can't access external hard drive

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  1. Posts : 9,770
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #11

    Hi @3point1 ,

    So your external HDD is not a branded one. You bought an external case/housing and a 750GB WD internal HDD and put that WD 750GB HDD inside that enclosure. Am I right?

    Now, what happened to your Old laptop? I presume it is a HP laptop as given in your computer description. If it is still working, plug your external drive in it, look at it in Windows Disk Management and report what you see. Does it still show Unallocated?

    When you answer these questions, we shall try to investigate whether it is a lost partition problem/corrupted Partition boot record/corrupted MFT and try to set it right.

    Last edited by jumanji; 16 Jul 2020 at 01:20.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 110
    Win 10 ver 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #12

    jumanji said:
    Hi @3point1 ,
    So your external HDD is not a branded one. You bought an external case/housing and a 750GB WD internal HDD and put that WD 750GB HDD inside that enclosure. Am I right?
    Now, what happened to your Old laptop? I presume it is a HP laptop as given in your computer description. If it is still working, plug your external drive in it, look at it in Windows Disk Management and report what you see. Does it still show Unallocated?
    When you answer these questions, we shall try to investigate whether it is a lost partition problem/corrupted Partition boot record/corrupted MFT and try to set it right.
    Well, not exactly. Yes, it is a HDD I harvested from a previous computer and put inside a case - that computer is now long gone. Yes, my old computer was an HP, but I've already disassembled it and harvested its HDD & DVD drive. So while I can't plug in the drive in question I can tell you that I've been using it for three years, and formatted and partitioned it myself with AOEMI. Additionally, two days before purchasing my new laptop, I did a full backup on the ext HDD with no issues, and it has always worked great, unlike other brands. WD has always performed well for me and is my #1 preferred brand.

    A couple more things:
    even tho I can't see the ext HDD in WinExp, I can safely eject it.
    I did rebuild the MBR as noted on the first page of this thread; I would run chkdsk but don't know how to access a drive I can't see from the cmd prompt.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 9,770
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #13

    You cannot run check disk when your drive shows as Unallocated. Check disk can be run only when a volume exists, assigned a drive letter and formatted.

    Was that HDD the system drive in that old HP machine?

    Now here is the task for you.
    Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard Free version 9.1 from here. (Yes, you heard it right - old version 9.1 and not any later version. In later versions Partition Recovery feature is not free)

    MiniTool Partition Wizard Free 11.6 Download for Windows / Old Versions Page 2 / FileHorse.com

    ( I know you use AOMEI but I am conversant with PW and so will stick to it.)

    Please remove all that is plugged into your USB ports,except your keyboard/mouse, plug in only your faulty external drive - we do not want any clutter to remain focussed - , Run Partition Wizard, say NO if it offers a new version, and post a screenshot of how your drives look in it - the very first screen when you launch it.

    On the left Pane click on Partition Recovery Wizard > Next > Select your faulty Drive > Next > Full Disk > Next > QuickScan > Next. Allow the quick scan to complete. At the end of the quickscan you will get a window showing all the found partitions Post a screenshot of it ( only that Window including the preview of the disk in it.). No need of any background).
    Double click on each partition in the list and check whether it shows your files. If it does, then take a screenshot and post.
    After you have taken the screenshots click on Cancel button on that Window and close PW. You can run it again if need be.
    Do it at your leisure. No need to be in a hurry. ( I will go to sleep shortly)
    Last edited by jumanji; 16 Jul 2020 at 09:45.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 110
    Win 10 ver 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #14

    Yes, the HDD was the system drive. I think I've done what you asked. Attached are 3 screenshots, and the last one shows my files are still there, even tho the 2nd one shows the partition was lost/deleted? (my preview shows the screenshots out of order - sorry.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails can't access external hard drive-minitool-part-wiz-1st-ss.png   can't access external hard drive-minitool-part-wiz-2nd-ss-after-quickscan.png   can't access external hard drive-minitool-part-wiz-3rd-ss-files-there.png  
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 9,770
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #15

    OK, everything appears to be fine. One partition is lost. It has to be reinstated.

    Please run Partition Recovery Wizard again. When the Partitions found Window appears, put a tick mark in both the squares of the two partitions (existing as well as the Lost/Deleted). The preview map at the bottom should now show your drive as it was before ( no longer unallocated)

    Click on the "Finish" button. Go to the Top Menu Bar and click on "Apply" at the top left. The partition tables corresponding to the two partitions will be written into sector 0. When the process is completed, assign a drive letter to the second partition and quit Partition Wizard.

    You should now be able to access the drive.

    Please post a screenshot of Windows Disk Management..
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 9,770
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #16

    Please note that you have to assign a drive letter to the second partition to be able to access it. I have edited and included this instruction in my last post.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 110
    Win 10 ver 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #17

    I re-ran PW following the initial instructions, then attempted to put a check mark in both boxes but was unable. I'm attaching a screenshot showing there seems to be some sort of overlap. If I uncheck the main partition box, then both show up as lost/deleted. How to proceed?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails can't access external hard drive-part-wiz-ss4.png  
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 9,770
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #18

    Your last post shows your main partition checked. And the preview map shows that volume. Click on Finish. Is there any pending operation shown in the left panel? If yes, go to the top menu bar and click on Apply. When the process completes assign a drive letter. Reboot your PC. Are you able to access the drive now?
    Last edited by jumanji; 16 Jul 2020 at 22:44.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 110
    Win 10 ver 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #19

    jumanji said:
    Are you able to access the drive now?
    YES!!!

    Thank you!
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 9,770
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #20

    That's great ! Please mark the thread as solved.

    Note: I may have to say that your drive is still not the right way it should be. It got mucked up because you "Rebuilt MBR"?? using AOMEI Partition Assistant. "I installed and ran AOEMI Partition Assistant, and rebuilt the MBR - nothing seemed to happen, " - your post #5. But it did change the start sector of the main partition from 32678 t0 2048

    can't access external hard drive-17-07-2020-10-44-21.jpg

    Please check the integrity of your backups in that drive.. If it is all ok,you should copy all the folders/backups to another drive and then format this drive as an MBR drive after a cleanup. That should clear the mixup. You may then copy all your folders back into this drive if you want.




    Last edited by jumanji; 17 Jul 2020 at 02:24.
      My Computer


 

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