Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Yes I realise that most external Hard Drives would not be transitioned into internal sitting Hard Drives, but unfortunately we broke the miniUSB connection that transfers the data from external Hard Drive to laptop.

What we are TRYING to do now, is get the WD MyBook 1TB to funtion alongside (preferably as SLAVE) to my currently exsisting Desktop Hard Drive. both are SATA drives. We have the SATA power, and Data cables, and these are in place (but - somehow NOT working) - Help please - I am not computer illeterate, just don't know how to switch this so it works.

How do I turn one into master, and the newer one (that was external) into the slave drive?

share|improve this question
Does the drive spin up? You should be able to feel the drive start/run simply by touching it when the computer is powered on. That should help you narrow the problem down a bit – Fake Name Jan 16 '11 at 12:31

Master/slave were the two "halves" of the old PATA channel, two drives per channel, with only one reading/writing at a time. Standard systems would have two channels, so you could have four PATA drives. With SATA, it's one drive per channel, and usually more channels, like four; so still, four drives, but simpler.

Generally, you could only boot a PATA master; but you can boot any SATA (by default, the lowest channel number). Also, it was a bad idea to put drives that would data going from one to the other on the same PATA channel as master/slave, because only one drive in that channel could be working at a time. But it would still work. Some motherboards also will emulate a PATA controller with two SATA channels/drives -- something you don't need or want, but should still work.

You don't say exactly what the problem is. Does the computer recognize the MyBook drive at all? Does it -- I imagine it's identified as some kind of "WDC" drive -- get listed by the BIOS at startup? If so, try disconnecting the "main" drive, and connecting only the MyBook with the same cables (you know the SATA and power work). With only one drive connected, you should be better able to tell if it is getting power and spinning up.

Or is it that the OS (Windows? Which one?) doesn't recognize it? In that case, boot a Linux CD, and see if it detects the drive.

share|improve this answer
I figured out how to get everything on my system - but since I muddled through, and was prompted to format (They are both recognised now, and I have a New drive Letter for the previous external Hard Drive) I did, and with formatting I seem to have lost all the Data from the hard drive ... How Do I go about data retreival, is there any way to do so, with a program or software from the internet (for free) or... would I be best to take this to a computer technician? – Steph W Jan 16 '11 at 22:15
Chances are most of the raw data is still there, especially if the format took only minutes (it takes a long time to wipe 1TB). However, easy recovery is another matter. Search for answers on this site, or post a new question. It also might be worth spending $50 for a program to recover the data -- what's it worth to you? Until you decide what to do, don't use the drive for anything, which would only make matters worse. Taking it to a tech might be the way to go. – Ken Jan 16 '11 at 22:53
Thanks for that - Its my boyfriends Data - We are trying to recover the data (Not sure which route to take at this point) and then put it over onto my External 1TB (not the same one) so that we can then Use the Video's and pictures again. As he has a laptop, and since I have a tower PC, once we recover and transfer the data then it will still be the same size for us both as it was previously anyway. Thanks for all your help Ken. – Steph W Jan 17 '11 at 3:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .