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View Full Version : Recognising external hard drives ...



badjer
15-08-2009, 01:40 AM
I've salvaged a bunch of old IDE hard drives from various PCs to use as back up storage. I have a Unitek brand IDE/SATA hard drive adaptor device/cables which lets me connect a hard drive to a PC via a USB port. Mostly, this works brilliantly, just like connecting a conventional external hard drive but I have several drives that none of my three PCs (running either Windows XP or Vista) can see or actively recognise, in Windows Explorer, My Computer or even in Diskmgmt.msc run through <Start/Run>. Two of the drives DO trigger the standard Windows audible response (two musical notes) when plugged in, but NOTHING shows up in Windows Explorer etc. I've tried every possible jumper combination on the hard drives (master, slave, cable select and none) but still no response. These drives ARE OK (I've tested them in other PCs as masters and slaves, and they work fine) but now I'm baffled - can anyone help me, or tell me where to go for an effective solution?

Speedy Gonzales
15-08-2009, 01:59 AM
So none of them appear in Disk management as unallocated??

Does the BIOS see them? Does the system support USB devices / booting from USB devices? Is SP1+ installed on the XP PC's?? Whats the brand/model of the mobo?

badjer
15-08-2009, 02:08 AM
Thanks for suggesting checking the BIOS - I'll do that and come back here ...

Blam
15-08-2009, 02:14 AM
I would do a hard disk scan on 'em.

Sounds like the computer is recognising the USB interface but not the actual HD....

badjer
15-08-2009, 02:22 AM
What do you mean by "a hard disk scan" - what program or utility (a utility within the operating system?) The point is, the hard drive is NOT recognised by ANY OS utility or third party program ... so NOTHING can be initiated, even at the DOS level (as far as I can tell) because the disk(s) are NOT "seen" (Other than how I detailed in my first posting ... )

Blam
15-08-2009, 02:26 AM
Seatools. WD Lifeguard etc etc.

Your HD manufacturers disk checking software.

If that doesn't see it either then its dead. Does the BIOS see it?

badjer
15-08-2009, 02:40 AM
Thanks - I'll try Seatools and WD Lifeguard ... appreciate that ... and I'll get back to this forum with results tomorrow.

badjer
15-08-2009, 08:11 PM
Hey Blam6 - you're right - the computer is recognising the USB interface, but not the drives. I downloaded Lifeguard (haven't tried Seatools yet) and ran it - still no help. The program sees the drive, recognises that it's connected via USB, appears to go through the motions of partitioning or formatting, but nothing changes - the drive is still not recognised. Does it make any difference to be formatted as NTFS or FAT? (And the drives are definitely OK - I tried them again in a spare desktop I have ...

Any more ideas?

Sweep
15-08-2009, 08:19 PM
Are any of these drives picked up in the BIOS which you were asked earlier?

Are you having trouble answering questions?

I take it that all drives work in the spare desktop then but not the other desktop. Is that right?

pctek
15-08-2009, 08:31 PM
bunch of old IDE hard drives. I have a Unitek brand IDE/SATA hard drive adaptor device/cables


NOTHING shows up in Windows Explorer etc. I've tried every possible jumper combination on the hard drives (master, slave, cable select ?

It must be master.

Generally if you have them connected properly, nothing loose or skewed, it means the drive is dodgy.
Run the manufacturers diagnostics on them (connected internally) and that will show it.