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Thread: Disappearing HD

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    Disappearing HD

    I have a Western Digital 15 GB drive on its last legs. Of course " ALL" my work was on it <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>. (I do have one backup a few months old.) As a C: drive, the BIOS saw it, but WinXP did not. Same when I swapped it to D:, with a new installed WinXP on a new drive. I could find it in Disk Manager (Unknown Disk 1, not Initialized), but not in Windows Exlporer.
    The only way I ended up accessing it was to install the new 30GB (Maxtor) drive as C:, and install Win XP Pro onto that. Only after the final installation boot-up could I see the failing WDC drive as D:. (I set the jumpers to make this on a slave to the 30GB master.) I took this opportunity to drag my settings and My Documents to the new drive.
    Now, when I re-booted this morning, the (old) D: drive is once again "invisible". Any ideas on how to get to the old drive one more time?

    I have followed DocWatson's woes and sympathize. My old drive was a refurb (last one I'll buy!) with a factory date of 13 May, 2002, and no Western Digital warranty.

    Errol

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Errol,
    Have you tried to replace the drivers for the WD? Also, have you tried to move the WD to the secondary IDE as a master? Some of the older WD HD's were very picky about being slaves to another brand HD. I found this out the hard way. (no pun intended)

    Bob
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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Bob,
    I disconnected the CD drives, jumpered the WDC drive to Master, and hooked it into IDE2. BIOS wouldn't recognize it. (The mobo is only a few months old. Built a new PC, but kept my old drive as C: <img src=/S/bingo.gif border=0 alt=bingo width=15 height=22> )

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Errol, I would return the drive for an exchange. You've eliminated the mobo and cables as a possibility, which leads me to believe you got a lemon when you bought the drive. Not exceptionally common, but not unusual either.
    -Mark

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Mark,
    Western Digital says there's no warranty left on this one (less than a year since it was refurbished). As soon as I salvage a few more files from it I'm tossing it. (Or I might use it to level one of the legs of our picnic table.) All I'm looking for is a temporary rig to grab a few more files. I got the important stuff (my LIFE) off last night.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Errol,
    I'm not quite sure by your post. Are you at least able to salvage the files you needed now? <img src=/S/electric.gif border=0 alt=electric width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Bob,
    I got most of "My Documents" , and a few other things <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16> , but just like moving your house, there's always one or two more goodies you'd rather not leave behind.

    So, "just one more time", I'd like to access the old drive to look for and grab a few more files.

    Errol

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Hey Errol,
    I feel for ya man !! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

    One thought on this.... FWIW, have you tried DOS ?? It's just a shot in the dark and I don't know what the DOS command would be to copy D to C even if it's there, but the first step would be to go to the command prompt and type D: and see if the drive is recognized. I never worked with any OS before Windows 95 so DOS is still a major mystery to me, but it seems to be what the tech people go to when all else fails.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Doc,
    Now I join the ranks of those who no longer just pay lip service to "Back up your work!" Fortunately I did get the core of my document files.

    As for DOS, I considered that, but now with WinXP I have NTFS file system, not FAT32. Would DOS work with NTFS? I did try WinXP in "DOS screen" style, but the D: drive was still invisible.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    As for DOS operation, I did start up with a W98 disk. Other than A:>, C: and D: were "Invalid drive specifications". So much for that.
    <img src=/S/brickwall.gif border=0 alt=brickwall width=25 height=15>
    It still bugs me that the WD drive shows up in several Device Manager controls, but NOT in Windows Explorer.

    Thanks to all for the advice. I'm still open to other ideas to crack the disk open in WinXP.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    I know it's a long shot but have you tried running it as a Secondary Slave and then make sure you go into Bios and have it do a search for the Drive. The last time when you set it up as a Secondary Master did you have Bios do a search? You know highlight the drive in BIOS and push enter.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    If you know the drive is failing, don't fight the fates, they will win and waste your time.
    Replace the drive with a new drive.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    DOS won't work with NTFS.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Device Manager shows physical drives, so the BIOS is recognizing the drive.

    Windoze recognizes logical drives, so the problem is likely a flakey partition table or a file system structure on the drive.
    Boot to your new C drive and see if you can run a full scandisk on the old drive.
    As I mentioned to DocHoliday, ooops, I mean Doc Watson, run the diagnostics from WD, those from Hitachi and, if you have it, Norton Utilities Disk Doctor.

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    Re: Disappearing HD

    Another story, but I needed to RMA the case (when it rains... Power Supply on a new case stopped) The recent advice will have to wait a few weeks. But I believe in filling in my results to save others time, so I'll be back.

    Cowboy's longshot: I'll try slave on IDE2. The Secondary Master approach was a dud.

    I know DOS (FAT32) and NTFS don't talk to each other, but, hey, it was worth a try, yaknow?

    Thanks Howard for your 2

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