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jbcanes1
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External drive not recognized in Explorer but I can see it in Disk Manager

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Pavilion 23-g020t
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I recently replaced a failed hard drive in my PC. Now I want to recover some data from my old hard drive. I installed my old drive into an external USB enclosure. The drive is a WD Blue 1TB SATA. In Windows 10 I can see the drive in Disk Manager but not in Explorer. In Disk Manager I am not able to do anything to the drive. All the options are grayed out like adding a drive letter, etc.. Does the drive have to be jumpered differently? I wouldn't think so since it is a SATA drive and it will seen on the USB bus now. I also tried running diskpart from the command prompt and the drive isn't even recognized. Any ideas?

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TheOldMan
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While the external USB is the best way IMHO to try to retrieve data from a failed drive, Windows OS might not be the best in the OS sources to explore the failed drive.  I like to boot to a Live Linux OS to explore the old drive, unless you have access to a PC running a Linux as a perminent OS.  Knoppix or Ubuntu are good for that.  Make the Live disk and boot to that without making any changes to the Windows OS.  Plug in the USB device that the old drive is connected to and see of anything of value shows.  If "Yes" then move the data to another media, IE: DVD, flash drive or the hard drive of the hosting PC.


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jbcanes1
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So, I will be able to install and run Ubuntu from a DVD or USB drive?

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TheOldMan
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Well, almost.  It is called a Live CD/DVD because it boots the OS from the disk or flash drive but does not install.  You can do tasks in the Linux environment as though it was installed but it does not alter the windows OS in any way.  When you have completed the tasks remove the disk/flash drive and then reboot into windows and all is back to normal.

 

Keep in mind this is to try to save data from a failed drive, a task much better suited for the Linux OS than Windows.  Windows demands too many things to be, because of safeguards.


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jbcanes1
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I finally was able to get my data from my failed hard drive and it was very simple, as I will explain. I did try installing Ubuntu on a USB stick but that wasn't much help. Ubuntu saw the drive like Windows did but I couldn't access the data just like Windows. It wouldn't allow me to assign a drive letter without a Volume. It wouldn't allow me to create a  Volume because it wasn't a Dynamic disk. I didn't trust creating a Dynamic disk. I was afraid my data would be destroyed. 

 

I then put my old hard drive back into the PC as this seemed to be my only option. I then tried to boot from my Windows 10 Recovery USB stick. This was a failure as the system would not boot from the USB again. I tried everything. Secure mode, Legacy mode, different USB sticks. Setting the BIOS order. It just would not boot. It is really strange since I was able to boot from it when I installed Windows 10 on my new hard drive. I also booted Ubuntu from the USB stick. It doesn't make much sense to me but whenever the failed drive was in the PC I could not boot to a USB device. It was as if the system was detecting the failed hard drive and not allowing another path to boot from, even though I disabled the Windows Boot Manager in the BIOS. VERY STRANGE.

 

I did some research and found out about selecting F11 to access the HP Recovery Manager. WHAT the....? I didn't know about this. I was wondering why nobody mentioned this here. So I removed the USB stick, rebooted and hit F11. It took about 5 minutes but it finally booted to the Recovery Manager partition where I was able to go to a Command Prompt. I accessed the C: drive and copied my data to an external USB drive. I wish I knew about this 2 weeks ago. Of course, this option is no longer available to me with my new drive so I better make sure to do regular backups from now on.

 

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TheOldMan
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It is good news that you were able to recover the data !!  The SUPPORT PAGE for that PC indicates the issued Windows was 8.1.  We have had reported that the Recovery Manager would not work from the F11 anymore after a Windows 10 upgrade.

Either a fluke or unreported feature that still works.  Either way, you won!


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jbcanes1
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For other people who may have this problem we should be clear on what does "F11 won't work after a Windows 10 upgrade". Does it mean you won't be able to do a full recovery of Windows 10? I could understand that since I upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Does that mean that upgrading to Windows 10 somehow destroys the recovery partition, and F11 won't work at all? In my case I did not care about restoring my OS. I only wanted to be able to get to a Command prompt so I could get my data.

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TheOldMan
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The others responding in the forum seem to indicate that the F11 no longer did anything after the Windows 10 upgrade.  If it did function, it would reinstall the old Windows version that was present before the upgrade.  The fact that it brought up a forum of the Recovery Manager at all is different from anything I have seen from the HP users.

Good might be a good item to look forward to.  Perhaps the others did not wait long enough, as you stated "It took about 5 minutes but it finally booted to the Recovery Manager partition where I was able to go to a Command Prompt."


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jbcanes1
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Yes, I thought the same thing. If I had not waited I would have never known. I almost completely gave up. I left the room and came back 5 or 10 minutes later and there was the Recovery Manager. I was so happy!

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