideas would be appreciated.6.It is not possible to allocate a drive letter. Thankyou for any help

Answer:External hard drive not able to access data

See if Hitachi have diagnostic software to check the drive to make sure it's ok after the mb failure.Another thing you can try is connect it directly to your mobo if it has a ide connector.

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I have bought an external hard drive and I would like my various programs to automatically save data to the external hard drive. How would I do this? Would I need to install the programs onto that hard drive?

Answer:Saving data to external hard drive

tcroc26 said:

Would I need to install the programs onto that hard drive?Click to expand...

Quite possibly, what applications are we talking about here?

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I've just purchased a Dell Inspiron 546 with Windows Vista Home Ultimate. I am transfering all the files from my 250GB Lacie external hard drive via the USB connection using file explorer, a few files at a time. It is taking forever and the transfer speed is really slow (as little as 2.28kb/sec!) Is there a faster way of doing this? I am fairly computer friendly, but no expert by any means.Hope you can help....

Answer:Transfering data from external hard drive to PC

Found this in an older thread of PC Advisor there are many more just typ (Transfering files) in the box top right hit go and then tick Helproom and here

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I was using an western digital external hard drive to store (not back up process) images, video, music etc from a windows XP machine. I upgraded to windows 7 machine and could see the files on the wd external hard drive. I then used windows 7 back up facility and now can't see my old files although the memory size indicates they are still there. I've tried Recuva but it just sees the windows 7 back up files and ignores the files I want. I've tried plugging the wd into an xp machine but that only sees the windows 7 back up files. Any suggestions as to how I can see the old files or recover them without paying too much?

Answer:Lost data on WD external hard drive

Hi and welcome to the forums.

There is a small chance that your files and folders have just hidden themselves. To view hidden folders follow the tutorial at Hidden Files and Folders - Show or Hide.

At the very least this is a good place to start.

If you have any questions feel free to ask; post back with any results.


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I got a friend calling me because he made a program for this Doctor using MS Access 2003, the program was running on a external hard drive since september last year. Suddenly all the data was missing, he checked and the software created was intact and working perfectly. The one thing he found strange was the date. The hard drive said that the data was last updated at September 2007, which is weird because this data was constantly changing until last week.

If someone out there knows a way of getting that data back, please leave a respond.

Any help will be much appreciated!!!

PD: The backup is no where to be found.

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This evening I did a very stupid thing. When I plugged in my external hard drive, I got a message saying that I needed to reformat it. Without thinking, I clicked yes and allowed the darn computer to start erasing my data. As soon as I realized what I had idiotically done, I had another lapse of judgment and unplugged the external hard drive in the middle of the process.

Now I have a hard drive that is still 80% full and no way of reaching the data… Anytime I try to open the drive, I get a message saying it’s inaccessible.

Is there any way for me to recover some of the data still on the drive????

Any advice y'all could give would be muchly appreciated.

Answer:recover data external hard drive

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How do I delete all previous back-up from my external hard drive, so that I can back-up the whole laptop again rather than selecting individual folders etc? My OS is Windows Vista on HP laptop.

Answer:How to delete all data from external hard drive

To delete all data, click start > computer> right click on your external drive and click on format. NOTE: This will erase ALL the data on your drive. You can then start to save your new backups to it.

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I had a message about errors when I plugged in my WD external hard drive. I let the Error Checking run and when it finished it said I needed to format the disk. I cancelled this and looked in my computer and although the drive appeared, no details (i.e. space usage) was present.

I re-ran Error Checking with "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" checked.

After running this the drive appeared properly in My Computer.

However there are many files missing, and the space usage of what is there doesn't match up with what my computer says.

Files I can physically see: ~ 120 Gb.

Space usage according to Explorer: ~420 Gb.

So it looks like tha data may still be there but Windows can't see it???

Any suggestions on possible ways to recover??

Edit: BTW, forgot to say, all this is booted into Win7 not XP on my dual boot system.

