I have a Windows 7 PC (call it New7) that I built about a year and a half ago. Initially, I moved the hard drive from my wife's old PC (call it XP32) into New7 as a second drive. I also had a new DVD drive. The new hard drive is SATA; both the old drives are IDE. There were no problems recognizing anything.
I also had my own PC (call it XP64) that had three hard drives, two of which were from a previous PC. That computer died and I was unable to correct the issue. My wife has moved on to a new laptop, so I decided to combine the two PCs into one.
I added XP64's main drive (which was SATA) to New7. So at this point, New7 had three hard drives. No problem.
Well, I decided I didn't really need my wife's old drive XP32 drive in New7, so I pulled it and moved one of the other two old XP64 drives (both of which are IDE) to New7. I had some problems getting it connected right, from forgetfulness more or less. I left both the DVD and the HD with the same cable setting (slave). When I booted, it didn't seem to recognize either device correctly, instead showing some weird hybrid object in Explorer. I'm not sure if Windows 7 did something to this unknown device at that time. I shut down, changed the hard drive to master, and rebooted. It didn't see the DVD drive, and now it is showing the hard drive as totally blank. Then I tried pulling both IDE devices, and setting both to cable select, which ended up making the DVD drive the master. It was able to detect the DVD drive normally in that state, but for the slave hard drive, it is saying ATAPI incompatible during boot, and still saying it's 100% free space blank in Windows 7.
I did check all the cables, and everything seems to be connected correctly. It also was trying to do strange things to the hard drive (thinking it was a different type of device) until I realized I'd left the BIOS setting for the slave set to CDROM. Changing it to auto fixed that minor issue.
What's weird is that all three of these IDE hard drives (the one from XP32, and both from XP64) were originally system drives for 32-bit XP systems that I migrated to new PCs over the years. So I can't understand why Win7 would recognize the first one, but now think this one is blank, unless it formatted it or some like that.
So, my final question is, could I have accidentally formatted the drive under Windows 7? Or could Win7 just be having problems recognizing the content because of another problem? I'd really like to recover, or make viewable, the contents of this drive, if only I knew what had caused the problem in the first place.
Thanks for reading this, and for all replies.