Cannot access files on hard disk

January 21, 2012 at 17:40:06
Specs: Windows XP
Hiya, I'm running Windows XP and have had a problem with two of my hard drives, WD MyBook external drives. One was intended as the backup of the other. Essentially one (the backup) became unresponsive through USB - this was fixed by removing it from its casing and running it from a USB to SATA cable for a bit. Eventually I bought an empty external HD casing and set it up in there and it's now chugging along happily.

The same problem started happening with the other one, so the same solution was used. However, I had been silly and ran up some program to prevent the drive from going into a power save mode unnecessarily (just writing a little text file - test.txt at set intervals).

When I attached the drive to the PC via the USB to SATA cable I had found that the solution had not worked. I'm hoping it would be possible to recover the data (I had done a backup but it was not very recent and I'm unsure of what has changed since that backup). The situation is:

i) The only file visible through Windows Explorer is test.txt
ii) HOWEVER, the drive is visible through My Computer and displays the correct amount of free space (i.e. the drive is mostly full - about 6 GB free on a 1 TB drive)
iii) The other drive of this type is listed as "My Book" with a WD icon on My Computer, but the drive I'm having problem with (the same brand and model) is listed as "Local Disk" with a generic hard drive icon.
iv) The hard drive still physically functions. I don't want to try writing a file on it just in case it is overwriting something else that I can't access, but it is powering up and spinning etc.

Points ii) and iv) make me hopeful that there may be some way of resolving this problem. It looks like the data is all there but just inaccessible for some reason. Unfortunately I'm not savvy enough to really know how to proceed from here, so any help is appreciated!

Apologies for length.

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January 21, 2012 at 17:44:35
Forgot to mention. The drive shows up under Device Manager, and under Disk Management (though it just has a drive letter and no drive name).

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