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  1. Human j1d10t's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
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    California, USA
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    Hi everyone! I'm really hoping somebody here can help me. Let me give you some background. I have two internal HDD - one is my primary, and one I use for storage. On the primary I had two partitions. Well, yesterday I had to reformat my primary, and reinstall Windows XP. During this process I decided to remove the partition on my primary HDD, and had Windows do that during the install process. The install went fine, but after that I couldn't find my second HDD in My Computer. I could see that it was installed (by looking at the hardware manager), but couldn't access it. So I went though some of the instructions online to add it back: clicked on My Computer, clicked Manage, went to drives, and it was there, but it's listed as unallocated space. When I tried to add it back it wants to reformat the drive, which I cancel out of because I don't want to get rid of any of the files that should still be on the drive. It was in the NTFS file format, if that information helps at all.

    So my question is: does anyone know what I can do to add the drive back to Windows, without reformatting it and losing all of the files I have on it?

    I have looked on Google, and almost everything I can find talks about just adding a second hard drive, but not what to do if you want to add one with data on it, and not reformat it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I really, really don't want to lose all the files on it.
    "Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgment."
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    United Kingdom
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    SATA drive (may require a driver to be reinstalled) or IDE ?
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  3. Member
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    Feb 2008
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    Twin Peaks
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    Are you able to view the second partition in administrative tools?
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  4. Banned
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    Jun 2004
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    Does it show up in device manager but not under windows explore ?

    If you're "PC SPECS" are up to date that would give a clue to what interface your HDD's are but either way,
    you can right click on your "computer/pc"icon on your desktop, select "Manage", then under "storage" click on "Disk Management" and it will show all the drives installed and the partitions on those drives.

    You should be able to set a drive letter and get it to show up.

    I have had this happen more than a few times on more than a few pc's and i could usually get them to show up after doing that.
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  5. Human j1d10t's Avatar
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    It's IDE, and when I went in to Disk Management it did show the drive, and I tried adding it back so it will show in Windows Exploerer, by assigning it a drive letter (I gave it the same letter it had before, H), and then the drive shows, but when I click on it to open it it says something like, "would you like to format this drive?" and I choose no, because I don't want to, and then it won't open it. In the Disk Management it lists it as drive H, but it says "unallocated space"...
    "Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgment."
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    2073
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  6. Member
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    Download one of the many Linux bootable preinstalled environment ISO's and burn it to a CD. Boot your PC with it and see if it can read the files on your secondary drive. Most of these Linux environments can read and write to Windows disks. If so copy the files to your main drive. Then try reformatting your second drive.
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  7. Member
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    I looks like somewhere along the line you wrote a new partition table to the drive. You're going to need a third party software package like "EasyRecovery Professional" to recover the files on the drive.
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  8. Member
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    If a Linux PE can't help you, then as SLK001 mentioned, recovery software may be your best hope. Maybe try one of the free programs first, such as Recuva from Piriform or EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition.
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  9. Human j1d10t's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
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    Cool. Thank you very much for the quick replies! I'll have to give these a try as soon as I get home - I'm at work right now.
    "Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgment."
    Zefram Cochrane
    2073
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  10. Banned
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    Originally Posted by JimmyS View Post
    Download one of the many Linux bootable preinstalled environment ISO's and burn it to a CD. Boot your PC with it and see if it can read the files on your secondary drive. Most of these Linux environments can read and write to Windows disks. If so copy the files to your main drive. Then try reformatting your second drive.
    While this is a fantastic suggestion, the reality is that doing so is probably beyond the abilities of non-techies. The Trinity Rescue Kit at
    http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.php?wpid=1&front_id=12
    is one of the better ones I've used and there are some docs there to help you. Good luck.
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