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March 20, 2009 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Help me fix a misbehaving USB HDD on Vista.

I have an external USB hard disk connected to a Vista laptop. The disk, after some unspecified malfunction which I wasn't there to witness, is showing up as having zero total and free space. Attempting to read it gives an "Access is denied" message. The "Safely Remove" option refuses to work, saying some program is accessing the disk.

However, the disk can be read normally on another (XP Home) system, while checkdisk doesn't detect any errors.

It looks like it's some minor but elusive file system or partition table error, so I'm thinking of moving all the data off the disk on the system that can read it and formatting, but I'm hoping some smart Mefite will have a better idea.
posted by ghost of a past number to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Is the drive formated with NTFS? If so then im guessing the permissions on the drive are set for only the XP users. You can plug it back into XP and give read/write/full control to "Everyone" to fix this.

Or wipe it and format it with FAT32 so you dont have to worry about permissions.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:54 AM on March 20, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for your suggestion - I tried this on the Vista machine, which didn't have a problem with giving ownership and permission to my user, but I still get the same errors on reading.
posted by ghost of a past number at 10:30 PM on March 20, 2009

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