HDD working fine and then says unallocated???

Discussion in 'Computer Help' started by 0dervish0, May 6, 2012.

  1. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    My 1.5TB WD elements external HDD got corrupted a couple of months ago and couldn't be formatted so got a new 1.5TB WD My Book Elite through warranty. Copied my backup over to it and it all worked fine. Then last night I decided to clean my computer up so I did a fresh install of Windows 7 64bit and reformatted my SSD. I installed all the drivers and everything is working fine. Then I pulled the 1.5TB HDD out of the My Book case and tried connecting it directly via Sata 3 cable in the desktop but it wouldn't pop up in My Computer only the WD SmartWare software pops up. I went into Disk Management and it says the drive is unallocated. So then I tried putting it back in the case and the same thing happened? I wouldn't have damaged it when I removed it from the case, as I did it very carefully and even wore anti static gloves. I did a Western Digital Data LifeGuard Diagnostic scan and it said its all good.

    Any ideas what could be wrong with it? I really don't want to reformat it as I haven't backed up all my images (90% of them are).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Chris
     
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  3. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    Check to make sure that the drive is assigned a drive letter. Open Disk Management, look for the external drive. Assign it a drive letter if doesn't have one. If any drive is without a drive letter it is "unmounted", and Windows sees it as "unallocated".
     
  4. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    I hope you are right! I can't see a drive letter but can't figure out how to assign one.

    Here is what it looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    When I right click it the only options I have is:

    New Spanned Volume...
    New Stripped Volume...
    New Mirrored Volume...

    Convert to Dynamic Disk...
    Convert to GPT Disk
    Offline
    Properties
    Help

    and up the top with all the drives listed it doesn't pop up only the WD SmartWare which I can change the drive letter but that doesn't help and it calls it a file system: UDF not NTFS.
     
  6. C1

    C1 Platinum Member

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    You are being told that the WD HDD is being sensed or interpreted as some type of UDF device (ie, packet writing). Test the WD HDD in another computer to verify that it is working properly. Inspect device manager to ensure that all SATA IO controllers are registered properly, enabled and functioning. (Sometimes uninstalling the IO controllers and rebooting can help. If so, leave the WD 1.5 connected should this be attempted.)

    A possible work around is to back up the WD 1.5, wipe the drive and re-establish it using the new install. Ordinarily this should not be required if the drive is in fact working properly, but it may turn out to be the most expedient means.
     
  7. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    Yeah I did try it on another computer by the UDF device only popped up and not the actual drive. This is what shows up in my device manager:

    [​IMG]

    How do I backup the HDD if I can't access it? I would prefer to just do that so I can take WD troublesome software off it.

    Thank you C1 and Bubbaleone for your help
     
  8. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    When I install the "Marvell SATA3 driver (AHCI) ver:1.2.0.1003" driver this pops up:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    I've done some research on the web about your problem. It seems that removing the drive from the enclosure, then connecting it directly to your PC can cause the drive to appear unallocated because the data is encrypted.

    From what I gathered it involves the Drive Lock feature and the hardware encryption circuitry that's part of the USB enclosure. Further, that the the interface between the HDD SATA connector and the WD enclosure's internal USB is quite fragile, and easily broken.

    Read the following two threads carefully, and note that there are considerable differences of opinion (even from WD support personell) about whether drive encryption occurs automatically or only if Drive lock is enabled:

    WD External Hard Drive Empty!?!!

    Western Digital MyBook Drive Lock Encryption – Failure and Recovery

    Good Luck!
     
  10. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    Thank you Bubbaleone for investing your time to try and figure this out. I never activated the optional encryption for the drive so it shouldn't be blocking it. The WD software actually failed to install when I got it so I ignored it. I took as much care as possible to remove the drive (not my first time) but maybe somehow it got damaged. The drive gets power and the smartware software is detected, just the actually data can't be accessed.

    Thanks for your help
     
  11. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    The WD SmartWare is an actual disk image. It's the utility you use to set the state of the DriveLock feature and so naturally it's not encrypted. Read those threads and I think you'll find your solution.
     
  12. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    Yeah I'm reading through it all. Just downloaded GetDataBack for NTFS trail and its found all the data. Do you know a good free data recovery software? I only really need to copy about 5gb of data I didn't backup.
     
  13. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    Seems like a similar problem as described in that forum but what I don't get is that if my HDD in encrypted why can I recover all the files through GetDataBack and open the images with no problem if its encrypted? I'm just copying all the none backup data to another hdd now and will most likely just reformat the drive. If I reformat the drive will the smartware software be cleared too? As I have no need for it.
     
  14. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    Also if its encrypted should it work if I put it back in the original WD case?
     
  15. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    Free Data Recovery Software Version 2.7 is the only fully functional recovery software I've ever found that is actually free.

    Wipe the drive with Secure Erase. Download the ISO, burn it to CD, boot it. It uses the drive's internal wiping feature. All data, encrypted or otherwise, will be gone. Secure Erase was developed at University of California San Diego. After it's wiped you can use Disk Management to partition and format.

    As to putting it back in the case, I don't know. From what bits I read the question as to whether the hardware encryption is automatic, or not, was never answered. I didn't completely read the second thread on recovery, either.

    The entire selling point for WD's external drives seems to be that nobody can steal your data because it's encrypted. You'll have to work that out on your own as I don't have one of those to play with.
     
    #14 Bubbaleone, May 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  16. 0dervish0

    0dervish0 Member

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    Can I boot from a usb drive as my desktop hasn't got a cd drive (never use cds)? Can't I just reformatt the drive in windows or does secure erase do I much better job?

    Yeah WD does automatically apply the encryption and only adding a password is optional. Guess I will find out once I erase the drive if the software is still on there.

    Thank you so much for your help Bubbaleone, I really appreciate it.