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Inaccessible Drives

Okay, so I decided to reinstall Ubuntu (dual boot setup with Win7 64bit) on a dual drive system 2 x 500Gb. This is also the same setup I had previously, Windows 7 is installed to Drive 1 along with all program for Windows, and Drive 2 contains user data in a 435Gb partition. The remaining space is given to a 30gb linux ext4 partition and a 2gb swap. I did run into some issues where Ubuntu did mess up the data partition, so that drive was removed data purged and ubuntu reinstalled. My problem now is that in Windows my external drives do not show up in My Computer. They appear in disk manager but are inaccessible; right clicking and selecting any of the options brings up a window saying "the operation failed to complete because disk management console view is not uptodate. Refresh... Problem persists close, restart, restart computer." Did that didn't work. The drives do appear on a different computer as well as in Ubuntu.

What gives? Any chance of fixing this without having to reinstall Windows?

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 / Ubuntu 32bit 10.04
6Gb 2x500Gb

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I did get one drive to display using Paragon Partition manager, I assigned it a drive letter, it said it failed but after restarting it did appear in My Computer until i disconnected and reconnected it.

I'm thinking if I zero the drives, Windows would be forced to assign a partition table, is this a viable option?
(Drives sizes are in the 500Gb to 2Tb range. and they're all pretty much full. Transferring the data to temp drives is actually easier in my case than reinstalling the OS and programs.)

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Windows has never had a feature to force assign a partition table.

Yes, you can use the Disk Management tool but by now you know this tool.

Windows is also very bad at accommodating foreign file systems and in general moving drives around. This is how most folk learn about data loss and that backup is not optional.

What I would do now? Learn about bootable Linux CDs (avoids the installs) and using those see if the bootable Linux CD can access these drives. If so I would copy out my files to another USB drive and then attempt the wipe of that drive and use Windows Disk management.

Let me be very clear here. I've seen this and in a few cases at the office we saved the drives for new ideas (after we moved the files to another drive) and after a decade we have finally admitted that Windows is not very good at recovery. You might want to see if the tools noted at the Cnet Storage Forum entry called "Lost and Found" has titles that fair better.

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thats pretty much what I'm doing now. I'm moving the data off the drives in preparation to reformat them. In the event that doesn't work, I was thinking if I write zeros to the entire drive (MBR and all partitions) leaving essentially, a raw freshly manufactured drive so to speak, Windows as with all raw drives, would write a fresh partition table (MBR,GPT etc) to the disk before it can be formatted to NTFS Fat or what have you.

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The actual problem...

Digging deeper the problem was actually being caused by a program that had been removed. After recovering to a system image (a few months old) I removed Partition Manager 11 and installed some updates. On restart the drives wouldn't connect. At first I figured something to do with updates, but I then noticed that was the only other thing that changed.

The fix that actually did work was deleting the values the upper and lower filters, (do not delete the whole string, just delete the values). Though it took some digging in the device managers hidden devices that actually pointed to the loaded but not present hotcore3.sys driver that PM11 used to access drive volumes that could've possibly been the culprit. Then some fussing around in the registry and presto.

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In the future.

Please tell about PM11 since it changes my answers. The error messages are not what I've seen with PM11 so I can't guess it could be in play.

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What happen was

I didn't even think bout that being a possible problem. I had removed a whole bunch of programs a few days before and never got around to restarting. It was by chance that I actually noticed. I thought the problem was purely with Ubuntu messing with the boot sector on the second drive as I have the user data folder and one of the "appdata" folders on the second drive.

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Now hibernate doesn't work...

Really starting to feel that a fresh install would be worth it.

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You bet.

After playing with partitions I could make such a bet. Try this. Disable hibernate, reboot, enable hibernate and re-test.

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Since removing PM11 and deleting the upper and lower filters in the registry the hibernate isn't working. I can restore the backup but that means my usb devices won't work again. I did try disabling hibernate and rebooting but that didn't solve the problem. The system works fine recovered to the system image but PM11 doesn't really work for me so I continued using PM9 which is why I removed 11. I guess i can settle keeping 11 around taking up precious space on my drive (its only a few megs anyway)... Sigh. The joys of Windows. Don't we all just love it. Would I have it any other way? Hell no.

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Next up is.

You wrote you disabled but no mention of re-enabling hibernation.

Let's say you did that last step. My next step would be to install the motherboard driver package, reboot and retest.

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Assumption is correct

I did re-enable and tried it, no dice. The display would turn off as usual and the drive activity light would go crazy as if its offloading in memory data but it doesn't power down and resumes normal operation after a few seconds.

I don't beleive i did list my full system specs:
Toshiba Qosmio x505-q850
i7 720QM
nvidia 1GB GeForce GTS 250m (seems official driver support has been declined)
PM55 chipset

When you say mobo driver package would that be like BIOS and chipset drivers?

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But I was beginning to wonder if any driver was unsupported.

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Nope. Still no dice. I reinstalled the BIOS and chipset drivers and there was a updated BIOS version that I also tried (Toshiba seems to going backwards with those, made the system run extremely hot).

Gave it a thought but, the only thing thats changed was removing PM11 and editing the registry. All the drivers are from Toshiba and Windows update. The last gfx driver I got from nVidia was the 197.16 driver for my card, that was back in i think July. I haven't updated any drivers recently.

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