Answer:External hard drive lost data

You may be able recover some of the data with this apps.
Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download

Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic

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I couldn't find anything in the threads to this exact problem. Recently all my data disappeared from my Iomega external hard drive. I only see one picture left! I had pictures, videos, and applications on there, like my copies of virus apps, games, ect. I recently added more to it because I wanted to put Windows 7 on my pc. I ran Superanti-spy and it found some adware/spyware stuff, but nothing major. Is there a application to help me get my data back? The computer sees my Iomega on E drive. This is normal. The weird thing is, I clicked on it thinking it was on, and found only one picture. Then I noticed that the external hard drive was not turned on! Somehow it opens when it is not turned on! I hope somebody can help.

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
Scan saved at 12:18:18 PM, on 4/21/2010
Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v8.00 (8.00.6001.18702)
Boot mode: Normal

Edit by chaslang: Inline HJT log removed. READ & RUN ME FIRST. Malware Removal Guide sticky not followed.

Answer:My data has disappeared from my external hard drive!

I'm sorry but you are in the wrong forum. Please post in the Software Forum for help with data recovery. HijackThis is not going to help you. I suggest that you first just try your external hard drive on another PC to see if the data is really gone or if it is only your PC not showing it.

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I have a 320 GB Hitachi HDD Media Player which I use to store a number of media files and the other day whilst trying to add files to it from my pc it found an error and ever since then I haven't been able to access the drive on my pc as it says it needs to be formatted (I know this means deleting everything on there). I do not wish to format the drive as I wish to keep the files that are on the drive. I know the files are still on there because I can hook the drive up to my TV and view them, I am only restricted access on pcs. Is there anyway of taking the files off the HD so I can format it and then put them back on together with any new files I wish to add? or am I screwed and have to resort to getting a new HD simply using the original HD for viewing through the TV?

Please advise.

Thank you

Answer:Recover data from external hard drive


Which Windows Version?

What error did it find?

Try a different USB port to plug it into and remove any other none needed USB hardware ( printer, USB Pens and any other USB HD ), also check Disk Managment in Computer Managment for it being listed, if it is it may just have lost a drive letter as its taken by another storage hardware device, so right click and choose Chaneg Drive Letter and Path, and choose XYor Z as the letter.

If you are using any tweaking apps like TweakUI check they are not hiding drive letters, its a tweak in hiding them to give a minor gain to the speed of a system.

Try hooking it back up to your PC and hopefully if the drive is recognised in My Computer try this free recovery app, Recuva

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I am not being able to get the data off my external HD without formatting it. I downloaded knoppix and burned it as instructed. Then I booted my computer with it and had my external HD on and plugged into the usb port. However, the only thing on the screen is the My Documents folder. It is not showing the external HD at all. I am using a Western Digital external HD. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer:How do I recover data from external hard drive

Is the external drive USB powered or powered separately from the mains electricity?

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I think a file in my Maxtor "Max Blast Plus, ver. 1.27S" is incompatible with the other files and has caused my hard drive to crash ... it won't even open. Is there a way to delete the incompatible file or a program that will recover my data? :cry

Answer:data recovery from external hard drive

Are you saying the external drive is the one that has crashed and the system drive in your computer is okay?

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Hi all,

I recently bought an external usb hard-drive to use with my laptop. I formatted the drive, put my data from my old pc on to it, and then plugged it into my laptop.

There was no data on the new drive (nor on the pc). I rebooted the drive a few times and then I could see the data but not access it. Next time I switched it on there was no data again. Sometimes the data was there and sometimes not.

I decided to reformat it completely again and try it from scratch. I put some files on it, switched it off and waited a few minutes then back on again and the data was gone. After a couple of reboots the data was there again. Next time it was gone.

Does anyone know why it might be behaving so sporadically and how to fix it? I have already lost a lot of files so I am loathe to put anything on it until I know it works properly.

Many thanks, Phil.

Answer:External hard drive losing data?

What brand of drive did you purchase?

I would take the drive back if it is under warranty. It sounds like the hard drive itself is OK since you can see the files from time to time, but it sounds like there is a problem with the IDE to USB converting.

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I am trying to edit the metadata of my music in external hard drive. For some reason I need additional permission to do anything on my WD 512 g external hard drive. Since I need this extra permission, I can't do anything to it using tagscanner. Can someone help?

