In this blog I explain a common Computer Data Recovery problem that many PC users find themselves plagued with.
The hard drive is not showing up in “My Computer” or in Windows Explorer (not to be confused with internet explorer).
Generally, I get phone calls where the customer states that the computer is no longer seeing their hard drive.
I always try to ascertain if that is actually what is occurring or if it is more that the drive no longer has a drive letter attached to it.
If you click on your Windows start button and then look for “Computer”, right click on it and then click on manage.
A program should open called Computer Management.
Click on “Disk Management” under the Storage heading.
This will open up an area that will allow you to see all the mass storage devices connected to your computer.
In the disk manager you can see both the physical and the logical hard drives connected to the computer. In the illustration above it is clear that we have 3 physical drives connected to the machine. Disk 0 is the drive not showing up in my computer. You can see that this is because Windows is reporting it as unallocated space.
This would be caused by the Master Boot Record (MBR or Partition Sector) being bad or corrupt. It is great news that it is showing up because now I can try computer data recovery software to recover it.
I recommend a few different options:
- You can download our Windows Surface Scanner which is free and run it to see if the drive has any bad sectors. If it does this means the drive has physical damage and you should try cloning it off with a forensic cloner like Speed Clone. If cloning does not work then I would suggest calling a hard drive recovery company like ours. If you do not have any bad sectors then move to option 2.
- Download the Recover It All Now data recovery software and run the demo. This software will also give you a bad sector count, if you get a lot of bad sectors it is advisable to clone the drive before going any further. If there is no bad sectors then I would just continue the scans, make sure you are seeing your data and if so purchase Recover It All.
Now if the drive is not showing up in the disk manager, then at this point if the drive is in an enclosure you should try to remove it from the enclosure. NOTE: In most cases this will void the manufacturer warranty. If the drive is not in an enclosure (external hard drive) then your best bet is going to be to call a data recovery company like DTI Data Recovery.