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USB Enclosure for 3.5" SATA HD, Windows Detects Enclosure But Not HD (Solved)

larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
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I have two WD 4T 3.5" SATA HDs which I bought from here some months ago. Finally I got around to "deploring" them, putting them into action. From NewEgg I got a Rosewell RX307 USB enclosure.

Upon powering this on, the enclosure itself gets picked up by Windows (8 or 10, I tried it on different PCs) and it calls it something like "ATA Storage" or something like that, it even pops up as something you can "eject" (as in "safely remove storage devices" in the taskbar) however there is no hard drive letter appearing anywhere. I tried it with both HDs (I bought two) it's the same result either way.

Why would it behave in this way? Would it be safe to assume it's a bad storage enclosure? (Again it did this with 2 different HDs which I bought from the same person at the same time). I know in the days when hard drives were IDE instead of SATA as these are you had to make sure the master/slave DIP switches were set or whatever, but this is SATA. I know you have to have Windows diagnostics pick it up if you have installed them internally, but such wouldn't seem to apply here.

What am I missing? Should I have posted this in "Computer, General Help" instead?
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,232
5,468
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You did go into Disk Management and initialize them (use GPT), and then format them, right? Otherwise, you won't get a drive letter.

See if Device Manager shows the Disk Drive listed, after you plug it in. If it does NOT, then you might have a hardware issue. (And if it does show up, but no drive letter in Explorer, then you can be certain that you just need to initialize / format it.)
 

larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
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I apologize, I was posting from a phone and it kept "double-posting" etc.

The hard drive (WD40EZRZ) shows up in Device Manager (as a SCSI) but DOES NOT show up in Disk Management. I even rebooted, did a rescan and refresh, but no matter what I do it WILL NOT show up in Disk Management (but DOES show up in Device Manager).
 
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larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
206
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Update: there is something showing up, but it doesn't make any sense and there doesn't seem to be any options to doing anything to any of it.

On a hunch I opened up Disk Management with this drive unhooked and took a screenshot of it, then re-did this with the hard drive on, and compared the changes. I did find something.

Two new entries appeared, one 2040.09G the other 1685.90G. There are no volume letters assigned to them. However their description (in that bottom area) matches that of this Toshiba 3T external hard drive I have connected (which has its own entry and letter etc, and that description also appears for an entry, not associated with this new hard drive because it's in the "before" screen shot, which is 300M in size and is classified as "removable," which may be the built-in card readers). On the 2 new entries, when I right-click, all of the options are dimmed except help and delete volume.

I also unplugged the Toshiba (to get it out of the way and remove it from the picture completely) and tried again. These 2 entries were there, and they are "primary partitions." The only options available, again, were "delete volume," so I did so to both entries. Now, no matter what I do, they don't show up in any respect at all in Disk Management.
 
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larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
206
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I apologize if I sound "out there," but PLEASE, can someone HELP ME? I am about to lose it, as in throwing every hard drive I have against the wall. This is driving me crazy. Why can't it just be that you plug in the hard drive and then GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!! UGH!! THIS IS NUTS!!!!!

I just want to get to backing up those 13 years worth of JPEG photos I have before THAT hard drive fails and they're all gone. I might as well just take THAT hard drive and whip it against the wall and just be done with it. Either that, or just go and buy an external hard drive and throw these GD 3.5" drives (and the enclosure) in the trash can. It is RIDICULOUS how hard-headed and time-consuming this is turning out to be. It's like taking 9 hours to change a light bulb or something.

ANYWAY

To give the whole background. I had 2 hard drives, a 2T WD portable and a 3T Toshiba external. The former was the "main" drive on a router's storage link, the latter was on another PC and it "mirror imaged" the first one. About 2 weeks ago the WD 2T started acting nuts in ways that told me it was about to fail. I flat-out threw it away, leaving the Toshiba 3T as the only drive that has these files on it. Meanwhile some 7 months ago I purchased two WD 4T 3.5" SATA hard drives, I hadn't done anything with them but after the WD 2T portable failed I bought the enclosure to get one of those two going, and it's been an absolute nightmare ever since.

