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External drive not visible in Explorer or My Computer

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8 replies to this topic

#1
HoppaLong

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During the XP years I built a desktop for a friend. For various reasons he
couldn't use it. I was about to tear it down for parts, when I decided to
keep it as a very secure file bin. It has NEVER been connected to any
network.

There are two eSATA drives. eSATA died a quick death, as soon as USB 3.0
came along.

The system is XP Pro_SP3. Both external drives are listed normally in Device
Manager. Drivers fully functional, etc. For some reason, one of the eSATA
drives no longer appears in Explorer or My Computer.

Both eSATA drives are equipped with USB ports. I tried a USB cable. It didn't
help. This external drive is visible and accessible when plugged into other
computers.

The hardware is fine. How do I make this drive visible again?




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#2
jaclaz

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The system is XP Pro_SP3. Both external drives are listed normally in Device
Manager. Drivers fully functional, etc. For some reason, one of the eSATA
drives no longer appears in Explorer or My Computer.
 

If the disk is visible in disk manager and you can see in it one or more partition but you cannot access the partition/volume through a drive letter it means that a drive letter has not been assigned to it (for whatever reasons, this could also be a "glitch" in the Registry).

Run Mountvol.exe and see if there is any volume to which a letter is not assigned.

Drive letters for Explorer use are maintained in a different place than the normal "DosDevices" keys and there are cases where a conflict between a local volume drive letter and network drive letter make the first not visible in Explorer, but id the thingy has not been networked this is not the case.

A good idea in order to help troubleshoot the issue would be if you could run my little ddlistw batch here:

http://reboot.pro/to...st-and-ddlistw/

http://reboot.pro/to...listw/?p=173100

(which I am also attaching this post) which makes use of dd for windows:

http://www.chrysocome.net/dd

included in the .zip) and post the output, as this will give us a clear view of partition/volumes/drive letters.

Example of output:

ddlistw
Drives by drive letter:
c: 0,1 FIX \Volume{83092730-6bfc-11df-b90c-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume1
d: 1,1 FIX \Volume{b0b284c4-8a33-11dd-8781-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume2
e: 3,1 REM \Volume{dcb7316e-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk3\DP(1)0-0+a
f: x,x CDR \Volume{c930f56b-520e-11e4-b08b-001fc6bb76ce} \CdRom1
g: 4,1 REM \Volume{dcb7316f-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk4\DP(1)0-0+b
h: 5,1 REM \Volume{dcb73170-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk5\DP(1)0-0+c
i: x,x CDR \Volume{80cf88c2-8a34-11dd-813c-806d6172696f} \CdRom0
j: 6,1 REM \Volume{dcb73171-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk6\DP(1)0-0+d
k: 2,1 REM \Volume{4ae75ea9-cbde-11e4-b099-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk2\DP(1)0-0+9
Premere un tasto per continuare . . .

Drives by connection:
c: 0,1 FIX \Volume{83092730-6bfc-11df-b90c-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume1
d: 1,1 FIX \Volume{b0b284c4-8a33-11dd-8781-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume2
k: 2,1 REM \Volume{4ae75ea9-cbde-11e4-b099-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk2\DP(1)0-0+9
e: 3,1 REM \Volume{dcb7316e-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk3\DP(1)0-0+a
g: 4,1 REM \Volume{dcb7316f-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk4\DP(1)0-0+b
h: 5,1 REM \Volume{dcb73170-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk5\DP(1)0-0+c
j: 6,1 REM \Volume{dcb73171-341c-11e3-b06c-001fc6bb76ce} \Harddisk6\DP(1)0-0+d
i: x,x CDR \Volume{80cf88c2-8a34-11dd-813c-806d6172696f} \CdRom0
f: x,x CDR \Volume{c930f56b-520e-11e4-b08b-001fc6bb76ce} \CdRom1

jaclaz

Attached Files



#3
HoppaLong

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I hope experts like yourself are thanked a lot by forum members.
Anyway, I'm thanking you.

A few days ago, when I plugged this drive into two other computers
it appeared to be fine.

What I'm seeing now is a familiar Windows nightmare. That's why I
keep multiple copies of everything. Under "Computer Management"
all volumes and partitions are displayed.

The attached image shows the entire volume for this eSATA drive as
unallocated space. It was divided into two partitions. I hope this
is just a "glitch" in the Registry, like you said.

I've also attached an image showing the driver file details.

If it helps, I will run your batch file and post the results.

Attached Files



#4
HoppaLong

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Like I said, I've seen several different Windows operating systems
destroy partitions. It happened to me only once many years ago.
After that, I started keeping multiple backups.

I hope this info from your script helps resolve my problem.