Answer:Editing data on external hard drive

Try this: Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7, 8 or Vista

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I have windows XP and have been going through the process of changing the primary internal drive. For some reason this not the C drive but F. The slave hard drive is C. I have installed windows XP on the new drive where the jumper has been set as the primary drive. It has been recorded as such but has been allocated drive letter ?j? I do not know why. All the USB connections and external drives were detached.I hold important irreplaceable data on the two external hard drives, one an iomega 80GB and another (new ) Western Digital 160 GB. They were working perfectly prior to the Hard drive change but now I get the message for both the drives that they need to be formatted. Not only that, I have tried them in both my laptops where they have both worked before and I now get the same message. There has been no smoke, noise or over heating and no action to delete any data.I am very anxious to read these drives and do not know what has happened. Can any one please advise me.

Answer:External Hard drive with data needs reformatting!

what about an external caddy which connects via usb, would that solve your prob?johnny.

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The USB of my external hard drive was broken and I changed to a new casing. However, it did not show up in my computer anymore and did not show up in disk management. I read forums and assigned it a drive name in disk management and clicked new partition. The drive was now visible in my computer but it keeps asking to be formatted. I do not want to erase my old data and so did not format.I want access to this data back again. My hard drive is fine and makes no noises. Someone please help.


Answer:Recover data from external hard drive?

No guarantee that you'll be able to recover your data. Depends on the size of the HDD, it might take a while for the programs to scan it. Be patient.

Found some posts that might be of help. Good luck.

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I am running Windows 7 Pro. Have a external dual dock connected to a estata port. One of the drives assigned letter K often comes up as E and I have to change as application is looking for K. Another disk in this dock works fine. No problems.
Does anyone know why this might be happening or anyway to prevent?
Seems like when I go to disk management and assign K it should stay that way.

Answer:External Sata drive will not keep assigned drive letter

Quote: Originally Posted by Terrym

I am running Windows 7 Pro. Have a external dual dock connected to a estata port. One of the drives assigned letter K often comes up as E and I have to change as application is looking for K. Another disk in this dock works fine. No problems.
Does anyone know why this might be happening or anyway to prevent?
Seems like when I go to disk management and assign K it should stay that way.

Try assigning a drive letter a "distance" away from your existing drive letters.

For example, change the dock drive letter to Z and see how you get on with that.

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This computer Vaio running Vista suddenly failed to recognize the DVD drive. When you push the button the light lights but door will not open. Also, under computer the drive is not listed.

When you plug in the external hard drive, the computer sees the drive, loads the driver and in the device manager shows it is working properly but has a exclamation mark next to the name. However, when you look in computer the drive is not listed.

The C drive along with a USB stick work fine.

The computer has been cleaned using AVG and Superspyware. Also, various other aspects have been checked using Advanced System Care. The C drive is 90% full.

I would appreciate any help in this matter.

I guess no one has a clue.

It also will not recognized an external DVD player/writer. BTW, all of these were easily seen on another computer and worked fine.

Answer:Computer fails to see dvd drive and external hard drive.

Josh, you have been warned. Do not double/triple post. Someone will post if they know the problem. If no one has posted in 24 hours, you may double post, not 2 hours later.

(if that is not correct, will a mod please correct me? I'm not sure what the rules are on that)

Is this PATA or SATA? did you check that the connection is firm? your DVD-rom is seperate from your HDD.

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Hi guys,

I have an LG external slim DVD Burner that I am attempting to use with my Acer Aspire One netbook. The drive has no direct power source, as it draws it's power from the netbook using 2 usb cables.

The drive was working fine when I used it a couple weeks ago. Today, I put in a DVD movie, and it would not play it properly. It kind of acted like it was not getting enough power because the movie was playing, but it was like a weird slowed-down version. Creepy. This happened with VLC media player.

I also tried ripping the disc using both dvd decrypter and dvd shrink. The same thing happened with both. The drive spins up really fast at first and starts going, then it stops. Then it spins fast! Then it stops completely. Etc. After about 8 of these rotations, the drive stops spinning altogether, and I eventually get an error/abort message.

I tried LG technical support, but they were morons. Really, the tech support guy told me that because this was a plug and play device, it must be a problem with the software I am using..and that the drive hardware is fine because of that. I told him by that logic I could smash the drive with a hammer, and he would still say it was a software problem. He then disconnected the live chat. So it goes.

