I have a Hitachi 160 GB IDE/PATA hard drive, which I was using as an external. The primary partition was a clone of my XP machine's drive (HP Pavilion, circa early 2002). The other partition was used for my weekly backups of my current 7 machine.
In my old external enclosure, this drive, and all other drives which I put into the enclosure, drives absolutely known to be working, stopped showing up in "Computer," and showed up in Device Manager as random characters. So I bought a new external case. The other drives detected fine, but the Hitachi described above still does not detect in Computer, and shows as complete wingdings in Device Manager. I mean complete nonsense like "pi," the small circle which represents "degrees," some letters with accent marks from languages other than English, etc.
So I tried it as the internal master in my old HP Pavilion. I got boot disk failure, insert system disk. Just that, no error codes or anything. I can't do that, because the friend I bought the machine from long ago was a careless friend, and didn't keep the HP disks. So I tried to install a couple different distros of Linux. They just stalled partway through. I was finally able to rebuild the MBR via my PCLinuxOS live CD. That allowed me to use such boot disks as those I had created with Easeus Partition Master, MiniTool Partition Wizard, and Boot It NG. I used Easeus to allocate and partition the drive internally. The MBR was present and accounted for, and I made the first partition NTFS and primary, because I was going to again clone an XP drive to it. I made the second partition NTFS logical, because I was going to again use it for backups. I wiped the drive before doing these things, because a lot of odds and ends of the partially installed Linux distros were on it.
But the external STILL made it show up as the same wingdings. So back I went to Linux. I tried to install Mint 10 this time. It stalled partway through. So right now, I'm trying once again to rebuild the MBR with the PCLinuxOS CD. No success so far, but being such an old computer, it's slow as sin.
Anyway ... what is anybody's best suggestion as far as what I need to do to rebuild the drive so that my external will detect it, so I can once again use it for backups? I'm fine with either cloning another XP drive to it like I had before, or with putting any distro of Linux on it. I just want to do *something* that will format it correctly so that it will be detected from my external. Again, I know that my new external case is good, because other drives are detected with no problem. And I have no reason to think that this Hitachi drive is mechanically bad. It's seen no abuse, and it spins softly and sweetly as always. Is there any recovery program (free, please) out there that will check a blank drive for bad sectors/clusters? Again, the MBR rebuild and partitioning went fine, after much trial and error. But now I've corrupted it again by trying and failing to install Mint. I first tried to clone an XP drive to it again, but couldn't do that because of not being detected as an external, hence the live Linux CD attempts.
Thank you so much for reading this laborious rant. And thank you in advance for the good advice which you're famous for giving around here.
Edited by floridaze, 11 May 2011 - 09:56 PM.