external hdd unable to open, no drive letter

February 7, 2015 at 17:07:58
Specs: Windows 8
hello, It would be amazing if I could fix this.. after spending 2 days without results I ask my question here.

my external hdd , does not show in my computer and has no drive letter assigned. It does get detected in disk manager but as primary partition, and as I have learned so far... this is the reason why I can not assign a drive letter. Now I am afraid to come to the conclusion that the only way to change the primary partition is by losing all my data. This is absolutely not what I want, I have thousands of travel pictures on there :(
unfortunately it does not work to get the files with test disk...
how can I do this? Can I keep the data and change the primary partition and assign a drive letter? please help

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February 7, 2015 at 17:32:00
My External Hard Drive is not recognized by my computer

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February 7, 2015 at 17:42:20
my problem is that I can not assign a drive letter, due to the fact that it is a primary partition. any other ideas please?

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February 7, 2015 at 19:52:15
Wait for other suggestions first but IF you end up needing to format the drive (if all other options are exhausted), use only quick format and immediately run file recovery software without saving anything to the drive. I am not sure if it is necessary to use the same format type (Fat32, NTFS, etc) that was on there before, but I suspect it will be safer and more likely to recover more files. Then save the files that are recovered to a different drive so if it is needed, you can try a different recovery program and compare/combine the results.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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Related Solutions

February 7, 2015 at 21:54:44
Don't format it or do anything else with it until you try some recovery software on it. Here's one that worked well for a previous poster:


The demo version may not be able to recover the thousands of lost pictures on it but you can see what it finds. Hopefully others will post in with other recovery software recommendations.

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February 7, 2015 at 22:16:10
Cecuva. Free for personal use.
Used it on a damage HDD with success, recovering wife's 1000s pix. (don't ask me why so many pix)


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