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  1. #1
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    "must format drive at G: [Format] [Cancel]"

    Windows had been telling me that I needed to check an external drive for errors, and I did, and it found an error with one file, which it repaired. It indicated no other problems. Then the next time I went to use the drive I got the message above (wording may be slightly different), inviting me to format the drive, which would have lost me some data I hadn't backed up, so I canceled.

    I plugged the drive into a different computer and it came up fine in both Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux. To be safe, I used the other computer to copy its data onto a different drive. Returning then to the first computer, Windows didn't open that drive either, and and I got the same message inviting me to format it too!

    I have a dual boot with Ubuntu Linux on this computer as well, started Linux and the drive came up fine. In Linux, I copied the data to a drive which Windows does recognize, and now I have use of my data but not of either external drive in Windows on the problem computer.

    Also, the problem computer, a Powerspec G160, has card reader slots and recently, has not been recognizing cards plugged into them. That may be because I changed their drive letter assignments in Windows, moving them to the end of the alphabet so I could keep my external drives at the same drive letters when I plug them into different computers. Maybe this is contributing to the problem with the hard drive?

    So, all in all, Windows 7 appears to have become confused about the status of drives and about assigning drive letters on this computer. Can anyone please help me sort this out?

    One lesson of all this is that having a dual-boot into Linux can save your data when Windows won't boot or acts up...It isn't the frist time that has happened for me.
    Last edited by jsallen; 2011-06-10 at 17:59. Reason: minor clarifcations and typo corrections

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsallen View Post
    I have use of my data but not of either external drive in Windows on the problem computer.
    jsallen,

    Hello...Sounds like the "Problem PC" is not recognizing your "external" ...Plug it in (External Hard Drive) and go to Administrative tools>Computer Management>Disk Management...and see if your external is "showing up" It may be that all you need is to "reassign"a drive letter to it. Or try another USB port Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    jsallen,

    Hello...Sounds like the "Problem PC" is not recognizing your "external" ...Plug it in (External Hard Drive) and go to Administrative tools>Computer Management>Disk Management...and see if your external is "showing up"
    Been there. It doesn't show up there -- even as an unformatted drive -- and neither do the card slots. There is one USB connection that is identified as "unknown device" but I can't pair it with any specific device. The enclosure of one of the drives that isn't recognized also can connect with ESATA and I will try that.
    Last edited by jsallen; 2011-06-10 at 19:53.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Have you tried uninstalling all USB devices and doing a cold (completely shut down, wait a couple of minutes, then restart) reboot? Your card reader is also a USB device with an internal connector.

    I have reassigned drive letters as well, but my external drive is always Z:, and my memory card readers (4) have been reassigned letters further down the alphabet. My two hard drives are C: and D:, but I've reassigned everything else further down the alphabet so that E: and F: are available whenever I plug in a flash drive and my other drive letters don't get skewed (I use multiple partitions on two hard drives).


    Windows 7 seems to remember drive letter associations better (or maybe it's worse) than XP. When I plug in my eSATA external, it always comes up as Z: It's a drive dock, and Windows will assign the drive parameters of the last drive that was in the dock, whether it is actually that drive or not. If I undock the 1TB drive and dock a 500GB drive, it shows up as the 1TB drive. It takes a warm reboot for Windows 7 to recognize the drive as 500GB.

    After the reboot, everything is fine.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Have you tried uninstalling all USB devices and doing a cold (completely shut down, wait a couple of minutes, then restart) reboot? Your card reader is also a USB device with an internal connector.
    I have done a cold reboot, and powered down all the external devices. By "uninstall" do you mean in addition, or instead, to uninstall them in Device Manager? Will Windows then automatically find them and reinstall them? The computer did come with a driver disk.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    If you uninstall a USB device in Device Manager, upon plugging it back in Windows should reload drivers for the device. I do not believe a reboot is necessary for USB devices.
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsallen View Post
    I have done a cold reboot, and powered down all the external devices. By "uninstall" do you mean in addition, or instead, to uninstall them in Device Manager? Will Windows then automatically find them and reinstall them? The computer did come with a driver disk.
    Yes, I mean completely uninstall them in Device Manager, including the USB hubs. Don't select the option to uninstall the drivers; I don't think it is necessary to go that far.

    And yes, Windows will automatically reinstall them.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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