Computer Help forum


Can't assign drive letter to external hard drive

by SP2015 / October 16, 2015 1:05 PM PDT

I installed Roxio GoBack in my Windows 7 OS computer, and a file was installed in my external hard drive during the process. My computer continued to run fine until I attempted to restart it. Windows would not start. I used System Repair, and nothing changed. I then used System Restore to remove Roxio GoBack from my computer. The computer was finally able to restart, however none of my computers can see the external drive anymore, and I am unable to assign a drive letter to it (the option is greyed out). I was able to copy my personal files from it with data recovery software, but I would like to be able to use my external hard drive again.

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Clarification Request
what type of external?
by James Denison / October 16, 2015 1:14 PM PDT

a case you put a drive into yourself, or one of those WD "Books" or similar from other maker with a drive already in it? If the latter, did you reload the software which allows access to that drive after "going back"?

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Fantom Drive GreenDrive
by SP2015 / October 16, 2015 1:36 PM PDT
In reply to: what type of external?

Thanks for your reply, James. It's a Fantom Drive GreenDrive. Their external hard drives don't come with software.

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Ok then, check...
by James Denison / October 16, 2015 2:00 PM PDT

to be sure it has power. Any lights come on the device? The I/O on back is on? The adapter plugged in?

Your manual

Go into device manager and have it rescan for hardware. There may be a "bad device" entry placed in the registry that is causing windows now to ignore it. Rescan I think may overcome that or give it another chance to be recognized.

If all else fails,since it could be the case instead of the drive itself, see if it can be removed and placed inside the computer case itself, or set to the side of the open case with power and data cable attached and files accessed from it. If so, might as well permanently mount in the computer itself and consider the external case dead.

All Answers

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If the file system is blown, you recover your files
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2015 1:16 PM PDT

Then you can remove the partitions on the drive and start again.

-> Before all that did you see if Linux sees this drive?

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I recovered my files,
by SP2015 / October 16, 2015 1:41 PM PDT

but I've been trying to avoid "starting again", one reason being that I don't know how to do it. How would I remove the partitions? And regarding Linux- I didn't try Linux. Would that be done so that I could recover my files? If so, I already did that with a data recovery software name Active@ UNDELETE.

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The files are recovered, starting over takes a few minutes
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2015 1:47 PM PDT
In reply to: I recovered my files,
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Everything is OK now.
by SP2015 / October 19, 2015 8:11 PM PDT

Thank you James Denison, R. Proffitt, and Kees for taking the time to help me. I had already recovered my personal files with Active@ UNDELETE, so I went ahead and started over, and now my external hard drive is as good as new. And R. Proffitt was right- starting over doesn't take long at all. It took about two minutes.

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Before I try this I boot Linux to see the drive.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2015 1:58 PM PDT
In reply to: I recovered my files,
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Re: can't see the external drive.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 16, 2015 1:44 PM PDT
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Re: can't see the external drive.
by SP2015 / October 16, 2015 1:51 PM PDT

Thanks for your reply, Kees. My case is #2- Windows Disc Management sees it, but Windows Explorer doesn't give it a drive letter.

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Re: Windows disc management
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 16, 2015 1:57 PM PDT

And what does it tell about it. Something like "unallocated" or "unknown file system"? Both are very good reasons for Explorer to not see it.


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Is it formatted FAT32 or NTFS?
by James Denison / October 16, 2015 2:04 PM PDT

If it's formatted with some other file system, then you can't access it in Windows Explorer.

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