Welcome guest. Before posting on our computer help forum, you must register. Click here it's easy and free.

Author Topic: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters  (Read 31386 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

J Guy



    Rookie

    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #15 on: July 08, 2008, 12:36:10 PM »
    Hi, I recently experienced the same issue when my Dell Dimension died.  The two drives were working fine and I believe they are still OK except no other PC can assign a letter to them  They show up when first connected as new USB devices, and they show up in Device Manager.  However, it is my suspicion that there is something in the drive index (boot record) that prevents another PC from addressing it properly.  Here is the solution that worked for me:  Download the free Data Recovery demo from www.GetDataBack.com.  It will scan the disk and you will see if indeed there are recoverable files.  From there you decide if it's worth $60 bucks to copy these files to another drive.  It worked for me, it was easy and well Worth the $60 bucks in time savings alone.  I'm still looking for an explanation as to why another PC can not assign a drive letter to these drives.  I do not want to repartition these drives and loose the data.  Good luck and let us know your decision and success!

    ChrisXPPro

      Topic Starter


      Adviser

    • Forever Learning
    • Thanked: 4
      • ACB Systems
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Experienced
    • OS: Windows XP
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #16 on: July 08, 2008, 04:06:07 PM »
    J Guy ...... so I am not alone!  Thx for responding.

    You approach is certainly well worth considering altho I don't want to be spending to get at the data.  Could be tho my only option.  I will give feedback if I go that route and succeed.
    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

    ChrisXPPro

      Topic Starter


      Adviser

    • Forever Learning
    • Thanked: 4
      • ACB Systems
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Experienced
    • OS: Windows XP
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #17 on: July 08, 2008, 06:58:34 PM »
    J Guy - got the trial GetDataBack - and tried it - using Lenovo backup machine.

    First observation was it was slow - really slow.  It came up with a boatload of errors but could have been because I had made a small FAT partition on this one HDD.  That aside - it looked like it was gonna take a whole 24 hours to get anywhere and as storms are coming in I may need to shut down over night - for safety. 

    BTW - I stopped process soon afer sector 1,000,000 - and total was in excess of 350,000,000 - so long time needed - probably treating drive as one partition - instead of the three or four it should show..

    I am thinking more and more this could be a lost cause, tho not given up entirely.

    Before my old machine was abandoned I was getting extreme and seemingly unstoppable HDD activity which was compromizing CPU - sucking up all resources nearly.  Despite a virus scan coming up negative, it had seemed there was some process (I could not identify) that was screwing things up.  One system restore seemed to help for an hour or so then it was back to trouble.

    Whether HDD controller had gone crazy I am not sure but anyways - it was taking for ever to acomplish even smallest task.  Same in safe mode too.  That PC had had well over 3 years hard work.

    Thx again for your suggestion.
    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

    BC_Programmer


      Mastermind
    • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
    • Thanked: 1104
      • Yes
      • Yes
      • BC-Programming.com
    • Certifications: List
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Beginner
    • OS: Windows 8
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #18 on: July 09, 2008, 04:35:01 AM »
    can you get a screenshot of the disk management screen?
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

    ChrisXPPro

      Topic Starter


      Adviser

    • Forever Learning
    • Thanked: 4
      • ACB Systems
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Experienced
    • OS: Windows XP
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #19 on: July 09, 2008, 09:49:30 AM »
    Disk management - here we go. 

    I have resized because original rather large but - download the full size version if need be. 

    The disks do not appear well ordered in the top text area but the top one is this problem drive in the enclosure - showing apparently as one of the partitions - and yet you'll see that in the graphic section below, it shows as the Disk 8, at full size and no partitions - complete with its old label.  No drive letter of course!

    I left the card reader and 2 USB flash sticks in place as this is the typical set up and what usually gives no problems with any other external drive - including most old (ex PC) internal HDD's in the enclosure.  Not sure if this will give any useful extra info but it is what I had described earlier.

    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

    BC_Programmer


      Mastermind
    • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
    • Thanked: 1104
      • Yes
      • Yes
      • BC-Programming.com
    • Certifications: List
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Beginner
    • OS: Windows 8
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #20 on: July 09, 2008, 04:03:08 PM »
    oh this should be a simple fix actually- have you tried right-clicking and selecting "change Drive letter & paths"?

    then give it a drive letter.

    It's already a partition- otherwise  it wouldn't say "healthy" but rather "unallocated"...


    I can't remember if you had already said that the "change drive letter and paths" option was unavailable, which would be very strange.

    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

    ChrisXPPro

      Topic Starter


      Adviser

    • Forever Learning
    • Thanked: 4
      • ACB Systems
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Experienced
    • OS: Windows XP
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #21 on: July 09, 2008, 04:51:14 PM »
    Indeed - the real puzzle is that right click context menu is all greyed out except to delete partition and help!!!  Yes - it is strange!  I had hoped early on that would have been my fix.

    This has been constant all the time.

