Have you "lost" a hard drive or partition in your computer?

This article has been updated. Please click here to view the updated article.

This article has been updated. Please click here to view the updated article.

If there is a (hidden) recovery partition on the drive you should start a thread asking for advice before trying TestDisk.

The situation with a “lost” hard drive typically arises after Windows has been reinstalled or when a slave/external drive is moved to another computer.
If the drive/partition shows up in Device Manager and Disk management, but not in “My Computer”, chances are that it is “only” the partition table that is missing or corrupt.

You can use a freeware program called TestDisk to repair the partition table and get access to your data again.
TestDisk will not change or delete any of your data if you follow the instructions below.

This guide is written for Windows, but you can use TestDisk with Linux and Mac as well.

Try this to repair the partition table:

Download the Windows version of TestDisk.
Unzip the downloaded file to your C: drive.
Open C:\testdisk-6.9\win > double click the testdisk_win icon.

The program runs in a command window and doesn’t have to be installed.

Each of the steps (A, B, C etc) below corresponds to a new TestDisk window.
Use the keyboard’s arrow keys to navigate.

A. At the first window, select No Log and press the <Enter> key.

B. Select which drive to analyse, choose Proceed and <Enter>.

C. Select partition type – Intel if it’s a PC then <Enter>.

D. Select Analyse then <Enter>. The drive will be analysed.

E. Select Quick Search at the next screen, then <Enter>.

F. Press Y if the partitions were created under VistaN if not.

G. TestDisk should say Structure OK. If so, press <Enter>.

H. Select Write and press <Enter>.

I. Press Y to confirm.

J. Press <Enter>.

Close TestDisk and RESTART the computer.
The drive/partition should now be fixed and your data available again.

If the drive still won’t work after the steps described above – have a look here: [SOLVED] External HD not formatted all of a sudden