Trouble seeing disk contents
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Thread: Trouble seeing disk contents

  1. #1
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    Trouble seeing disk contents

    I was given an external USB 3.0 Toshiba drive to fix because the owner couldn't see the contents.

    I got the message 'Your device is ready to use', the driver was installed and Disk Man can see it but there's no drive letter.

    I managed to assign a drive letter using AOEMI Partition Assistant. Then I got the message 'You don't have permission to access this drive - use the Security Tab'

    I clicked that link to the Security Tab and I got the Properties dialog - but there was no Security Tab.

    Then I noticed EFI before the drive letter, i.e. EFI (E - what I've read suggests that the computer must have a UEFI BIOS before I can read the drive.

    Is that true?

    Thanks - rev

  2. #2
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    Then I noticed EFI before the drive letter, i.e. EFI (E - what I've read suggests that the computer must have a UEFI BIOS before I can read the drive.
    That's odd. EFI system partitions should not be on an external drive. It's for booting Windows. I wonder if the AOMEI app did that. I hope you didn't change anything on the drive itself. If you are trying to recover data, you don't want to be messing with the partitions.

    If you have UBCD disc or flash drive, you could try looking at the external with Parted Magic. See post#6.
    https://discussions.virtualdr.com/sh...oot-CD-5-Guide

  3. #3
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    >It's for booting Windows.
    That might account for the permissions objection. I can't see why the AOMEI app would add the EFI prefix without evidence for it.

    >I hope you didn't change anything on the drive itself.
    No, I was careful about that. I was only interested in getting a drive letter, thinking that Windows would then straighten up and fly right and I did that on Win 10 and Win 7 but in both cases it made no difference to access.

    It's disk 4 in attached pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Reverend; February 7th, 2022 at 09:00 PM.

  4. #4
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    What is the model number of the drive? Was it purchased as an external or did they put it into a USB enclosure? If someone pulled it out of a computer and put it into an enclosure, that would explain the EFI partition.

    Like I mentioned before, try Parted Magic on UBCD. It boots to Linux, so it may be able to see files on the drive. Linux doesn't care about Windows security permissions. You'd need another drive to copy the files to also. That's the first thing I would do. Copy off the data before you start messing with the partitions.

    After that, you could try Testdisk to recover the partition. It is also on UBCD.
    https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
    https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

  5. #5
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    No model number only a P/N: HDTC710XK3A1 It's a standard 1TB external almost identical to this:
    https://www.amazon.com.mx/Toshiba-HD...03288684&psc=1

    >After that, you could try Testdisk to recover the partition
    As far as I know, there's nothing wrong with the partitions. I do know the drive was made on a different computer than the one the owner is currently using. That might be a clue to something but I don't know what.

    >Copy off the data before you start messing with the partitions.
    That's the goal but I've got to be able to access the data first. The owner is going to try attaching it to the computer it was made with, who knows, that may be all that's required to see the data.

    I know UBCD has a ton of stuff on it but I've never got along with it. I don't know what all the utils do or how to use them but I'll give it another look.

  6. #6
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    So this is not the original owner? Is he trying to get his own data off of the drive or the previous owner's?

    Switching between computers should not affect whether you can see a drive letter or not.

    Like I said before, an EFI partition would be for booting Windows. Whoever owned the drive before must have been messing with the partitions. External drives don't usually come like that. Was the owner using some kind of encryption?

    The point of UBCD is that it boots to Linux. It may be able to see the files, even if Windows can't.

  7. #7
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    >So this is not the original owner?
    One day the owner discovered that he couldn't access his data. No one owned it before him but it was made on another machine.

    >Switching between computers should not affect whether you can see a drive letter or not.
    Agreed, that wouldn't cause it but as we all know, a drive letter sometimes doesn't appear.

    >Like I said before, an EFI partition would be for booting Windows.
    For all I know, it has an operating system on it, maybe I should try booting to it? The owner is not a power user, he had to ask me the definition of a partition - so no encryption, no hanky panky with partitions. I suppose there's a small chance AOMEI put the EFI prefix there in error.

    If he doesn't have success by attaching it to the original machine, I'll give UBCD a try.

  8. #8
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    You said the drive was "made" on another computer, so I thought it was from another person. So what do you mean by "made"? Most externals come pre-formated.

    I highly doubt there is an OS on there. You can't just install Windows on external drive by normal means.

  9. #9
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    >So what do you mean by "made"?
    Bad choice of words. I mean the data was added on a different computer. Yeah, this would have arrived preformated and if it was bought here in Mexico, the chances are it would be formated to FAT32, which is what AOMEI says the file system is. By the time the guy wanted to see his data, he had a different computer by then. It shouldn't make any difference, maybe the drive was unsafely ejected and got corrupted.

  10. #10
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    It should have been preformatted to NTFS.
    https://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-HDTB4...s%2C277&sr=8-3
    Formatted NTFS for Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.
    1TB drives wouldn't be formatted to FAT32. If anything, it would be exFAT.

  11. #11
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    >1TB drives wouldn't be formatted to FAT32. If anything, it would be exFAT.
    Not in Mexico. People are a lot less computer savvy here, they don't know about formats and file systems, they're mostly concerned that their movies will work in their TV, and we have an astounding array of trailing edge, trash brands that only support FAT32. There are more of those crappy brands out there because more people have less money here. That's why FAT32 is a common default format here, it's more useful to more people. When we had a cyber cafe, the machines were 286's with 3 1/4" floppy drive bays in them.

    If a new part for your car costs $15, the junkyards will sell it for $14 because poverty will make people save rather than get the new part. You might have to be here to believe it but money explains everything in this country.

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