Windows Vista not showing external drive

By Shonam66 ·

I am not very tech savvy, so would really appreciate if answers could be kept simple/easy to follow.

My old laptop - Toshiba Sattellite M100, recently crashed/died/went kaput/went to calculator heaven - Windows Repair did nothing, I really need to retrieve the data from the old lap top, so brought a "Big Ant 2.5" External Enclosure" so I could attach the hard drive to my other lap-top - a Dell Studio 1555.

Have attached it (via usb ports) and though it registers as a USB device, I am unable to view/access it, it does not show in the "Computer" panel.

The Dell is running Windows Vista Home Premium, the Toshiba was also on Windows Vista (pretty sure also Home Premium, but not 100% on that)

As I'm not in the position to pay hundreds of dollars to a specialist retrieval company, and I REALLY need the data from the old lap top, I would really really appreciate any help.

I know I should have done an external back-up of the data on the Toshiba, but sadly I didn't get round to it in time (I have already made an external back up of the Dell), but believe me, I have learned my lesson the hard way

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All Answers

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Reponse To Answer

by Shonam66 In reply to Boot your Dell with a Lin ...

Not sure how to reply to Col's message below, so putting it here - please forgive me. :)

I would say it's safe to say I know nothing of any use about Linux, you mentioned that Linux has a Live version that I could use, I take it from your comment re the disk & Knoppix that Knoppix does not have this option available?

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg In reply to Boot your Dell with a Lin ...

I provided a link to a Live Download Web Site where all of the listed Linux's are Live.

In response you your question Knoppix is a Live Distribution that can be installed if you so desire. I use it as a Service Tool to repair Broken Windows Systems.


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Additional info to my original post that might (or might not help)

by Shonam66 In reply to Windows Vista not showing ...

OK, I thought I'd double check to make sure that what I thought was the external drive (from defunct Toshiba) so I checked in Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management & Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Device Manager > View Hardware & Devices, with & without the drive attached - this link contains the screen shots (sorry couldn't figure how to, or if you can, post a picture in here)

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Reponse To Answer

by jqbecker In reply to Additional info to my ori ...

That drive is toast.
You will need to use the free demo version of Disk Scavenger. It will scan the disk an give indication of how much can be recovered. If it can it will tell you how much. Then you decide if it's worth $49 to actually do the recovery.
If there is physical disk damage, then you will get nothing.

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Reponse To Answer

by Shonam66 In reply to Additional info to my ori ...

@JB please don't take wrong way as not meaning to be rude, but how can you tell that from the screen shots? (I'm genuinely curious)

Also can disk scavenger find the drive if it's not listed/shown?

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Reponse To Answer

by jqbecker In reply to Additional info to my ori ...

Your screenshots show the connected drive as "unallocated". This means the drive is unreadable by Windows. The machine knows everything about the drive, except that it has any data on it: to the PC, it appears as if it is a brand new blank disk. I have seen this screen a gazillion times in one of two situations: 1) toasted hard disk [or] 2) brand new unformatted disk.

Your data is probably still there, but the machine does not know how to find the files and re-assemble them. I repeat my original suggestion, download and run Disk Scavenger free demo - it will scan your disk and show you which files could be recovered. If it finds any, you will not be able to recover them until you pay for full version. It is a no-risk, no-cost way to determine whether you ant to spend the $49.

One last note: the longer you mess around with a corrupt disk , the more it becomes corrupted. Time is of the essence, the sooner you start getting files off, the more you will be able to recover.

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Reponse To Answer

by Charles Bundy In reply to Additional info to my ori ...

Looks like you lost your partition table.

This might help

Hope this helps!

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Exactly how did the laptop die?

by dave In reply to Windows Vista not showing ...

Did it actually power on or was it just flat out dead? Did you see the Toshiba (BIOS) startup screen shortly after power on? Did Windows even attempt to load if it got that far? Also, when you plug in the external drive in to the Dell can you actually hear the drive spin up? Any clicking noises after it does?

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Reponse To Answer

by Shonam66 In reply to Exactly how did the lapto ...

Hi Dave thanks for your time

It did power up, I did get the start-up screen (where down the bottom have option to press F1 and F12 I thinkit is)
Windows did try & load/run start-up repair(?) but this didn't work and it would just loop back - sorry if this is bit vague but this happened almost 2 weeks ago so can't remember exact details.

It doesn't spin so much as I can hear a faint 'humming' sound (similar to sound Dell laptop makes when it's running) & the red power light on the USB casing is on. I can't hear any clicking noises.

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Windows Vista not showing external drive.

by ansiroi In reply to Windows Vista not showing ...

First thing first do not format the hard drive under any consideration as you would make the retrieval of your files very hard.
I would suggest you purchase a copy of Spinrite at ( burn it to a CD and boot your computer with it.
This program is simply amazing, it is created by Steve Gibson.
I feel certain that you should be able to recuperate unless your hard disk is totally toast.
Good Luck.

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