    Notice tho how it appears in the text at top of pic and graphic below - that too is odd IMO - declared differently for size.
    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

    BC_Programmer


      Mastermind
    • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
    • Thanked: 1104
      • Yes
      • Yes
      • BC-Programming.com
    • Certifications: List
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Beginner
    • OS: Windows 8
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #22 on: July 09, 2008, 05:02:45 PM »
    hmm- also the red icon in the upper list is disconcerting. You don't happen to have it it jumpered to the "cylinder reduction" setting, would you?
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

    ChrisXPPro

      Topic Starter


      Adviser

    • Forever Learning
    • Thanked: 4
      • ACB Systems
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Experienced
    • OS: Windows XP
    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #23 on: July 09, 2008, 05:07:25 PM »
    That icon color is due to my ''selected'' color choice in my own (pretty much Win2k personalized) display theme - any other drive icon if selected would look the same.  Not significant.

    Re that right click - here's proof!!


    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

    truenorth



      Guru

      Thanked: 253
      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #24 on: July 09, 2008, 05:53:26 PM »
      ChrisXPPro,I have continuously been lurking in the weeds hoping to see a resolution to your problem We certainly have much new blood in on the issue and I'm sure we all would like to get this solved.I have reread all the posts and i believe i notice something.I don't believe you have tried to access either of these problem HDD's as an internal in your HP.I know it won't resolve the external case aspect but it might allow you to get at the data you want. Then you could do a reformat and perhaps then (without concern for the data) get on with setting them up as fresh ,clean drives and perhaps at least you could again use them. Comments?truenorth

      ChrisXPPro

        Topic Starter


        Adviser

      • Forever Learning
      • Thanked: 4
        • ACB Systems
      • Computer: Specs
      • Experience: Experienced
      • OS: Windows XP
      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #25 on: July 09, 2008, 08:45:43 PM »
      truenorth - thx for the suggestion ... I had considered this option but unfortunately both the Lenovo and HP mobo's are for SATA drives - and these drives are EIDE ATA - so, the ribbon cable hook up, as well as the different power plugs ..... so can't see that I can hook them up, altho I think the PSU wiring harness does make provision from the power plug POV.

      I may have (somewhere) one of my oldest machines that I could try this on, unless there is some way to put these in an SATA environment.  Not something I have any ideas on as SATA has been relatively new to me.
      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

      BC_Programmer


        Mastermind
      • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
      • Thanked: 1104
        • Yes
        • Yes
        • BC-Programming.com
      • Certifications: List
      • Computer: Specs
      • Experience: Beginner
      • OS: Windows 8
      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #26 on: July 10, 2008, 09:14:15 AM »
      well, they have SATA->PATA converters and vice versa, also PCI EIDE cards.

      I suggest you go with truenorth's advice, see if the problem still exists when installed internally (into a machine of some kind)
      I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

      ChrisXPPro

        Topic Starter


        Adviser

      • Forever Learning
      • Thanked: 4
        • ACB Systems
      • Computer: Specs
      • Experience: Experienced
      • OS: Windows XP
      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #27 on: July 10, 2008, 11:48:30 AM »
      BC - yes, this does sound like way to go. 

      I was thinking there must be adaptors but had not explored that.  Could be a PCI card for EIDE could be worth pursuing - I have spare slots in my Lenovo and only one HDD installed so - I could try in that.

      Chances are this will take a while to implement so - the thread may well go quiet a while but if I get to trying this and have any success I will be sure to report back.

      My thanks to all who have chimed in - it has been useful.
      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

      ChrisXPPro

        Topic Starter


        Adviser

      • Forever Learning
      • Thanked: 4
        • ACB Systems
      • Computer: Specs
      • Experience: Experienced
      • OS: Windows XP
      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #28 on: July 14, 2008, 07:33:26 PM »
      Update,

      I think I am screwed!!  When I got to it and was looking around for methods to connect these HDD's - adaptor etc - I fortunately took a close peek at the Lenovo mobo - and noticed that while the main internal HDD was SATA - lo and behold, the DVD rom was setup on EIDE - and there was a spare slot.

      So - hooked up what was the second old drive as slave and, Windows ''saw'' it and seemingly accepted it when it booted but - guess what?  Yep - same old deal - no drive letter or letters.

      Once more - disk management showed pictorially the full drive (as basic healthy) and in the text area - just showed what was one of the partitions.  No right click context menu option for ascribing drive letter!!!

      Outa interest I opend O&O Defrag Pro - but no evidence of the drive being there at all.  Looked in Device manger - once more it was like when I hooked up from enclosure via USB - it showed - shown as working, but ... that didn't help!

      Not sure what else I might be missing but does seem I have exhausted options?
      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

      truenorth



        Guru

        Thanked: 253
        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
        « Reply #29 on: July 15, 2008, 10:40:37 AM »
        ChrisXPPro,I feel the pain and also running out of suggestions. However i was searching the web on your problem and came across the following site that might present another option (software).I cannot offer any comment on the software or it's efficacy as i knew nothing of it until i came across it.Check it out. You might want to try a contact with them also and either direct them to the CH forum post (and responces) on the problem or detail it by including the whole thread and see if they can  suggest something.goodluck,truenorth