I sincerely hope I have a simple problem to fix. I was tryng to get my computer (an old Dell desktop running Windows XP) to recognize an external storage device. I had to buy a docking station for the device because the USB connection became damaged. So the computer did recognize the external drive previously but once it was placed into the docking station, that is where my problem began.

Here is the issue. I used the Disk Manager to see if the drive was listed and it was. I quite mistakenly left clicked on the drive and selected initialize. Now my primary internal drive (C:) is not appearing and it looks as though the external drive has somehow been replaced as the primary drive. I know this because of the size information on the drive. The external drive is 1 Terabyte (sp?), and the hard drive for my computer is only 120 GB.

The computer appears to work fine outside of a Runtime Error that I receive whenever I want to explore the hard drive. Can this be fixed and is it farily simple?

I am not technical by any means which is how I got myself into this situation in the first place. Please help someone! I will check back tomorrow. Thank you in advance.


Initialize basically re-formatted the hard. Don't panic. You can recover the partition. If you have another system you can connect the drive to then look for a free program developed for the US Air Force called testdisk (usually packaged with photorec). Testdisk will look at the raw drive and attempt to recover the partition the way it was.

If you are not sure what to do contact your company IT team or if you want a GUI based application there are hundreds to choose from. Personally I like R-Studio and actually have purchased and re-ordered later versions of their recovery tools. But there are others which I am sure my fellow techs will be telling you about soon.

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