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Internal extra hard drive is suddenly missing

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Old 03-04-2010, 08:58 AM   #1
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I have an external hard drive which sits on the floor and is working fine.
I also have 2 internal hard drives. The primary 'C' and an extra hard drive that has been called 'E'. Up until three days ago all was fine, now suddenly the icon is missing, & there is no mention of it 'my computer'. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.
I'm using Winxp (home edition) & service pack 3.
The day before the disappearance,the icon on my desktop that led to 'extra hard drive E' started showing a '?' on it. Before I resort to calling Microsoft for $49.00 and talk to someone in India that I can't understand, I thought I'd ask my question here.
Thanks,
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:02 AM   #2
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check you can see it listed in the bios

if not

check the data cable is secure

try a new data cable



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Old 03-04-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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I'm not completely computer illiterate but, having said that... I have NO idea of what a BIOS is, and how to check it. Sorry.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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At boot up, while the system, is posting, you see either the MoBo logo, or the post statistics where it lists drives. You should see a text prompt that says "press <keyname. to enter setup" The keyname will usually be Del, F2,F10 etc depending on the version of BIOS you have. When you enter setup, on the main setup screen you should see the drives listed. See if the disk is listed correctly by manufacturer and capacity.
If it is seen in BIOS then check in disk management ( right click my computer -> manage -> disk management and see if it is shown there.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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Okay, drive E is NOT listed when I right click on 'my computer'. When I hit the 'del' button I got into the 'setup' like you said.
I'm not sure what to look for after I got into the 'setup' part. I will tell you what it said though.

Legacy Diskette A 1.44
Legacy Diskette B [none]

Primary Master [auto] ( later it changed to this) [WDC WD1200JB -00EVA0]
Primary Slave [auto] (changed to this) []
Secondary Master [auto] (then it said) [TSST corp CD/DVD SH- 5162]
Secondary Slave [auto] (then it changed to:) [Lite-on LTR-40125S]

this is probably way too much information, but since I don't know what it is you're looking for....
I'm starting to get worried this is going to be an expensive problem.
When someone told me to check the 'data cables' do I have to open the back of the computer and check them there?
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:13 PM   #6
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Yes, and you will alos need to identify which disk is which, and make sure both are spinning. Looks like they are IDE drives and only one is being found. Are these two separate hard drives, or is it one physical drive with two partitions?
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
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I don't know about partitioning. I originally just had the one hard drive 'C' then added another one years later. If it needed to be formatted, I personally never did that. I just don't know why it suddenly quit, unless it has failed all together. I will however open up the back and make sure all the cables are tight. If the hard drive has failed, can I still get the info that was on it back?
And does the fact that I had just updated Adobe have anything to do with this? Or is that just a coincidence with the timing of all of this? Thanks
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:40 PM   #8
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coincidence

if you saw the drive in windows yo must have formatted it or windows would never have seen it

you may be able to salvage some data from a failed drive

if you get it seen by the bios

d/load and run the h/drive makers diagnostic utility on the h/drive

https://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287



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Old 03-06-2010, 12:11 PM   #9
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I was just sitting here at my computer when suddenly the icon that says 'external drive K' starts to show a red question mark. When I click on it, it tells me 'the drive or network connection that this shortcut refers to is unavailable. Make sure the disk is properly inserted or the network resource is available'. What's going on? Could I have some sort of virus? I have multiple programs running for anti spyware and Norton for antivirus. Just before this, I opened up the back and blew it out, checking to make sure everything was tight and plugged in. I didn't see anything that would cause a red flag.
Could me doing that cause this? I'm at a loss.
Thanks
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Was the system powered off when you were inside? Is the external plugged into a front panel USB or back panel, if front panel, make sure you didn't knock one of the USB leads loose from the mobo...
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #11
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You were right I didn't reconnect that particular usb cable. I nearly had a stroke thinking that my whole system is going belly-up. Okay, but I still have the 'extra drive E' that is missing. thanks
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:58 AM   #12
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Try the diagnostics as dai suggested above...
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