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  1. #1
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    Win 7 system does not recognize hard drive, no mbr. How do i restore drive to useable status?

    Hi, This is my first post so hope you can bear with me. I have a windows 7 professional PC (homebuilt). I recently upgraded from a 500 GB drive to a 1 TB drive. Later, I decided to reuse the 500 GB drive as a USB drive. I later decided to use the drive as an additional drive (internal) in my pc, so I formatted the drive and installed it in my PC. Now I am unable to see the drive in my pc. When I try to find it, it has just vanished. Diskpart can't find it, nor can windows portioning tools find it. If I plug it into the USB unit, it is there. If I try to reformat it using windows recovery (on the install disk), it can't find it. Additional research tells me that the MBR is missing from the drive, I know the drive is good because I can use it as a USB device. Up until now, I have been able to self maintain my PC, but I cannot find a fix that will install the MBR on the drive if it can't find the drive. I sure could use some help. Thanks in advance Boit3090

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Boit3090,

    Welcome to the Lounge as a new poster!

    I would recommend that you download a good free 3rd party disk tool like Partition Wizard Mini-Tool Home Edition. Create the bootable CD/USB (may require RUFUS or similar tool). See if you can now see the drive and if you can delete all partitions and create a new basic partition. HTH
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    You could try a low-level format.

    Here are instructions from the Seagate website, if the drive is a Seagate drive.

    In the case of the Seagate drive, you're probably OK doing the "Erase Track ZERO" process. It is the quickest, and it will likely take care of what is causing the issues.

    Other brands of hard drive will have their own process / program to use for a low-level format. It is uncertain if a Seagate low-level format would work with, say, a Western Digital hard drive.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-08-24 at 16:25.

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    Thank you "RetiredGeek" I went to the site for RUFUS, and was unable to download it, I will try it again later. It looks like it may work, I shall see. I will post an answer when I have an answer. Boit3090

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    Thank you mrjimphelps, Unfortunately, my drive is a Western digital hard drive. In the interim, I have done some more investigating of the problem and will document what I have found. Maybe the details below will help someone to further identify my problem.

    I install the drive as a USB device and it shows up as I expect it to. This is how it shows up in win 7 professional with disk management.
    Disk 2 L: (NTFS) Basic MBR 931.51GB. It is a health, active, primary, online. It has one partition.

    Disk 1 is where my C: win7 professional is installed. it has 4 partitions and is working ok.

    If I remove disk 2 from the USB device and install it in my PC as a normal drive, it doesn't show up in "Computer" nor in disk management.

    I suspect that it is not properly entered in the registry and this is an area that I am not familiar with.

    I hope this helps to identify my problem and someone can help me.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boit3090 View Post
    ...If I remove disk 2 from the USB device and install it in my PC as a normal drive, it doesn't show up in "Computer" nor in disk management...
    Are you sure you have connected both the data cable and the power cable to the HDD?

    Does the 500GB HDD spin up when the computer is powered on?
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Thank you Coochin for your reply, You did solve my EBKAC error, the drive had the small cable unplugged, I must have knocked it loose. The symptom has changed somewhat, but the drive is still not seen by my PC. Now, during boot, the drives are listed as follows:
    IDE Channel o Master Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-216d 1.09

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    Coochin, Sorry for the oops, I had a finger check and hit send in the middle of my response to you, To continue, drives are listed as follows:
    IDE Channel 0 Master Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-216d 1.009
    IDE Channel 0 Slave BzBzBzBzB.........
    IDE Channel 1 Master: ST1000DM003-1ER162-CC45

    There is a full line of the BzBz after Channel 0 Slave. Never having seen this before I have no idea what it is telling me.

    After it slowly boots, Drive 2 is still not recognized by the PC.

  9. #9
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    As the disk works externally it should be OK.
    Can you connect the disk to another port on the motherboard?
    Can you connect the disk as the only disk?

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. you should never low level format modern drives, they just don't require that sort of brute force. The method posted is actually just an erase command and definitely won't help with your problem.

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  11. #10
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boit3090 View Post
    ...drives are listed as follows:
    IDE Channel 0 Master Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-216d 1.009
    IDE Channel 0 Slave BzBzBzBzB.........
    IDE Channel 1 Master: ST1000DM003-1ER162-CC45...
    "IDE Channel 0 Slave BzBzBzBzB........." indicates to me that HDD is not being correctly detected by your motherboard's BIOS.

    Clearly that is the 500GB HDD, as the "IDE Channel 1 Master: ST1000DM003-1ER162-CC45" is the 1TB Seagate HDD.

    If the 500GB HDD is a Seagate drive go to the Seagate Support website and check for updated "firmware"; you will need to search for the drive's serial number. Involves downloading an ISO file, burning the ISO to a CD, then booting from the CD preferably with only the affected HDD attached, then following the prompts to upgrade the firmware.

    Otherwise you could look up your motherboard's model number on the manufacturer's Support website to see if a BIOS upgrade is available.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  12. #11
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    Coochin, thanks for the speedy response, It was late last nite and I had been working on this all day, and find that I made a couple of errors.
    1. the drive in question is a WD 1tb drive
    2. The Seagate drive I show as the EIDE Channel 1 Master, is in fact my operating hard drive with Win 7 Professional on it and it is working well.
    3. The failing drive is the EIDE Channel 0 Slave, this is the WD 1tb unit.

    The only way that I can get the drive to show up is as a USB device, and all appears to be as it should be, Using Partition Magic, it shows up as Disk 2, Basic, MBR, 931.51GB.

    Looking at it in windows 7, Disk Management, as a USB attached device, it shows up as Disk 9 Basic, 931.51GB, On Line, Healthy, Active Primary Partition.

    From what I have been able to determine as the cause of the failure, would be that the drive is incorrectly entered in the registry. I don't have the level of expertise required to correct this. I have corrected registry problems in the past if I can find out what to enter and what to delete. I am a self taught, "Learn by failure" type of PC user and as such tend to make a few mistakes. I think that the drove itself is solid and is doing what I told it to do, which is my error.

  13. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Is anything connected to EIDE 0 Master? If not, try changing the drive jumpers to set it to Master rather than slave.


    Jerry

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    jwitalka, thanks for your input, The drive is a SATA device, and so far I have never had to use any jumpers as the cable seems to determine that designation. I did look to see if any reference is made to master and slave in the motherboard documentation, just to be sure. Thanks for your comments as I try to verify everything referenced to me. I do tend to make mistakes myself. Herb

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    Please try the steps in post #9.

    cheers, Paul

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    Unfortunately if the OP has 4 IDE channels the odds are the MB has an old chipset that only supports 2 SATA ports. The OP can try the other port and a different cable but it may not matter if the controller is bad since it probably handles both ports. Of course it is a guess on my part since we do not know the OP's system.

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