View Full Version : Can't see new hard drive with Windows Explorer

30-12-2004, 06:21 PM
I have recently installed a Western Digital 160Gb IDE drive into my 2 1/2 year old Packard Bell Celeron 1.1GHz PC, as a second drive. Using the Computer Management/Disk Management tools in XP Home I initialized, partitioned and formatted it into an extended partition with two logical drives, one of 127Gb (E) and one of 22Gb (F).

The thing is, while I can write data to the drives, they do not show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer, nor can I find them using Search. I can only access them through the Computer Management screen.

Is it possible my PC won't recognise it because of its size? If this is the case, why can't I see the smaller partition?

More importantly, what do I have to do to be able to see the drives in Explorer?

Speedy Gonzales
30-12-2004, 06:35 PM
Is SP1 or SP2 installed? And what format did u format it in? Fat or NTFS??

Try deleting the 2nd hdd in device manager under disk drives, and reboot...

30-12-2004, 06:49 PM
I have SP2, and the drive is formatted in NTFS. Are you suggesting I uninstall the second drive and start again? I just want to be clear on this...

Speedy Gonzales
30-12-2004, 06:55 PM
No. just remove the 2nd hdd's entry in device manager under disk drives.

Then reboot. It should come back again. Then see if it appears in My computer.

30-12-2004, 07:56 PM
Ok, gotcha. I deleted the second hard drive as suggested and yes, it did come back on a reboot. It still doesn't show up under My Computer though.

Speedy Gonzales
30-12-2004, 08:01 PM
Does the BIOS know it exists? Did u configure it in the BIOS as master or slave?? And does the 2nd hdd show when u boot the pc up??

Is the 2nd hdd on IDE1, with the main hard drive or IDE2?? And what else is IDE?? Any CD/DVD installed?

30-12-2004, 08:24 PM
Not all computers are equal.

Check the motherboard will support the drive by disconnecting the master drive and booting with only the WD drive attached.

Confirm the motherboard will support the type of drive - SATA or IDE.

Check that windows will recognise the drive by attempting to install Windows XP onto the WD drive (aborting the installation following partition selection and formating - your choice to continue or not).

Check that windows can be installed - backup critical data and alter the current drive order (master to slave and vice versa) and install Windows.

Confirm with HP if any BIOS or motherboard updates are required.

Confirm with WD if any BIOS or motherboard updates are required.

No matter what happens, there is always someone who knew it would
- Anonymous

30-12-2004, 09:07 PM
Speedy G - I ran auto-detect in BIOS setup and it picked it up as secondary drive on IDE1, but only went up to 139Gb. I have since set it as 'not fitted'. The original drive shows up as master on IDE1. No drives are showing on IDE2 although I have a CD-R/RW fitted.

When I boot the PC, nothing shows up other than the Packard-Bell head-in-profile logo and BIOS/POST choice, which hang around for about 5 seconds then go into the XP boot screen.

Merlin - thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I can't install Windows as I don't have an installation disk. This is one of those pcs with the system hardloaded in a hidden partition accessed from an emergency boot floppy. As for BIOS updates, yes, it has been recommended that it be upgraded as it is over 2 years old. I'm a bit reluctant to do that as I don't have faith in my ability to carry it out without killing the whole machine.

Speedy Gonzales
30-12-2004, 09:41 PM
OK has the BIOS got an LBA option for hdd's?? If so, enable it. or if the BIOS has an option in it so u can enter the CHS (sector info), the info is on the top of the hdd, enter this in. BUT yup the only other thing u can try which might fix it is a BIOS update.

So, was the original hdd and the 2nd hdd on IDE1?? And does the cd burner work?? It wont if the BIOS doesnt detect it.

30-12-2004, 10:10 PM
Are you using TweakUI or any other tweaking program? Most of these progs have an option to hide drive letters, if you have any, look in the settings to see if any drive letters are set to be hidden.

31-12-2004, 03:16 AM
OK has


BUT yup the only other thing u can try which might fix it is a BIOS update.

So, was the original hdd and the 2nd hdd on IDE1?? And does the cd burner work?? It wont if the BIOS doesnt detect it.

Before going to BIOS update check EZ Bios( little utility that fools BIOS about size of drive) buy maxtor and some other equavilents.

Because xp service pack 1/2 have issues with drives over 127 or 132 gb.

Also unless your BIOS has a built in utility for BIOS upgrades, there can be serious problems of upgrade BIOS failure.


Speedy Gonzales
31-12-2004, 09:18 AM
Well its not only SP1 or SP2 that may have a prob reading hdd's over so many GB. The BIOS if its old has to recognise it properly first, in order for XP to read all, or most of it.

31-12-2004, 10:11 AM
Solved by Dak! Opened up TweakUI and ticked appropriate boxes and voila - there the drives be in the appropriate places.

Thanks for everybody who put time in to thinking about this problem.
Have a great New Year, one and all :-)