Anyway, what can I do to troubleshoot this. I bought this in the U.S., but I have since moved to Germany. So, if it's a hardware problem, it will likely have to just go in the trash. Hopefully that is ... Read more

Answer:External DVD drive recognizes disc but won't function

I'm sorry to say that your problem sounds like a hardware problem with the dvd drive itself.

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I just bought a new external hard drive and did a disk check etc.. before using it more and it passed all the tests so far.

I transferred files yesterday from My pc internal hard drive to the external hard drive and it had no problem. It seems to work just fine transferring from hard drive to hard drive but there is an issue with transferring data to small drives ( like sd cards, micro cards, usb drives etc..).

Before anyone speculates the small drives/cards i use are not '' slow'' well slower to transfer data rather than hard drives yes but by no means should it take hours to transfer small amounts of data. What i am experiencing in long transfer times to small drives/ cards ( sd, micro, etc..).

My other OLDER external hard drive does just fine, it transfers about 4 gb of data to my small flash drives, or sd cards in just about 10-12 minutes. This new external hard drive takes 1 HOUR to do this task. How can i solve this?

Its obviously an issue because the older external hard drive doesn't take this long 1 hr for 4 gb of data to transfer to sd and flash drives is way above ''regular'' even if said sd cards and flash drives are not the fastest ones out there.

Answer:External hard drive REALLY slow in transferring data..

Can you please post the speed Windows is reporting for the transfer?

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About 11 months ago I added an external LaCie Hard Drive 1TB to my system to be able to back up my C drive and to store my music files on (copy my cd collection). I partitioned into two drives J for the backup and M for the music. Over the past several months I have downloaded over 800 cd's to the M drive and it worked fine until recently where it showed as corrupted. I called LaCie and they advised that the hardware is probably ok as the computer still sees the J drive and associated volume. When I "explore" the computer it sees the M drive but there is no data (no total size or free space showing). When you click on it (the M drive) it gives the message that it is unavailable and corrupted. Lacie advised formatting the drive after attempting to recover the data (which they think is still there just corrupted). I suppose I could just format the drive and re-copy all the cd's but that took forever the first time, so I would like to try and recover them before I resort to that.

The error message reads "M is not accessable. The paremeter is incorrect" But, when I click the J partition of the same drive it shows the volume and available volume as normal. The music files were recorded using dbPowerAmp and saved in FLAC format. I also had a folder in M for converted files where I converted the FLAC files to Apple Lossless for use on my iPod. Again, this whole thing worked fine for 10 months (recording the cd's, being able to convert them to the ... Read more

Answer:Need help recovering corrupted data from external hard drive

You can try a Linux Live cd and plug the Ext HDD into the computer running the live CD and see if linux can get at them seems to be working great for me. Sounds more like your J: drive lost its partition bits and thats why its not working and why your M: drive still is. If the hard drive itself was starting to go bad I would think it would affect both partitons as a partition is just a logical split of the drive.

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i have so much stuff that i really need on there and now it looks like its vanished pls help
i need to get that data back i know there something i do to get it back but am not sure what and how ...

Answer:i mistakenly formated my external hard drive almost 2 TB of data

You should try running a file recovery utility such as Recuva.

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Scenario: My cousin just bought an HP MINI 1030NR from good 'ol Best Buy. He wanted to put a flavor of linux on there (dreamlinux to be exact, He downloaded the iso file from the website and planned on installing it onto his ntfs-formatted external hard drive (80gb). The problem is that he accidentally installed the distro on the entire hard drive, as opposed to a separate partition. As a result, he has lost all of his data, images, videos, docs, etc (about 32GB). Is there any way that he can recover this information off of his external hdd? I am pretty sure that linux reformats the hdd to ext3 or something similar, so i don't know if there is any hope because usually reformating completely wipes the hard drive if I'm not mistaken.NOTE: Now when he plugs in his external hard drive, it shows up as a cd-rom image (see attached image). I have tried the recovery program Recuva, but it only seems to recognize hdd's and won't let me scan the "CD-ROM." I am using teamviewer to check out his pc at the moment, in case any of you experts need more info about the pc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. Please let me know if you need any more pertinent information.EDIT: I have attached another image from his pc's Disk Management utility. It shows DISK 1 as being the actual hard drive with almost the full hdd available, AND it shows the cd-rom as something separate.

