Hard drive woes
September 15, 2004 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I have two hard drives: one with windows/software and another with all of my stuff (mp3s, photos, documents, etc). I was listening to music when it suddenly stopped in the middle of a song. The computer was frozen. I rebooted and my second hard drive with all my stuff isn't recognized in windows. No error messages, the drive just doesn't show up. Reinstalled windows. Still nothing. The hard drive is recognized fine by the BIOS. I was running XP, now I'm running 2000. I haven't cried yet becuase I'm not convinced that all of my data is gone forever. What can I do?
posted by TurkishGolds to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Is the drive not found at all, or does windows detect it as a drive in need of formatting?

I had a drive crash with the latter scenario and ended up using some software to recover my files. The drive itself has remained unrepiarable - can't format it or anything beyond seeing that it has a drive letter assigned.
posted by Sangre Azul at 1:52 PM on September 15, 2004

Download a Knoppix iso and boot from that. See if you can mount the hard drive. I'm sure one of the nice folks at the #mefi irc channel will talk you through it if it seems beyond your abilities.

Knoppix has saved my ass and data twice now.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:01 PM on September 15, 2004

have you tried chkdsk?
posted by bob sarabia at 4:32 PM on September 15, 2004

Here's a second endorsement of Knoppix: I just used it to save the data off of a slowly dying drive.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:41 PM on September 15, 2004

'course your MBR might be toast, which if true means the drive is toast. try some of the rescue tools above, and try also PC Inspector (thanks to an earlier ask.mefi discussion on favorite software...) - promises to find and fix "missing" hard drive partitions, even if not found by windows.

good luck.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:56 PM on September 16, 2004

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