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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent most of the day working with a friend to get her computer reformatted and running. It's a Compaq desktop that she bought in 2003. This computer has had a history of issues beginning with the fact it never wanted to install XP SP2. It got to the point where it wouldn't update things like Norton AV, spy sweeper programs and the such so she decided to wipe it and reinstall everything. She has an external HD that she originally bought and used with a laptop running ME. When she bought the desktop she just migrated it over. It's formatted in FAT32 and before we ran the system restore we backed up her stuff to this drive. It took the files without an issue. Next we made some restore CD's using the utility on the computer. We then tried doing the restore right from the recovery partition on the HD in the computer. This didn't work saying something about corrupted data (I don't remember the exact message). So we just ran the restore from the CD's. All printers and external HD's were unplugged before attempting the restore. The system restore went fine. We happened to have a copy of the XP SP2 file that I had given her earlier so that was used to install SP2 which went on with no problem. Next came all the Windows updates and anti-virus. Now for the moment of crash and burn. She plugged in the external drive to the computer. The drive is detected fine but when you try to access it Windows say that it isn't formatted. I've also tried it on a Win2K and a second XP machine and get the same results. Just for kicks I even tried it on a Fedora8 system which didn't even detect it. Since all of her backup data is on this drive this is basically a disaster in the making. Any ideas why this is happening?
 

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Have you tried taking the drive out of the external enclosure and connecting it as a slave internally in the PC?
If the loss of the data on the drive is a "disaster in the making", though, I'd be very, very careful about any action that would involve either the drive being written to or physical damage caused to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That thought has crossed my mind but I'm waiting on that as an absolute last resort. I'm in the process of downloading drivers so I can connect the drive to a Win98 system. Since the drive was formatted in FAT32 in the first place I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will work.
 

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Yeah, I would think if her system is ntsf an external FAT 32 wouldn't be recognized. Unless of course your running in FAT 32 with XP or her present operating system. SB is right though. If it proves too much slave the dang thing and see if you can't transfer the data like that. Wipe and format afterward. Let us know, Jazz
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What gets me about this is that it was working fine right before the system restore. There were even files backed up to it not 5 minutes before. I just got finished trying it on a Win98 and the same thing "drive not formatted".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tell me about it. I'm seriously reconsidering an external drive as a backup option. I've tried the drive one 5 different systems at this point. So I don't think USB ports are the issue unless it's on the drive enclosure. I'm going to try it on a fresh install of XP without any updates from Microsoft (dot net framework and the like). The computer this drive was working on was only updated through SP1 as the system wouldn't accept the SP2 update. If that doesn't work I'll likely remove the drive from the enclosure and try hooking it up internally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the fresh install of XP didn't do the trick. I haven't taken the time yet to pull the drive from the case, I'll do that sometime next week. I've got a friend with a Mac that I might plug the drive into to see what happens. I'll post with the ultimate results when I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Old thread I know but I just got around to pulling the hard drive and plugging in directly. Still no luck Windows still doesn't recognize the drive as formatted (which I know it was). As a final gambit I think I'll plug it in and run a Fedora Live CD and see if it will read the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Still no luck. Trying to read it with a Fedora live CD gave the same results, the drive is picked up fine but the OS says it isn't formatted. I'm pretty much out of ideas on this one. I'd really like to know why it happened in the first place. I use basically the same backup method as my friend did, copy the data to an external HD.
 

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A system using an internal drive formatted with NTFS should properly see a FAT32 external device (I'm typing this message on such a configuration). Have you tried accessing the external drive maker's web site and downloading the XP drivers? They may also have a faq section that may help some. XP original and SP1 may not recognize USB services properly, so make sure the BIOS does.
 

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Just curious if you got anywhere with this, I am having the same type of problem. have a look at my post and see if my problems help you with yours. My laptop's power cord broke so I tried to install the hard drive as a slave in my stand alone computer with the necessary attachments but when I got it booted up the stand alone wanted to fromat it. Then I bought an external drive enclosure , installed the laptop drive in it, and the computer see's it but still I get the formatting message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just curious if you got anywhere with this, I am having the same type of problem. have a look at my post and see if my problems help you with yours. My laptop's power cord broke so I tried to install the hard drive as a slave in my stand alone computer with the necessary attachments but when I got it booted up the stand alone wanted to fromat it. Then I bought an external drive enclosure , installed the laptop drive in it, and the computer see's it but still I get the formatting message.
I read through your post and it sounds like basically the same issue. I've tried everything in my bag of tricks (different computers, different OS's, etc.) and nothing has worked at this point. I know the data's there but it's not accessible. Sorry I don't have any suggestions for you.
 
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