Answer:Is it possible to recover data from reformatted external hard drive

He most likely can....BUT... itll cost ALOT of money. The hard drive will most likely have to be shipped to a professional with a dust free environment where he will open the drive and pull info from it.

If it is reformatted the information is most likely written over and gone, but ya never know, if he has about 800-1500 to dump on a hard drive, go for it, but I would just assume it is gone.

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My External Hard Drive, which I used for back up, crashed and could not be read by Windows Explorer. As it was under warranty, I was sent a replacement. I have used data recovery software to transfer most of my files to the new drive.

Now I have to return the defective drive to the manufacturer. However, the drive contains personal and confidential data, such as letters, bank details and passwords.

How can I delete the data using Windows XP SP2, or is there a third party application that will do the job?

Help would be appreciated.

Answer:How to Delete Data on Defective External Hard Drive

Killdisc is used by the US dept of Defence
Be careful how you use it, make sure you pick the correct drive to wipe

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My desktop runs XP and I have a Seagate external hard drive which I use for videos . While closing down the system in a hurry I removed the power plug for the external hard drive too early . Before finally closing it gave a message which referred to the drive (K) and I think included the word re-cycle and a string of numbers . It then said that I should save the file elsewhere. Not knowing what I could then do I continued with the closing down routine . When I re-booted the system it refused to recognise that the external drive existed . Does this mean that I have completely lost all my files? Its not an absolute disaster if it does as I'm sure that Iwill be able to re-load most of them from the web but if they are recoverable then that would save many hours of work .

I'm abroad at the moment so don't have access to my system for " trying things out" but any thoughts or comments ( polite please - I fully realise that my problem is caused by impatience) would be most welcome.


Answer:Solved: External Hard Drive - Data lost ??

They aren't gone but something may have been corrupted

-press the windows key
-right click on "computer"
-click MANAGE
-click on disk management under "storage"
-do you see the disk show up anywhere? if so what does it show?

I would start by going to the command prompt and typing CHKDSK /F then let it reboot and run.

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OMG! My Maxtor external hard drive was accidentally bounced off the hardwood floor. It is a back-up to my 7 year old PC suffering from the whirr of death. I started to copy files from the ED to my laptop but was not even close to finishing the process when it fell. Years of music, photos etc are all on the drive. It gets even better -- the PC is dead.

The data port has broken off/pushed in and and is rattling around inside of the the casing. Power to the Maxtor appears to be working fine. What should I do now?

Answer:External Hard Drive data port broken - Help!

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Hi I have been having some problems recently with my iomega 250 gb external Hard Drive. I went to download a TV show onto it using uTorrent and left it running over night. When i checked on it, it had downloaded half of it but had stopped and said data error: Data cyclic error. I checked online and think this means there is a problem with Hard Drive. This has now happened with a few different torrents but sometimes they download fine. I tried to run Checkdisk but wasn't totally sure what I was doing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


Answer:Data Cyclic Error on External Hard Drive It could mean HD, but also other things.
Are you using a download manager with the site your on? Have you deleted the bad data and tried to download it again?

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I'm using a GT5468 Windows Vista Home Premium computer to transfer data from my 320 GB WD Caviar SE 7200RPM external hard drive to my 750 GB WD My book. All is well until I try to move a single file that is larger than 10 GB, I get a message that says, File Too Large     The file "Movie clip 1" is too large for the destination file system     Movie clip 1     Type: Video Clip     Size: 13.0 GB     Length: 01:01:26      I have tried to cut the movie clip into movable pieces but have had no success. Do I need to change the preferences on my external hard drives or something else, or is it impossible to transfer single files larger than 10 GB making me figure out how a way to cut a video clip, say in half to transfer it?Thank you for any ideas

Answer:Transfer data from and to external hard drive problems

What file format does the My Book have? FAT 32?