Drives by drive letter:
,
c: 0,1 Fixed HarddiskVolume1 {192e7134-56ac-11de-bc21-806d6172696f}
d: 0,2 Fixed HarddiskVolume2 {192e7135-56ac-11de-bc21-806d6172696f}
e: 3,1 Removable Harddisk3\DP(1)0-0+a {260c6830-e6a0-11e3-90f6-001fd0538514}
f: 1,1 Fixed HarddiskVolume3 {fad46d3c-dcab-11de-b99a-001fd0538514}
i: x,x CD-ROM CdRom0 {06361284-decd-11de-9095-806d6172696f}
j: 1,2 Fixed HarddiskVolume4 {fad46d3d-dcab-11de-b99a-001fd0538514}
Press any key to continue . . .

Drives by connection:
,
c: 0,1 Fixed HarddiskVolume1 {192e7134-56ac-11de-bc21-806d6172696f}
d: 0,2 Fixed HarddiskVolume2 {192e7135-56ac-11de-bc21-806d6172696f}
f: 1,1 Fixed HarddiskVolume3 {fad46d3c-dcab-11de-b99a-001fd0538514}
j: 1,2 Fixed HarddiskVolume4 {fad46d3d-dcab-11de-b99a-001fd0538514}
e: 3,1 Removable Harddisk3\DP(1)0-0+a {260c6830-e6a0-11e3-90f6-001fd0538514}
i: x,x CD-ROM CdRom0 {06361284-decd-11de-9095-806d6172696f}
Press any key to continue . . .



#5
jaclaz

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The physicaldrive is seen in Disk Management as Disk #2, but is not seen at all in the batch, most probably because it is "not initialized"

.

Generally speaking this can be due to two different reasons, an issue of some kind in the USB to SATA bridge inside the enclosure (but that usually should result in showing "no disk") or by a corruption of the disk itself. 

 

The disk is actually seen, but it is seen as:

1) Not initialized

2) Not partitioned (unallocated)

 

#1 basically means that the "Magic Bytes" 55AA are missing at the end of the MBR, #2 could be both a consequence of the missing magic bytes or be an additional issue (emptied partition table), both may mean either a minor issue (simply a botched or overwritten MBR) or a hardware issue (disk drive actually failing :().

 

Your next step should be to make a copy of the MBR, a handy tool for this is HdHacker:

http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/

you want to copy/backup first sector of the Physicaldrive #2, then compress it in a .zip archive and attach it to your next post, so that I cna have a look at it.

 

Generally speaking, particularly if the partitions were NTFS formatted it should be easy if it's just a corruption issue to re-index them in the MBR.

 

You can also try directly this tool (don't worry, unless you tell it so explicitly it is read-only):

http://dmde.com/

Again you want to open the PhysicalDrive #2 and if all the issue is in the MBR corrupted or missing some data, you should be able to see the volumes as in this screenshot:

Spoiler

 

jaclaz



#6
submix8c

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Not really OT and do continue with jaclaz' guidance. Do nothing other than *exactly* what he suggests.

Like I said, I've seen several different Windows operating systems
destroy partitions. It happened to me only once many years ago.
This is due to how different PC's "see" the HDD settings in the BIOS (like many/most older Compaq, a major culprit) that "translates" HDD differently, although I seriously doubt that's the case here. :unsure:

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#7
HoppaLong

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The steps you've outlined to resolve this problem look good to me. In this case
however, there might be a simplier solution.

As I said in my original post, I use this computer and the two eSATA drives as
a secure "file dump" because there no network connection. The system is
powered up three or four times each week for about 40 minutes. The hardware
is well under MTTF (Mean Time to Failure). Could this external drive still be
failing? Absolutely, but it's not likely.

I have backups at three different locations. In the early days of computing I
lost files all the time. It was agony! That's why I have so many backups,
including a safe deposit box at the bank.

I've got bootable USB sticks with many different diagnostic, formatting, and
backup apps.

I can format, partition, and copy all the lost files in one hour or less. That may
be the best solution. If it happens again, I'll junk this external drive.



#8
jaclaz

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The hardware is well under MTTF (Mean Time to Failure). Could this external drive still be
failing? Absolutely, but it's not likely.

MTTF, you keep using that word ...
http://knowyourmeme....-think-it-means
Seriously :), MTTF is one of the usual meaningless metrics, specifically it tends to be the mean time to failure of something in continuous operation, that may (or may not be) connected to "intermittent operation".

 

I have backups at three different locations. In the early days of computing I
lost files all the time. It was agony! That's why I have so many backups,
including a safe deposit box at the bank.

I've got bootable USB sticks with many different diagnostic, formatting, and
backup apps.

Which is very good. :thumbup
 

I can format, partition, and copy all the lost files in one hour or less. That may
be the best solution.

....hoping that tyou first partition and only later format .... ;)
 

If it happens again, I'll junk this external drive.

Yep, this is exactly what I do the second time my car doesn't start in the morning. :yes:

Come on :), there may be tens of reasons why the issue happened, not necessarily the thingy deserves to be trashed ...


jaclaz



#9
submix8c

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"Toss me a hex dump of the MBR." ~ Assisting Person

"Nah, too much trouble. I'll just proceed this way." ~ Requesting person

 

Seriously, this would answer a basic question of "Is there some kind of problem there?" and is real easy to do.

 

Then again, it's your choice. ;)


Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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