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  Hard drive suddenly not initialized 
 
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Reason   Oct 24, 2007, 05:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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My I: drive disappeared the other day. I rebooted and it came back as H: and then disappeared again, and rebooting no longer fixes it. BIOS sees it.

Disk management says it's not initialized. I'm guessing if I initialize it, it'll be the same as a quick format?

I did a bit of googling, is this what I need?
http://www.partition-recovery.com/

The drive has just one big partition.

This is a data drive, a 250 GB IDE Maxtor, has multimedia on it that I'd like back but nothing critical. Not backed up, though. :(


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Reason   Oct 26, 2007, 12:34am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
Bump.

I ran TestDisk but it can't detect any partitions to work on. I'm not really sure what type of recovery software I need here - partitioning? Data recovery? Something else?

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Reason   Oct 30, 2007, 10:43pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
Another bump.

Any ideas/suggestions/general direction to go?

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Gerritt Oct 30, 2007, 11:25pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
Reason,
I noticed that you have a mixture of SATA and IDE drives in this system.
I don't know if you use RAID or JBOD on the SATA, but check your settings for the Parallel ATA (IDE) to see if you've somehow turned off the IDE support in BIOS. Even if they register on initial scan, I've seen where a simple change such as adding an additional IDE Removable drive to the same buss can cause issues. If you have other IDE devices, make sure they are on a separate buss, and if this doesn't help switch the IDE cables on the MB for IDE bus 1 and 2.

I've noticed that you haven't had many replies, so this is just a preliminary response.
Are you sure the drive hasn't just failed? Even if a drive registers to the bus this is the interface that is working, it doesn't mean that the heads are actuatting properly.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Reason   Oct 30, 2007, 11:37pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
No, no RAID on the SATA, it's a single boot drive.

It's entirely possible the drive has simply failed. How do I verify that?

I'll try connecting it as a single drive on that cable, too.

Thanks!

Oh, I have also already tried reseating the cable, but I'll try the various other possibilities. And, I've downloaded Hiren's BootCD, as some googling this problem led me to it. However, I'm not sure which of the utilities I'd need - any suggestions? (Assuming it's a software issue.)
http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

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Gerritt Oct 31, 2007, 12:16am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
Unfortunately there is no single product out there that will do a good job on all HDD issues.
I have used a multitude of programs, from Spinrite to MACE, to Norton, to....well you get the drift.
None of them have worked all of the time.
I think you said this is a Maxtor drive. If so there are diagnostic tools available for download directly from Maxtor, or if it isn't from other vendor sites.

Good luck on getting the data back, but you may be able to get the 250MB back.
With the cost of drives these days, and given that the data is not that important, I'd recommend a new drive vs. buying a utility.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Reason   Oct 31, 2007, 06:48pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
Well thanks for the suggestion, I wouldn't have thought to change the bus or whatever. I ended up putting it on the end of the IDE cable, and Windows was able to see it again. I got the most important stuff onto a USB drive, and I'm currently doing a full backup to a new hard drive.

You think it could be the cable? Do cables just go kaput?

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Gerritt Nov 01, 2007, 05:27pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard drive suddenly not initialized
On a ribbon cable the actual connectors have sharp edged conductive surfaces that actually cut through the plastic covered conductors to contact the copper runs within the ribbon cable. When you've pulled and seated the connector it is possible that these cutting surfaces can loose contact with the conductors in the cable.

Another issue in recent years has been the "cable select" option. In this case there is a small segment of the cable that is twisted, permitting for the drive jumpers to be standardized, and the actual position on the cable determining the master/slave status of the device.

Based upon the given evidence there remain several possible causial factors, several of which can not be eliminated without a physical examination, but yes, a cable can "go bad". All these asside, I am happy that you've recovered your data.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO

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