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  1. #1
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    How do I enable Windows to see a hard drive again?

    I have a Windows Vista pc with 2 hard disks - c drive as normal and x drive for data backup etc. Following a crash, Vista would not boot properly (try as I might to repair it) and so I temporarily installed Ubuntu 12.10 to enable me to copy data files etc.

    I then took the pc to be repaired and, to cut a long story short, the repairers disconnected one of the (physically identical) drives and reloaded Vista onto the remaining drive (not sure which one it was). Now Vista boots properly again but, when the 2nd drive is reconnected, you can 'see' it in Windows but not access it in any way (eg via Computer, Manage, Disk Management) - see attached. Perhaps it still thinks it's working with Ubuntu?

    So can anyone please help me find a way to get the 2nd drive to work with Windows again please? (Having had the computer off for 2 weeks, I'm nervous about doing anything that might upset the booting arrangements!)

    Thanks.

    PS I have a copy of Minitool Partition Wizard in case that helps...?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Right click on each partition and assign a drive letter to them.

    Jerry

  3. #3
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    Thanks. Sadly that's the problem! When you right click on the partitions, all the options are greyed out except 'Delete volume'. In fact, when you right click on the largest partition (347GB - my old Windows data) you do not see any options at all.

    Any ideas?

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I know this is after the fact, but for future reference, it's good to give a name to each hard drive:

    -- In My Computer, right click and choose Properties. Enter a unique name (e.g. for the C: drive, call it c-drive) and click Apply.

    In this way, you'll know which drive you're dealing with if you aren't in Windows.

  5. #5
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    It sounds like you've booted with the second drive disconnected? If so and everything was good then you don't need to worry about messing up the boot manager. It would seem this information is correct regardless since there is no sign of any data consumption on the second drive, just empty partitions.
    You could use diskpart from a command line but I like to see the GUI representation of the drives just as you see them in your screen cap but that also means you will probably need to remove the EISA partition from outside of Windows control (you have no options right now from Windows control so you have to take that away).

    Does your Minitool partition software give you a nice graphic of each drive so you can just as easily distinguish between the two. If so you could try deleting the partitions on the second drive there.

    The sure way of doing it would be to use a boot disc with a partition editor on it but I would think one of the free ones that runs in Windows could do it, at least in conjunction with a restart to apply the deletions. Just make sure you have the right drive selected for the changes, which in this case shouldn't be a big issue since they are very different when viewed by partition allotment.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-02-11 at 14:37.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I know this is after the fact, but for future reference, it's good to give a name to each hard drive:

    -- In My Computer, right click and choose Properties. Enter a unique name (e.g. for the C: drive, call it c-drive) and click Apply.

    In this way, you'll know which drive you're dealing with if you aren't in Windows.
    Thanks. Good advice although until the last couple of weeks they did have names...! However, I have now renamed the one I can access.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    It sounds like you've booted with the second drive disconnected? If so and everything was good then you don't need to worry about messing up the boot manager. It would seem this information is correct regardless since there is no sign of any data consumption on the second drive, just empty partitions.
    You could use diskpart from a command line but I like to see the GUI representation of the drives just as you see them in your screen cap but that also means you will probably need to remove the EISA partition from outside of Windows control (you have no options right now from Windows control so you have to take that away).

    Does your Minitool partition software give you a nice graphic of each drive so you can just as easily distinguish between the two. If so you could try deleting the partitions on the second drive there.

    The sure way of doing it would be to use a boot disc with a partition editor on it but I would think one of the free ones that runs in Windows could do it, at least in conjunction with a restart to apply the deletions. Just make sure you have the right drive selected for the changes, which in this case shouldn't be a big issue since they are very different when viewed by partition allotment.
    The Minitool software view is now attached. One option it offers is to allocate a drive letter to the 347GB NTFS partition (something the Windows software does not offer). Do you think it would be safe to try this - I'm just terrified of mucking up the pc's boot up arrangements and ending up with an unusable computer again!!!?

    Thanks for your help.
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  8. #8
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    I guess you could do that but Windows might still recognize it as something else, plus you have those two Linux logical partitions tacked onto the end.
    They now show as having some data on the partitions. Is that your old operating system and data or something else? If you need to have a look then perhaps assigning a drive letter will facilitate that, I'm not sure.

    You indicated that the second drive was not connected when Vista was reinstalled correct? You don't see any LINUX bootloader or anything when starting do you? If so then logically there can't be any sort of vestigial boot loader or anything that can impact the normal boot of your system so if you don't need any of the data on the target drive the best action would be to deleted all the partitions and repartition and format according to your wishes.

    If you want to be super safe and haven't imaged your system yet you might do that first with Macrium Reflect free or EaseUS ToDo free 5.3. Just your system drive, I wouldn't bother with the other one. Its something you should do once in a while anyway so you could restore the system yourself if something went haywire again.

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  10. #9
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    Many thanks for your advice. I took an image using Macrium and then held my breath as I used the Minitool wizard to allocate a drive letter, which seemed to work, and then deleted the two linux partitions. So far, it appears that the result is successful and I have regained access to the Windows data files I wanted to access.

    Thanks again.

  11. #10
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    Good. I or we all know that time has to come for holding the breath because after double triple checking all the parameters and assessing the most likely state of the system, there's only one way to find out if you're right or not; and I did not know it would be that easy to gain control of a designated EISA partition.

  12. #11
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    As a final postscript to this story, although I have been able to access my files using Windows explorer where the X drive now appears as it did previously, when I go to Computer, Manage, Disk Management it still appears as it did in my first attached photo ie with no drive letter shown nor any right click options for the disk/drive (only one partition now, of course).

    It's not a problem (as far as I know!) but presumably is something to do with being an EISA partition?

  13. #12
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    running a checkdisk on the drive may help

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