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Old 03-11-2005, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
sob
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Slightly related to external hard drives

I hope this question makes sense.

I'm running an HP 3.2 GHz with a gig of memory, and WinXP SP2. I also have one of those convenient enclosures that has four memory card slots and holds a hard drive, which connects to the computer via USB 2.0.

The computer's hard drive is a SATA 200 gig. I've got 5 or 6 old IDE hard drives lying around that I occasionally used on an older computer. I originally used them as full drive backups, so I wouldn't have to fool with reinstalling all of my programs in case of a crash. Later, I installed an OS on them and used them to test software that contains adware, or new programs. I used a slide-in mount so nothing could contaminate my everyday drive.

Anyway, I'd like to be able to boot from the USB hard drive on occasion, in order to make sure I don't mess up the current HD. On my last computer, as I said, I'd installed a slide-in hard drive bay. Worked fine. On this HP, they've made sure you can't do that easily. Thus, the attempt to do it via a USB connection.

The point I'm laboring toward is that on only one of these old drives, my computer finds it via USB, even asks if I want to boot from it, but it does not show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer when I have it connected, but boot from the regular HD. I am unable to access files on the USB HD like I can with my other drives. (It worked fine on my old computer, which is now in my garage with a fried motherboard. It was not in the computer when the motherboard died.)

When I "safely remove hardware" it shows up as "USB mass storage device." I finally got pissed off and connected it as a master drive on another channel. Same result--the computer knows its there, but it doesn't show up in My Computer, and I can't access its files.

Does anyone have any idea why a properly formatted, non-erased drive would not want to give up the goods? It's NTFS from Win2000, non-encrypted, non-compressed.

My apologies if this is rambling and/or unclear.
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The drives that don't show up... How are they partitioned? How do they appear to Disk Management? Basic or dynamic?
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you tried those drives in another computer?
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
The drives that don't show up... How are they partitioned? How do they appear to Disk Management? Basic or dynamic?
One big partition. They vary in size--the ones that work are from 6-200 gig.

The one that doesn't work (that has things I want) is 15 gig.

Basic.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay, if the partitions show up in disk management you're probably okay. What is the status?
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin
Have you tried those drives in another computer?

Yes, and unfortunately, with no luck.
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Okay, if the partitions show up in disk management you're probably okay. What is the status?
Healthy (active).

Also online, and it finds the entire capacity of the drive as the primary partition.

However, when I right-click, open and explore are "grayed out." It also says % free is 40, which implies that it knows files are there.

Last edited by sob; 03-12-2005 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 03-12-2005, 07:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Morning. (gack) Looking for my coffee...

I assume it hasn't assigned a drive letter yet, even after Rescan Disks? Is Change Drive Letter and Paths available?

This is the kind of thing usually associated with dynamic disks.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Morning. (gack) Looking for my coffee...

I assume it hasn't assigned a drive letter yet, even after Rescan Disks? Is Change Drive Letter and Paths available?

This is the kind of thing usually associated with dynamic disks.
Coffee is a good idea about now. I put on some Gin Blossoms to adrenalize.

Rescan disks made no difference, except the LED for the problem drive blinked a couple of times. And no, there is no drive letter assigned. It's called "Disk 5." Disk 0 being the boot drive, and Disks 1-4 being the card readers on its enclosure.

Change Drive Letter and Paths is not available for this drive. The only task under "action" not grayed out is "delete partition." I briefly considered it but wasn't quite pissed enough to do it yet.

Thanks for all of the attention.

Last edited by sob; 03-12-2005 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry, early Saturday nap...

Something about the partition table, or possibly how it's being presented via USB isn't working. You said you connected this drive directly via IDE though, right?

I don't know what tools you have. Can you give a diskpart dump? i.e. run cmd and...
c:\>diskpart
diskpart> list volume
diskpart> select volume (insert number of volume)
diskpart> detail partition

Luckily the drive is small. Worst case you can use non-destructive recovery software like <a href="http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm">getdataback</a> to scan & copy to your other drive. Seems like overkill at this point though. Let's see if anything jumps out from the partition info & go from there.
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Old 03-12-2005, 04:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Sorry, early Saturday nap...

Something about the partition table, or possibly how it's being presented via USB isn't working. You said you connected this drive directly via IDE though, right?

I don't know what tools you have. Can you give a diskpart dump? i.e. run cmd and...
c:\>diskpart
diskpart> list volume
diskpart> select volume (insert number of volume)
diskpart> detail partition
Well, although I didn't really know what I was doing, I did it.



