My computer is configured with two sata HDDs. The primary one crashed the other day and now I am trying to recover the data that is on it.

I've plugged the faulty HDD into a machine where the primary HDD is running Windows 7 with the hopes of being able to salvage some of the data.

Unfortunately, the drive isn't being detected properly.

The Device Manager shows the following Disk Drives:

  1. ST316081 3AS SCSI Disk Device WDC
  2. WDC ROM Model Hawk SCSI Disk Device

The first drive is the Seagate HDD that is running Windows 7. The second drive seems like it might be the Western Digital drive that I'm trying to analyze. It's only detecting the size to be around 7642MB which isn't correct since the drive should be about 250GB.

Unfortunately, Windows isn't picking up the drive so I don't have a second drive mounted so I can access the files.

Does anyone on here know how I might go about recovering lost files from a faulty HDD even though Windows is not detecting the drive? Is there some software out there that might be able to detect the drive and give me access to its contents?

2 Answers 2


The only tool that comes to my mind is SpinRite. Its a bit expensive but its all I can recommend.

Good luck.

  • +1 for Spinrite. The cost is cheap compared to having a clean room recovery done and (since its software) can be used over and over again. I've had it come in handy enough times that its paid for itself several times over by now.
    – KPWINC
    Jun 19, 2009 at 19:14

Does the SATA controller BIOS show the drive correctly? If it does then I'd try one of the many boot CDs (or floppies) for repairing disks. SpinRite works as well an anything, but it can be very slow. Allow up to two days (!) for a badly damaged disk.

If the SATA controller doesn't show the drive properly then apart from trying it on a different SATA controller there probably isn't much you can do.


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