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Files on formatted external hard drive not appearing in Vista

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by roscolo, Feb 8, 2007.

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  1. roscolo

    roscolo Thread Starter

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    Here is the deal. My desktop crashed and needs a reinstall. It doesn't remain stable in safe mode long enough to copy all the data from C drive.

    So I plan to use my laptop (Vista) to copy all the data off of desktop C drive onto another external disk using 2 external enclosures.

    Put the C drive into a SATA external enclosure. All is well. Can see files, etc.

    Plug in a Seagate 320GB hd in another external enclosure previously formatted under XP. Computer assigns drive letter, but when I got to explore the disk, Vista says it needs to be formatted. This disk is definitely formatted and has data on it.

    Why does Vista not see this as a formatted drive? It sees the old desktop C drive just fine.

    Any solutions before I reformat and lose all the data on this external?

    Thanks
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Its possible the drive is faulty or the partition is corrupt. Can you try the drive in, or on, another system?
     
  3. roscolo

    roscolo Thread Starter

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    I have connected the drive to 3 different laptops - 2 running Vista and one running XP. They all "see" the drive and one even assigns a drive letter automatically, but the drive shows up in Disk Management as a 298 GB HD listed as "healthy, primary partition" with file system as "RAW"

    What is bizarre is I formatted and had been using this external HD with no problems for only a few months. It probably had around 80-100 GB of data on it; mostly back-up and stuff I can probably live without, but it would be nice to at least see this data to know for sure. I had assigned it a name (ExternalOne) and it always was quickly recognized as such as a USB device. Now I'm not so sure I want to rely on it. Got it and the external enclosure from NewEgg where both got great reviews. The HD is a Seagate 320GB and the external enclosure is a Venus DS3.
     
  4. roscolo

    roscolo Thread Starter

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    Update: I tried putting the Seagate 320GB HD into another enclosure by another manufacturer and have the same problem so it is not the enclosure.

    What could happen to his HD cause this? It worked fine and then it sat unused for maybe a month or so. Literally wasn't moved or anything.
     
  5. roscolo

    roscolo Thread Starter

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    Also just realized something else. When Windows sees this drive, it says it is 298 GB. This is a 320 GB drive. It only shows up as 298, AFTER it has been formatted, yet Windows tells me it needs to be formatted.

    Something is up, I just don't know what!
     
  6. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    It's a bit unclear. Do all the computers (XP and Vista) see the drive as RAW or just Vista?

    If all the computers see it that way, then likely that is the case. I would repartition and format the drive.
     
  7. roscolo

    roscolo Thread Starter

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    Vista and XP see it that way. Wish I could put it in a desktop and try it, but my only desktop is crashed. I guess I can reformat, but I would still like to get a look at what is on the drive and I hesitate to use this drive again (or any extenal, for that matter) until I understand what may have happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Any ideas?
     
  8. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Without seeing how the drive had been used, it is difficult to guesss at what may have cause it.

    But it is going to get involved trying to get data off a drive that shows as RAW. I recommend having at least two different drives for backups. Anything can fail at any time.
     
  9. roscolo

    roscolo Thread Starter

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    Would you continue to use it? I may wait and add it into my desktop (once that is restored!) and see how it shows up there before I reformat.

    I just find it strange that everything works, the volume shows up as the formatted size, it's just that I can't access any data and the file format shows up as RAW, although I formatted it NTFS.
     
  10. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    I might use it but very cautiously.

    And formatted and healthy and formatted and raw are very different situations.
     
  11. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    I'd test the drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics before using it again.

    Seagate Diagnostics: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...toid=720bd20cacdec010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

    You'll want to test the drive while its connected internally unless your enclosure connects to the computer via SATA as well.

    The size is correct though, the difference in size is due to the manufacturers and the rest of the world using different math.
     
  12. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    So to be clear, it is not so much as the title says - "Files on formatted external hard drive not appearing in Vista", they don't appear on any operating system you've tried. Is that correct. If so then it is not a Vista problem.
     
  13. hayattting

    hayattting

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    hey!

    facing the exact same problem in this part of the world.

    My laptop PATA drive is accessible from another VISTA computer, and 2 xp computers but it wouldnt come up in my own vista laptop.
    In my computer it comes up the same way,
    computer management calls each of its 2 partitions as RAW file systems and does not assign it a drive letter.

    Any body found a solution for it yet
    :eek:
     
  14. henzryz

    henzryz

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    Having same problem, External hdds are read as a RAW partition when connected via USB or E-SATA. Tested it on other computers and working fine.
     
  15. choongi

    choongi

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    I am experiencing the same problem.

    I believe this is some kind of a bug or feature from Windows Vista related to security/owership.

    I noticed that HDD is accessed under safemode.

    It works perfect under winxp pc (i used a 32bit) but on my other 2 vista pcs they all do same thing.

    I also tried connecting the HDD direct to mobo but it does the same thing.
    this might tells that it's got nothing to do with external enclosure.
     
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