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Dynamic disk "unreadable" after XP Reinstall

Xerol Oplan

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I've had a hard drive since my Win2k days that has a ton of downloaded data on it, most of it's not replaceable. I had to do the "convert to dynamic disk" thing the first time I used it in my new XP machine. I just reinstalled windows (the hard drive in question is just a data drive and didn't have any OS installed on it in either computer) and now the drive is coming up as "Unreadable" in disk manager. The only option I have is "Convert to basic disk" which will lose all the data. I didn't do anything to the drive during formatting or installing, is there any way to get the volumes to show up again?


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The only thing I can think of (I wouldn't say I'm the pro here...) is to download some Data Recovery software, and see what it can come up with. The drive is present on your system, and Windows does see it. As such, with the right recovery software, you should be able to scan the drive (or scan for the drive, since it's not currently assigned a letter), and get some data that way.

However, it *could* be a hardware failure. Personally, I doubt this is the case. However, it certainly wouldn't be the first time for me that such a thing has happened. Unfortunatly, I can't recall off-hand which data recovery software I used. In-truth, I used 2-4 different ones, with varying success.

It sounds to me like the drive is fully recoverable, but that Windows is being stupid. As such, with recovery software, it should find the FAT (or whatever file system it uses), and be able to use it to successfully recover all your data, with no loss. However, I'm also not familiar enough with a "Dynamic" drive to say what's going on there...

Unfortunately, I don't remember which software I used. Try a Google search for Data Recovery? Adding "free" on there probably wouldn't hurt... Anyway, good luck with the drive. Mouser X out.

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  • 2 years later...

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