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> I took this drive to the Geek Squad and they checked it, actually, disassembled it
Inside most "external" disk-drives is a standard "internal" disk-drive.
An "internal" disk-drive has two major components -- the electronics & I/O adapter, and the "spinning" part.
The electronic components can easily be separated and replaced.
But, the difficulty is in finding an identical (or nearly so) component from the same manufacturer, to replace any "fried" electronics.
The "spinning" part was sealed in a "clean-room", to preserve the recording surfaces and the electric motor that spins the recording surfaces.
So, if they disassembled it, and connected the disk-drive as an "internal" disk-drive,
and their computer could not detect the disk-drive, then the electronics have been damaged.
If the electronics is OK, maybe it's the motor that spins the disk-drive that has failed.
> told me that the only way to recover the information within the disk is to send it to a special room (pure air room)
> and extract the disk and assemble it on another drive case. 
They probably are correct -- in a "clean-room" the recording-surfaces can be extracted from within the "sealed" container, and mounted into another container, just surviving long enough to copy all your data files onto a brand-new disk-drive.
A commercial "data-recovery-surface" can do the two "levels":
* replacing the electronics plate -- probably not too ex... Read more

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I am running WIN XP Pro (SP2) with a USB attached external hard drive.
The hard drive is attached all the time and is 250gb, it currently shows free space of 157gb.
All the folders appear (including the normally hidden system folders), but they appear to be empty.
Going by the fact that there is 157 gb of free space there should therefore be approximately 100gb of data yet I am unable to see it.
I have run Freeundelete (which didn't work because it couldn't see my external drive (my H drive) and have also run Winundelete which ran successfully but said there were no deleted files to undelete.
How do I go about restoring the files that are there but that I can't see so that I can once again use them.

Answer:(Apparent) Lost data on external hard drive

A complete reboot and power off / on seems to have fixed this problem.

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Problem:--- When I connect my external USB 3.0 Western digital hard disk to my system, system is hanged. Showing that some external source is added to the system( USB icon in Tray icon ) but not able to see in the system.

Device manager recognizes it as a USB device under Hard Disk, but disk management calls it unknown and not initialized.
No drive letter is shown under my computer. There is no Symptoms like any extra sound, or spinning down, it is showing normal behavior.

Goal: Try to recover my jpgs, doc, and txt files.
It had an NTFS partition and no special software was used to maintain the external hard drive, nor was an operating system installed on it. Just basic files.If it matters, My computer is a windows Vista Home Premium, Service Pack 2, 32 bit DELL laptop.

Answer:External hard drive crashed, How to recover data?

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I have a Fantom Titanium 120GB External Hard Drive (USB). My desktop was starting to show signs of crashing and so I moved all that I could to my external hard drive. Soon after my desktop froze and I had to do a hard reset, in which time it froze at the dell start up screen on reboot, and I had to do a hard reset again, all the while my external hard drive was attached. Now my desktop is back up and running but my External hard drive does not come up on my desktop, so I hooked it up to my laptop, which also does not display my external hard drive. The activity light just flashes at a constant rate unlike when it was working it used to flash like a banshee. I right-clicked on my computer and went into the manager to see if the external was mis-assigned, which it did not display in the manager either. Any ideas of how to get my data off the external??? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Answer:Lost all Data. External Hard drive not recognized

Hi and welcome.

I'd try taking the drive out of the external case and slaving it to the desktop computer internally.

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I have an external hard drive that is a few years old. One day it just stopped working. I do not want to pay $300 to have geek squad recover the information. I have read on various websites that i can remove the drive from the case and install it directly into my desktop. The issue im having is that my new desktop uses the SATA and my external hard drive uses the ATA cable. My external hard drive has all of my college work, pictures from 5 years, videos, music, etc. Probably a total of almost 100gigs!!! Any recommendations would be great. I do not want to spend the money to have a pro do it but if that is my only option i understand.Thanks,Danny

Answer:Recovering Data off broken external hard drive??

You can buy an adapter for SATA-ATA I think. That may just be  a waste of money though. I fthe HD is damaged it may not work anyway.I'm not sure about this, but I think taking it out of the external encloser will only help if the enclosure is bad. You can also buy a new enclosure.

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Hope I have given this thread the right description.

This is the situation.

I have today removed the hard drive "Seagate SATA 500 GB " from my old (dead) DELL Inspiron M 501R laptop ( windows 7 SP 1 )

I am going to buy an external enclosure to move all the data ( hopefully ) to my other HP windows 7 SP 1 professional laptop.

