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Windows 7 can't see my old hard drive - basic vs dynamic?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by SanduneCC, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

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    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    A bad RAM caused my Win 7 machine to die - killing the boot drive. I successfully reinstalled Win 7 Ultimate on a fresh hard drive. When I connect my other data hard drives to the machine, some are seen and some are not. In Computer Management, the visible drives are "Basic" and the invisible ones are "Dynamic". If I convert the dynamic disk to basic, will I lose my data? If so, how do I access my data now? Also, why can't Windows 7 read a dynamic disk that it created in another life? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Now what exactly do you mean by "invisible"? What precisely does the disk/volume status say?

    Just as a wild guess, you probably need to "import a foreign disk". That's what you normally have to do when you introduce a previously created dynamic disk to the system.
     

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

  3. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    1,101
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    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    Ok, invisible was a stupid term to use. I meant it's not recognized by the computer. Import is not an option. In Disk Management, when I right click on the disk, there's only an option to Convert to Basic Disk which warns that there will be data loss.
     
  4. What options do you have when you right-click in the "volumes" area? Is the "reactivate volume" option available? Do you see any volumes at all on that disk?
     
  5. I do not believe there will be any issue converting it to/from basic & dynamic, as far as the integrity of your data goes.

    How are you connecting the drives to your machine? I have a couple USB connector kits that I use and the drives usually pop right up, just like if you inserted a USB flash drive.

    If it doesn't pop right up and plugging the USB cable into a different USB port still doesn't fix it, the drive is usually dead.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I also hope you backed up your stuff.
     
  6. Actually, the way Windows converts a dynamic disk to basic is by deleting all volumes/partitions (and destroying all data in the process). There may be a 3rd party program that does the conversion, but it wouldn't be risk-free.

    There should not be any need for converting the dynamic disk. Windows should absolutely see it, the OP is just missing some small piece of the puzzle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  7. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

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    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    Actually, it is dynamic right now and Win 7 wants it to be basic - that's the puzzling part because this data disk is a child of a Win 7 system.
     
  8. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    1,101
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    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    It's internal SATA right now. I do have the USB kit that you're talking about. Will give that a try.
     
  9. So, do you see any volumes on that disk, and what is the status of those volumes?
     
  10. waktasz

    waktasz Gamer Scumbag

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    Aug 10, 2002
    Philly Area
    Does the dynamic disk have a drive letter assigned?
     
  11. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    3,968
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    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Sounds possible that the volume is not accessible.

    In the past, new drives have only needed to have an 'ID' written to them for me...

    Overclocking systems in my younger days I would see similar results when an AMD processor overclock failed... and it required a reinstall.

    Hope that's not where you are at, but ram failing can cause a bad write to the drive and if it's the Master Boot Record (MBR) you may have a damaged file system.

    Get some diagnostic software from the MFG of the drive and see if it will run a test against it. If you can't get it to see the drive, get the Ultimate Boot CD and boot up using that disk. It should be able to check your file system for errors.

    And I am sure you did have a good backup didn't you?

    Patrick
     
  12. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    1,101
    190
    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    Thanks all. I got the data using the usb kit and an XP machine. The disk is now converted to Basic and healthy.
     
  13. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    3,968
    142
    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Nice Recovery SanduneCC!

    Glad to hear I was wrong... :cool:

    Patrick
     
  14. g29andy

    g29andy CLM

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    deleted, wrong thread
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

  15. Oops. :cool::whistling:
     
  16. mhunter

    mhunter

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Just use any one of dozens of free partition utilities you can download. I use one by EASEUS. I moved all of my old XP drives over to a brand new Win7 build just fine. If Win 7 didn't "see" a drive with a drive letter, I just re-partitioned it. No sweat. Just make sure there's nothing you want on the drive first, though...