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Solved: External hard drive not showing up

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Ulech, Jun 8, 2012.

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  1. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    When I plugged my WD External Hard Drive into my laptop, it asked me to format the disk before using. So I tried to format but failed. Then I used KillDisk to kill it.

    Now whenever I plug the external drive into my laptop or desktop, it is not showing up in My Computer but its light still flashes. Can someone please help me out? How can I make it work again?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. BPCS

    BPCS

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    Try disk management see if it shows up there. From the control panel choose administrative tools, then computer management. When the comp management form opens on the left will be a link for disk management.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Killdisk can be very dangerous. It is meant to "kill" the disk.

    If it doesn't show in Disk Management, try it on another machine and see if you can initialize or partition it.
     
  4. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    It is in Disk Management, and says "Not Initialized". But nothing happens when I click on "Initialize Disk" T^T
    I tried to connect it to my desktop, and it is the same thing.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Some people have not been able to use them again after "wiping". I guess I'll never understand why people do that.

    Try a partitioning program. The bootable one at the bottom would be my first recommendation, but you could also try one that installs in Windows.

    Paragon Partition Manager Express (best for Vista, 7, and 8 partitions to preserve shadow copies, the new partition structure, and the new version of NTFS)
    EaseUS Partition Master
    Partition Wizard Boot CD


    [​IMG]
    Parted Magic disk partitioning, PC repair, and file recovery tool (Bootable CD or USB image)
    If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

    This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. BPCS

    BPCS

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    You might also want to try the manufacturers HDD tools and 'wipe' it before trying to initalize it again. Smetmes funny things work for unknown reasons. If it's showing in disk management I don't see a reason why it shouldn't initialize. I agree with Evandil on the killdisk, don't kill anything for any reason unless you really intend to kill it. There's plenty of functions to clear/erase data from a drive without killing it.
     
  7. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    I'm confused. I thought that I can't do anything with my disk until I initialize it first. I tried Paragon Partition Manager, but again nothing happened.

    Oh also, I missed something in my last reply. When I click on "Initialize Disk", a window pops up asking me which disk to initialize, and then after I choose the disk I want to initialize and click Ok, nothing happens.
     
  8. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    Where do I look for the manufacturers HDD tools?

    I should make it more clear: When I click on "Initialize Disk", a window pops up asking me which disk to initialize, and then after I choose the disk I want to initialize and click Ok, nothing happens.
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You're right. You need an MBR ("initialize") before you can partition. I thought maybe one of the partitioners would do that for you.

    Try using BootIce to write an MBR directly to the drive. Don't worry about making a mistake (though make sure you pick the right drive). It can't get worse than it is now. :D
     
  10. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    So, when I run Bootice, I choose the Destination Disk, and click on Process MBR. Then when another windon pops up, I click on Install/Config. Is this correct?
     

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  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    That's right.

    I don't like that those options appear to be grayed out. It may mean that it won't write to the disk. Try anything you can, even if it seems kind of wild. It can all be undone later if you can get anything at all written to that drive. You don't need any PBR options for that drive.

    If it won't write, see what options are available under "Parts Manage". Try toggling those settings, too (but don't leave the drive hidden, of course).
     
  12. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    After I clicked "Install/Config", a window popped up saying "Successfully changed the MBR of this disk", but, in fact, nothing changed with the disk...It is still not intialized and unallocated.

    Thank you so much for helping me out with this mess.
     
  13. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I'm pretty much out of ideas at this point. The only other thing I can think of is to remove the drive from its case and connect it directly to a SATA connector inside a desktop. That will allow BIOS access to the drive and possibly get around any lock that the USB interface has put on the drive, possibly as a safety measure, "thinking" that the drive is defective or unusable.

    Removing it from the case is no piece of cake, will void any warranty, and you may not be able to put it back together. The drive could still be used, if it works, internally in a PC, however.

    There may be other tools to try, but since it appears that the drive is not allowing any writes, that may prove futile.

    I suppose that you could try another wiping utility, like DBAN or Heidi Eraser, in an ironic attempt to get the drive to accept any type of a write whatsoever.
     
  14. Ulech

    Ulech Thread Starter

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    Thank you so much!!!

    I'll try something else maybe...I realize that there are actually a lot of problems with WD. I have another external hard disk that is Maxtor, and I've been using it for more than 6 yrs now, there is never a problem with it. I only brought the WD one for 2 yrs...
     
  15. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You might try BootIce in Safe Mode. I would just in case Windows is somehow preventing access to the drive. Everything and anything is up for grabs now. :D

    And maybe a Linux-based partitioning tool like the one I linked above (a good tool to have around, anyway).

    I don't think that its the brand of drive that is the problem here. A lot of people lose drives due to wiping. If we find a solution, it will be good for many people.
     
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