'Missing' USB External Hard Drives

  cerberusops 12:55 16 Jul 2010

Hi everyone I am in need of some serious help. I have three external hard drives in caddies connected to my laptop which is running Vista Home Premium which for some reason no longer appear to be there. This happened once before and I merely unplugged the devices and plugged them back in again and they reappeared but this time even after several attempts on both my laptop and tower (running XP) none of them appear to be there no matter what I do. I have even gone into the disk management to see if they are showing there but to no avail. When I plug them in I still get the proverbial 'beep' from both of the pc's as if they are being recognised but thats it.

I have tried recovery software from iCare Data Recovery but again none of the drives are showing so cant get any further. The drives hold every file and program installation I have including software, films etc etc so needless to say I am somewhat panicking. If it helps two of the drives are sata and the other is ide as I say mounted in external caddies connected by USB to my pc.

Any help would be much appreciated before I go nuts.



  northumbria61 13:03 16 Jul 2010
  woodchip 13:39 16 Jul 2010

Go to Disc Manager, Right Click on My Computer. If they show then you have duffed the boot sector unplugging without using Safe Removal Icon in System Tray

  cerberusops 13:41 16 Jul 2010

Hi and thanks for that but hasnt made any difference - none of the missing drives show up at all in the disk management pane and whilst I have reassigned letters to dvd rw etc to see if this miraculously solved the problem the missing drives are still missing

  cerberusops 13:43 16 Jul 2010

woodchip - if this indeed the case that the boot sectors are duffed is there any way to resurrect the drives without losing all of the contents or is it a trip to the nearest cliffs to throw myself off

  woodchip 14:50 16 Jul 2010

What you could try, first does other USB work in the sockets? if not go to device Manager Right Click My Computer\Properties\Hardware\Device Manager, go to bottom of list on left USB start at bottom of list, Uninstall one by one till you have removed all usb. restart computer let windows reset the usb it finds before trying a drive

  cerberusops 07:23 18 Jul 2010

Nope still no joy any other ideas?

  Technotiger 07:35 18 Jul 2010

I would assume that the the drives ARE switched on!

  cerberusops 08:30 18 Jul 2010

Yes drives are defintely switched on but not showing up either in my computer, disk management etc etc

  robin_x 12:10 18 Jul 2010

Vice versa from "does other USB work in sockets"....
Does your caddy/USB hub/drives work in other USB sockets?

My flash cards/hub/single hdd are hit and miss on 3 laptop USB ports and 5 PC USB ports.
Sometimes even when disconnecting and replacing in same port, they work.

Strangely, I have an external DVDRW drive on my upstairs PC with a USB front port too.
It works with everything. Useful for flash cards mainly.

  cerberusops 10:43 21 Jul 2010

Nope tried all that and still no joy had to go and buy a 1.5TB external now but still want to try and resurrect the info stored on the failed externals if anyone has any ideas they would be life savers

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