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My hard-drive is not showing in Windows Explorer

This is a discussion on My hard-drive is not showing in Windows Explorer within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello everybody and thank you for taking your time to check out this thread I recently bought a new laptop


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Old 01-03-2018, 07:24 AM   #1
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Hello everybody and thank you for taking your time to check out this thread

I recently bought a new laptop for college and I'm having difficulty with connecting an external WD My Passport 1tb hard drive to the computer.


I should say that I used to be a computer technician and so I'm decently computer savvy, I just can't figure this one out. I've also been using the same cable and hard drive on multiple other computers and have had absolutely no problems.

Here's what I've done so far:

At first go I plugged in my Portable HDD without giving thought that it wouldn't work into a USB 3.0 Port, at first glance I saw the lights come on on the outside of the hard drive and it was spinning up. However after waiting for about a minute I noticed I wasn't getting the "What should we do with this hard drive" prompt. So that's when I decided to go open Windows Explorer and I saw nothing in My PC.

So I opened Device Manager and I saw the infamous yellow icon, so I slapped update driver and windows pulled the driver from the internet and downloaded and installed it. Now no longer is there the icon but I still have the same problem.
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ID:	317858

So I opened disk management and I see that the computer sees that there's something there, in fact I'll put a picture here of what I see.
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Name:	Disk Management.PNG
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ID:	317842

So then I think well maybe I need to manually assign the drive a letter so I open up cmd and type in diskpart, then when that opens up I wrote list volume, but I don't even see my external hdd volume to assign it a letter.
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Name:	List Volume.PNG
Views:	15
Size:	19.4 KB
ID:	317850

So now I don't really know what to do at this point. Any suggestions or help would be highly appreciated thank you so much!
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:36 AM   #2
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Disk Management is reporting a total capacity of 1386.25 GiB (= 1488 GB). That's not a standard capacity. I suspect that the MBR is corrupt.

Could we see the Partitions window in DMDE?

https://dmde.com/‎
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:42 PM   #3
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Okay thanks for the reply, I downloaded the program and this is the results that I got, it seems that I am in fact able to read the hard drive and even the partitions all look sound. Unfortunately windows still doesn't read the drive at all.
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Name:	Dmde.PNG
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ID:	317930

Here the program is even shown being capable of reading the contents.

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Name:	DMDE2.PNG
Views:	8
Size:	122.8 KB
ID:	317938

Thank you for your help :)
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:18 PM   #4
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ISTM that the external drive has been configured as a "super floppy".

A hard drive normally has a partition table in sector 0. This table identifies one or more partitions on the drive. Each partition is then formatted as a logical volume (eg NTFS, FAT32). Each volume begins with its own boot sector. Typically this boot sector is located at physical sector 2048 or 63. In your case there appears to be no partition table. Instead there is a single NTFS volume with a boot sector at physical sector 0. That's how a floppy is formatted.

Could you show us the contents of sector 0?
  • Mode -> Hexadecimal/Text
    Editor -> Goto offset -> sector 0
    drag your cursor over the contents of LBA 0
    Edit -> Copy
    then paste clipboard into your next post (Ctrl-V)
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:42 PM   #5
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When I open the mode section on the program I don't see the hexadecimal part that you're mentioning.

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Name:	DMDE Mode.PNG
Views:	7
Size:	69.8 KB
ID:	317946
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:55 PM   #6
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You need to exit out of the Partitions window and back to the main menu.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
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Update! It works all of a sudden.

Well I was about to leave Starbucks but I sat around because I noticed that windows 10 was doing a big fall update.

Which took about 90 minutes to finish up, after it was all finished, I just thought what the heck I'll plug in the Hard Drive. And alas! It works, I don't know why it works. But all I can say is how much I appreciate the time you took to help me out, and troubleshoot through all the things, I think the cool part about it is that I'm still learning new things whenever something on my PC doesn't work.

So anyways thanks for helping me out man :D
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:40 PM   #8
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This is what a typical Windows 7 boot sector looks like:

An Examination of the Win 7 (and Vista) VBR ( Volume Boot Record ) or Boot Sector:
Windows 7 Volume Boot Record (VBR)

The "55 AA" signature at the end tells the OS that the contents of the sector are valid. Both a boot sector and an MBR sector have this same signature.

In your case sector 0 is indeed a volume boot sector, but Windows interprets it as an MBR. This means that the text strings between offsets 0x1BE - 0x1FD are mistakenly seen as a partition table.

Code:
Offset(h) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

........
000001B0                                            0D 0A                ..
000001C0  42 4F 4F 54 4D 47 52 20 69 73 20 63 6F 6D 70 72  BOOTMGR is compr
000001D0  65 73 73 65 64 00 0D 0A 50 72 65 73 73 20 43 74  essed...Press Ct
000001E0  72 6C 2B 41 6C 74 2B 44 65 6C 20 74 6F 20 72 65  rl+Alt+Del to re
000001F0  73 74 61 72 74 0D 0A 00 8C A9 BE D6 00 00 55 AA  start.....U
This misinterpretation accounts for the partition definitions reported by Disk Management.
  • partition #1, size = 0x6D6F6320 sectors = 875.5 GiB
    partition #2, size = 0x20737365 sectors = 259.6 GiB
    partition #3, size = 0x206F7420 sectors = 259.5 GiB
    partition #4, size = 0x0000D6BE sectors = 26.8 MiB
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