usb/sata problems with external hard drive

December 13, 2010 at 03:48:20
Specs: Windows 7

The drive have been working perfectly (via usb 2) then I tried to connect it with E-sata and all of a sudden the content is shown as strange signs and letters instead of the folder names. I can't acces the files & folders anymore

See More: usb/sata problems with external hard drive

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December 13, 2010 at 04:02:58

Are you using an internal SATA hard drive? I am not sure what may have happened.

Go back to the USB connection and look for the drive in Windows Disk Management. Post all the information listed there for that drive.

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December 13, 2010 at 04:13:12

It's possible that the disk is using a different addressing mode when accessed via USB than via e-SATA. That would definitely give these symptoms. Have a look in the BIOS to see what settings you can make for "LBA Mode" for the drive. Try all the possibilities and see if the drive is recognized.

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December 13, 2010 at 04:21:05

No it's external - The intern (C-Drive) is not sata
This is what the Disk management shows (sorry it's in Danish) but "i orden" means "it's OK"

Hope this helps,
Thanks in advance

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Related Solutions

December 13, 2010 at 04:23:10

I'll give it a try.
btw. I have returned to using the USB connection - but the problem persists

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December 13, 2010 at 05:01:52

Note that your H drive is formatted in FAT32 which is not supported in Windows 7. Before when it was just an external USB drive, Windows 7 just probably recognized it as a generic USB drive like a flash drive, but once you plugged it into the eSATA port, it is now identified as a hard drive. I do not know if you can get this changed back without saving the files onto another computer and formatting it to NTSF format with the Windows 7 computer. If you want to try it, unplug the drive and look into Computer and see if the drive still shows up as a removable or hot pluggable drive, if so then delete the drive there, restart the computer and try plugging back in. It might be recognized as a new drive.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.
This site is about helping people, lets keep it that way.

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December 13, 2010 at 05:30:45

This sounds reasonable to me - I'll get to it right away.
Thanks !

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December 13, 2010 at 10:27:31

I believe FAT 32 IS supported by Windows 7. Your issue is that you may not have installed any SATA controller drivers. If your motherboard is newer than Windows 7 release then Windows 7 will not have any drivers available.

Look in Device Manager to see if you have any SATA controllers showing there. If your BIOS allows it, you can also set any SATA hard drives to run in an IDE compatibility mode.

In the meantime, check if all files are still accessible when the drive is connected via USB.

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December 13, 2010 at 21:30:40

I apparently understood incorrectly. I stand corrected.
Please note that he already tried going back to USB without any luck. It may be a BIOS setting since his other drive is not SATA. But if he shows the drive icon in 'Computer' when it is unplugged, deleting this and letting it reinstall when plugged back in as USB, may help.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.
This site is about helping people, lets keep it that way.

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December 14, 2010 at 08:29:11

Does the external drive show up in Disk Management when connected by USB?

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December 14, 2010 at 12:47:50

yes, but the content consists of weird signs for name and dates like for.ex.12-09-2093.
Even though it shows the correct amount of used GB, it only seems to be able to acces the bin when I try to make a "disk clean"
Perhaps the trouble started because I plugged the E-Sata cord without turning off the PC ?

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December 14, 2010 at 12:50:11

Post all the information in Disk Management for that drive when you simply highlight the listing.

Is the drive listed as basic, RAW, etc?

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December 15, 2010 at 00:55:09

I,m sorry it's in Danish, hope it'll be helpful anyway,


Uploaded with [URL=][/URL]

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December 15, 2010 at 01:02:33
sorry, this should be better !

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December 15, 2010 at 04:38:18

If I am interpreting correctly it appears the partition is still seen as a FAT32 partition. Not what I expected.

How much data do you recall you had saved on there? Download and use a utility called Recuva to see if it can recover the data. Get Recuva at the link below. I originally thought you may have a corrupted partition. I am not sure now, what you have. Corrupted partitions can be fixed by using another utility called testdisk. Use it at your own risk. Link to testdisk is also below. Testdisk may be the appropriate tool in this case but I don't know. Be sure to read all tutorials before using.

One other thing to note. You should always maintain at least two copies of all data you wish to keep.

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December 16, 2010 at 04:52:13

Thank you for all your help.
I tried both of the mentioned programs, and I was able to retract 5 (half) mp3 files, 2 folders containing pictures & 1 movie. Unfortunately the mp3's were only approx 20 sec each (as opposed to 3 minute-songs) and the movie wasn't the one the folder told me, and it only lasted 5-6 mins.
Not a very good result, when the drive contained a little over 900 GB.
Fortunately I also have all of my pictures on my C-drive, and they are the most important to me.
So now I've decided to give it up, format the hard-drive, and start collecting the files I had once again.
And the in the future when I connect the drive, I'll turn of the PC first, and keep on using the same cord (either USB or E-Sata)
Anyway. Once again I thank you for your trouble !

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December 16, 2010 at 05:26:36

You should use the "Safely Remove" Icon when using external devices. That icon is located in the tray by the clock. It may be hidden and you may need to show hidden icons.

I suggest you download a drive fitness test to verify that drive is OK before loading it again. Also, take to heart maintaining at least two separate copies of any personal files.

Burning to CDR or DVDR is cheap and has the added advantage that once you have one copy you can duplicate that one for even more protection. Photos, especially, are irreplaceable. Good luck.

BTW, You could possibly try some other recovery methods. Live versions of Linux or one of the recovery programs below.

PC Inspector (freeware)
Zero assumption Recovery
The demo is limited
It will only recover 'up to' four folders per run
But you can make multiple runs
not free

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December 16, 2010 at 05:35:22

Windows 7 cannot be installed on FAT32 partition. But it can very well see and read and write to FAT32 partitions and disks. Therefore, FAT32 file system should not be a problem internally or externally.

The problem could arise if the e-sata connection, internally, is made to an USB connector on the motherboard. This is a reason e-sata device could go wrong. e-sata and usb connectors look alike. My motherboard manual has cautions in several places about this.


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