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I have three disks on my system, and one is a laptop disk that may be bad in a SATA enclosure hooked by USB 2. It is disk 1 in Windows (of disk 0, disk 1, and disk 2). I would love to run CHKDSK on it but it seems to be only able to run on the primary disk or a drive letter.

The drive isn't showing up in Computer, because either is is bad or because the drive letters are the same as the primary disk (C: and D:).

Linux couldn't find disk either, and gparted showed IO error on the device.

I'm trying to do all I can before either taking it to a professional or just tossing it.

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The hard drive might be fine, the enclosure might be the problem, remove it from the enclosure before you toss it. –  Moab Apr 29 '12 at 23:49

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It is impossible for the drive letters to be "the same" because they are assigned by Windows, not permanently kept somewhere on disk; it would simply use E: and F:, for example. If it does not, try assigning a new one using diskmgmt.msc or mountvol. (Don't forget that disks can be mounted on folders, not just on diskletters; e.g. C:\Disks\Backup.)

However, as you said, Linux also reports I/O errors on the disk, so this shows that the problem is not with "drive letters" but at a lower level.

It does not make much sense to run chkdsk on a volume that cannot be mounted, as the primary purpose of chkdsk is to check a filesystem for consistency, and any filesystem that Windows does not recognize is beyond chkdsk's help.

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