I want it to be this simple (a) connect the SATA to the enclosure (b) connect enclosure to the PC via USB (c) switch it on and then (d) GET ON WITH MY GD LIFE HERE!!!!!

Meanwhile, after deleting the "volume" as I described earlier, the hard drive wouldn't show up in any way at all in the least. I therefore switched to the 2nd WD 4T SATA in the enclosure. What it's doing--it's showing up as 1 entry and it has apparently 3 partitions on the bottom. The 1st one is 1.4G in size is an allocated primary partition. The other 2 are 581G in size and 1677G in size and are UNallocated, with those I can right-click on them and assign letters etc. What I apparently need is a way to get the entire hard drive to show up that way in its full 4G size, and from there I apparently could assign it a letter and move on with things.

How, how, how, HOW!!!!!!! do I get it to do this? HOW!!!!!! (I need instructions on the level of "the power button is on the face of the front of your PC, press the button lightly for 1-2 seconds until you see an LED flashing," I'm absolutely serious). I just want to get to copying my JPEGs over so I have a backup, I shouldn't have to just throw all of this away and go spend MORE money on an external hard drive, but I'm about to do exactly that because this is really testing my patience.

(Again, the 1st 4T hard drive, after "deleting the volume" nothing on earth will make it show up in Disk Management at ALL, but again it does show up in Device Manager).
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,232
5,468
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My gut feeling is, that those enclosures that you are attempting to use with the 4TB WD drives, are of an older design, and are not compatible with HDDs larger than 2TB.

I would suggest buying a USB3.0 SATA dock, that explicitly specifies that it supports HDDs of 8TB (or larger!).

Start looking at Orico, and StarTech, and maybe Vantec. Rosewill tend to be older designs.
 

larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
206
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71
My gut feeling is, that those enclosures that you are attempting to use with the 4TB WD drives, are of an older design, and are not compatible with HDDs larger than 2TB.

I would suggest buying a USB3.0 SATA dock, that explicitly specifies that it supports HDDs of 8TB (or larger!).

Start looking at Orico, and StarTech, and maybe Vantec. Rosewill tend to be older designs.
You may be right, I'll look into that. Sorry, too, for melting down, boy was I frustrated.

Meanwhile, I have things going somewhat. I decided to break down and go the internal route. At first I was stuck not knowing how to "set up" the hard drive in terms of partitions etc (in recent years I've bought my PCs "done" vs doing everything myself but "back in the day" I think I did this via booting to a Windows disk), then I remembered I had a CD with Acronis System Image Home 2010; I'd always used it for system image backups but I recalled that it had disk drive utilities as well. I booted to it, selected "Add Disk" or whatever, the new hard drive came up, and I had it delete all the partitions. Back in Windows 10 Disk Management, it was detected and showed as two 2T unallocated partitions (one "drive"), over on the left area I right-clicked and it gave me the "Convert to GPT" option, let it do a quick format, then I clicked "New Volume" (if I recall), gave it the letter X and called it "WD40INT" (Western Digital 4 Terrabyte Internal), and now it's up and going internally.

I figure I can do similar to the other hard drive and then it should be ready to be put into the case (or another one) and used as I intended, meanwhile the internal one can stay an internal one.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,232
5,468
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I figure I can do similar to the other hard drive and then it should be ready to be put into the case (or another one)
Please be aware that if your HDD enclosure does have a 2TB limitation, doing that to a drive while mounted internally, will work while it's mounted internally, but if you then take the 4TB GPT drive, and put it into a 2TB-limited enclosure, the partition info will appear to be correct, but when you write to it past the 2TB mark, it will "wrap around", and start to overwrite the lower 2TB again, wiping out your data and corrupting the drive. This is not recoverable, since you are in effect over-writing the data.
 

larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
206
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71
Please be aware that if your HDD enclosure does have a 2TB limitation, doing that to a drive while mounted internally, will work while it's mounted internally, but if you then take the 4TB GPT drive, and put it into a 2TB-limited enclosure, the partition info will appear to be correct, but when you write to it past the 2TB mark, it will "wrap around", and start to overwrite the lower 2TB again, wiping out your data and corrupting the drive. This is not recoverable, since you are in effect over-writing the data.
Thanks for the tip, I never would have thought of that. According to the Amazon page, it has a maximum capacity of 6 terrabytes, so I should be OK.
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,378
763
126
Thanks for the tip, I never would have thought of that. According to the Amazon page, it has a maximum capacity of 6 terrabytes, so I should be OK.
Very odd that the limit is 6TB.
I am wondering what did they do to gimp it to that?

BTW, Rosewill is Newegg's house brand.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,017
3,997
136
My gut feeling is, that those enclosures that you are attempting to use with the 4TB WD drives, are of an older design, and are not compatible with HDDs larger than 2TB.

I would suggest buying a USB3.0 SATA dock, that explicitly specifies that it supports HDDs of 8TB (or larger!).
This. I've seen this problem happen (though I can't remember the exact symptoms of it as it was at least a couple of years ago). Thermaltake was the manufacturer of the docking bay (was it eSATA or USB 3.0? Or both? can't remember), and I really tried to get a useful response out of them, but to no avail. I ended up using one of the 'ICY BOX' brand, which worked with the drive in question.

The Thermaltake docking bay in question was bought new at the time of testing.

I've seen this problem more commonly with memory card readers. I had a printer once that couldn't read =>2GB memory cards, and a customer's card reader couldn't read a 4GB sony memory card even though their Epson printer could.

Very odd that the limit is 6TB.
I am wondering what did they do to gimp it to that?
Probably a cheaper, older controller with some odd quirks was used along with the assumption that not many people have drives of capacities beyond 6TB. I've encountered SATA controllers that couldn't handle SATA 6Gbps drives but could if a speed-limiting jumper was used.

If an uninformed customer is presented with two seemingly equally capable options and one is a bit cheaper, chances are they're going to go for the cheaper option. A manufacturer would probably look at this logic and gamble that they're going to say twice as many docking bays in exchange for a few returns and negative reviews by people who didn't know why the product didn't work for them, which when read by other people might cause them to think "did they plug it in properly?".
 
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larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
206
0
71
Thanks for the insights, gentlemen. I'll keep this in mind, maybe I'll end up getting a different enclosure and keeping this one in the same "spare parts drawer" my old G-band routers are parked (in case my three N routers with storage links all croak). Meanwhile I'm pleased that the hard drive is working fine as an internal, at least stuff is getting re-backed up.
 

larrytucaz

Senior member
Dec 22, 2004
206
0
71
UPDATE: I got the external working (the 2nd one, the original one is still connected as an internal), it was a simple thing that probably no one else in here would have any issues with, but just in case, I'm posting about it.

All it was is that in Disk Management apparently I was supposed to look for the list of hard drives at the bottom where it says "Drive 0, Drive 1, Drive 2" etc as opposed to the "box" at top where you see the little hard drive icons. This hard drive wasn't showing up in the location of the latter, but it was showing up in the former. I saw it there and was easily able to set it up via "Convert to GTP" (or whatever) and then having it perform a quick format. I had also earlier set it up in terms of deleting all the partitions by booting to my Acronis disk and it detected it successfully, although that step may not have been necessary.

I'm now using "Free File Sync" to backup everything from the Toshiba 3T, all is good now--the external will end up on the router's storage link as was originally intended (replacing the WD 2T portable that died), the Toshiba 3T will continue as backup as it was before but now I will ALSO have the internal (WD40 4G) so there will be TWO backups performed on that PC. The only thing left to do is get a portable for keeping backups in a bank's safety deposit box, say, once a month or so.

Thanks again.
 

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