When I succeed in this and all the data from the DELL are on the HP, could I then afterwards remove all the old data from the HP on the hard drive from the DELL. In other words, could I do a 100% swap ?

Make the HP an windows 7 SP 1 ?

I would first formate the DELL hard drive completely clean. ( After successfully having transferred EVERYTHING to the HP. )

Could I do this by using Macrium Reflect ?

Is this a silly idea ?

You might ask why ? Just so that if it does not work I can move it all back ?

Thanks for any help in advance.

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I have Fedora 11. How do I copy the data from the hard drive to an external hard drive. I can't find my data cable to transfer the data and I want to put the data on a new computer with Windows 8.
thanks in advance

Answer:Copying data to external hard drive in Fedora


Just to clarify, your external drive has a USB data cable attached or is this the issue you cannot find it, or is the data cable you are talking about a PC to PC data cable?

If you format a USB drive to NTFS, iirc Linux can read and write in NTFS so that's compatible with Windows as its native to Windows OS, give it a test with a USB Pen Drive before formatting a larger external drive.

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I have a 120 gig ACOM Data external hard drive. It was working fine up until a couple weeks ago. Now..the drive is not recognized in "MY Computer" but is recognized in the device manager with a yellow exclamation point. When I right click on "My Computer" and check disk maangement the drive is not recognized here either. The light on the front of the drive is green and the connections appear to be fine. Any suggestions? Gracias
Im running it on dell notebook, windows xp, pentium 3, usb 2.0.

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I need help recovering the data on my hard drive. My external hard drive was recently corrupted. My laptop is on NTFS system and the hard drive is RAW. I don't really need to save the hard drive. I need to salvage all of the files I saved on there. Does using an encryption program like TrueScript work? How would I go about doing it? Is there a way to recovery the data?

Answer:Data recovery for corrupted WD External Hard Drive

connect it to another computer. Format it and then run a data recovery program like recuva to retrieve the data.

How do i turn a RAW HDD into a readable one without losing data?

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Hi, my 500gb samsung usb h.d stopped working when my O.S(w7) did. I;m not sure why- possibly a virus. I have since reinstalled W7 and i cant open the hard drive- in disc management it tells me its a healthy, active primary partition RAW but keeps asking me to format it. I downloaded a data recovery program which shows me all my files are still on there but i need to reformat it without losing those files. i have been told i can reformat it to a NTFS format from the command prompt without losing data but i'm a little nervous about it, any ideas?

Answer:reformatting my external hard drive without losing data

Greetings, globestroller.

I'd be leery of 'formatting without losing data' - sounds like an oxymoron.

If the data recovery program doesn't give you the option of saving your files, you might try booting to a live Linux environment, such as Mint, and recovering your data via flash drive or optical media, then formatting the drive through Windows.

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I need to recover from a formatted external hard drive - buffalo 160gb mini-station Turbo USB, FAT32. The formatted external hard drive has been partitioned into 2.

Is still possible to recover back the files?

On related problem - what is the best software to repair corrupted jpeg? using ulead photo explorer 7se, i managed to view the jpeg with full pixels but when I open the file, the picture displayed is only half and the other half is blank gray.

I have plenty of corrupted mov - is there any mov repairer out there?

Thank you thank you for your help and I really hope someone can kindly attend to my question this time.

Answer:recover data from formatted external hard drive

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Hello, yesterday I bought a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Portable Hard Drive and after moving a lot of files on to it, the Used Space has remained at 619 GB, despite putting more files on it than that. When I remove files, the appropriate space is taken off - but whenever I add more files the usage always stop at 619 GB. Yet, whatever files I add past 619 GB show up on the drive and work appropriately.

I'm worried about the reliability of the drive (only started seeing negative reviews of the product after purchase) and I'm not sure what to do about this, as I can only return the drive for same kind of drive at the store. Any help would be much appreciated.

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Hi, I have an Asus n61 notebook & a 1tb WD external drive connected via esata. I want my notebook to recognize the drive as G, for program pathway reasons, but as it needs to be connected before power up my system sees it as F. When I try to 'change drive letter' in Disk Management it simply says 'the parameter is incorrect'. I have never had problems assigning drive letters in XP. What is the secret in W7?

Answer:Can't change drive letter for external drive

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