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Computer Won't Recognize Hard Drive

Richard writes in with a hardware question

Question:
I have a WD 20 GB Hard Drive in my system. It was working fine, and then all of a sudden the system can't find the drive. Is there any way I can reinitialize the drive WITHOUT losing the data on it?

Answer: I would begin by looking in the BIOS to make sure the computer itself recognizes the drive. If not then it can be a case of a bad IDE or power cable or even motherboard IDE port. It can also be that the drive itself has gone bad.
 
If it is recognized in the BIOS then I would open Windows Disk Management to see if its listed there but not initialized. It may be listed as a foreign disk and you may be able to import it back into the system.
 
It may also be a case of it simply needing a drive letter assigned to it so you can view its contents.
 
Another option is to take the drive out and put it in a USB external drive caddy and attach it to the computer that way or add it as a secondary drive in a different computer and see if you can read it.

 



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