Does the "hidden" have anything to do with it?
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Uh, it's hidden. Remember playing with any boot/partition managers?

I'd suggest knoppix or ultimatebootcd (both have loads of tools) but <a href="http://mbrwizard.tripod.com/">MBRWiz</a> is smaller.

1) <a href="http://mbrwizard.tripod.com/MBRWiz.zip">Download MBRWizard</a>
2) Extract somewhere
3) run cmd, and cd to the folder from step 2.
4) still in cmd, "mbrwiz /list"
5) still in cmd, "mbrwiz /unhide=(partition number from last step)
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Uh, it's hidden. Remember playing with any boot/partition managers?

I'd suggest knoppix or ultimatebootcd (both have loads of tools) but <a href="http://mbrwizard.tripod.com/">MBRWiz</a> is smaller.

1) <a href="http://mbrwizard.tripod.com/MBRWiz.zip">Download MBRWizard</a>
2) Extract somewhere
3) run cmd, and cd to the folder from step 2.
4) still in cmd, "mbrwiz /list"
5) still in cmd, "mbrwiz /unhide=(partition number from last step)
Yeah, I was Googling a little, and found another guy who'd had this problem. It's because I've got Roxio Goback on this drive.

Thanks, and I'll work a little and let you know how things turn out.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Uh, it's hidden. Remember playing with any boot/partition managers?

I'd suggest knoppix or ultimatebootcd (both have loads of tools) but <a href="http://mbrwizard.tripod.com/">MBRWiz</a> is smaller.

1) <a href="http://mbrwizard.tripod.com/MBRWiz.zip">Download MBRWizard</a>
2) Extract somewhere
3) run cmd, and cd to the folder from step 2.
4) still in cmd, "mbrwiz /list"
5) still in cmd, "mbrwiz /unhide=(partition number from last step)
Life is not good right now. MBRWiz /list did not show the hidden drive.

After a great deal of time, I created the ultimatebootcd for windows. It boots, and appears to be working, but its first message says,

'startnet.cmd' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file.

x: \i386\system32 >




So then I decided to connect it internally, instead of via USB. MBRWiz then found it, like this:

<img src=http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0RgDrAnQVPP1GTqdBDa4QjGtoOHRQwwJ6eRa8mXZ7etigPUUQ7!B3d9JG5I1lJ2Z7xXau7zfezIFuOdtTRKImSQTDPTGsi5UFuThKJ5eFbac/mbr.JPG?dc=4675513750339783191></img>

Unhide didn't seem to do anything, maybe because MBRWiz doesn't think it's hidden. And the drive still doesn't show up anywhere, although it looks like it always did in disk management.

I was able to access the disk using the Windows recovery console. I also found on the web that Goback installs into the MBR, and that's the problem. Since my circumstances were unusual (fried motherboard) I'm unable to uninstall it.

There IS a command called "fixMBR" but I was somewhat afraid of it, since I have no experience using it.

Oddly enough, diskpart now looks like this:

<img src=http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0TADrAscXkKd5QSQMwEpXqSa5A5VydNFoNlTV0WEJ!63TMyP2a!jhfqcADUh9qxfGBMcY45bm6J0u3MvqNDt3Sj89Rv*5hBFVu6mSFlBPJqjCnzJ6isQKlQ/diskpart2.JPG?dc=4675513755228410411></img>

When you get sick of this (if you're not already), let me know.

I could e-mail the guy who wrote MBRWiz and let you off the hook if you want.

Last edited by sob; 03-12-2005 at 09:51 PM..
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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sob, there are a few ways to hide partitions. It can be just an honor system partition type, or redefining start/end, or other nefarious captain crunch decoder ring tricks so utils can't get to files. I never used that turkey (goback) but do remember it causing lots of headaches for people. I tend to be very careful of allowing anything unnatural under my filesystems except tried & true boot managers with source code.

We could keep playing remote control & try things, (I started writing a testdisk answer) but messing with an MBR/MFT this way can be dangerous. It's easy to make a typo or misunderstanding and munge it completely. If someone here knows a proven goback unhide fix then go for it. Otherwise I'd download the ntfs version of <a href="http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm">getdataback</a>, grab all your files, and once you're sure everything is safe just blow away the drive & start fresh. It's a very good recovery program with a 30day eval. Should be fairly self explanatory but feel free to ask.

Edit: Oh, if it's still connected internally then leave it for now. The recovery scans will go much more quickly vs. USlowB.

Last edited by cyrnel; 03-13-2005 at 09:49 AM..
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