Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

I have an external usb hard drive enclosure. I'm attaching some very old IDE drives to from an old computer to see if there are any photographs or things worth saving on them.

I plug the enclosure in with the ide drive attached. Everything spins up, but nothing shows up in My Computer. However under Computer Management in the Administration Tools in the CP - I see the volume. It's labeled as Disk 2, Basic, Online, Healthy (Active, Primary Partition). However, It has no drive letter and I can't find an option to force it to mount.

I need advice on how to make this thing mount. I can see by looking at the device properties, the volume is a Master Boot Record partition style, and has no letter assigned.

share|improve this question
probably a compatibility issue between the older hard drives and the enclosure usb chipset. I kept older enclosures just for this very reason. – Moab Aug 18 '12 at 0:14

In the Disk Management console right-click the partition and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths".

Then choose "Add" to assign it a drive letter.

Disk Manager

share|improve this answer
When I right click the Healthy (Active, Primary Partition) that option is greyed out. I have options only for: Delete Volume and Help. Right clicking the Drive gives me options for: New Spanned Volume, New Striped Volume, Convert to Dynamic Disk, Properties, and Help. – Rapture Aug 17 '12 at 18:18
Ahh that would have been good to include in your question. ;) What file system does it report for that partition? Are you confident the disk itself and the file-system on it are in good shape? Have you does any disk checks on it? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 17 '12 at 18:20
It doesn't report a file system. I have only plugged it in and looked at it in Disk Management. Could you recommend a tool for doing a disk check? Thanks! – Rapture Aug 17 '12 at 18:23
Windows chkdsk, or better (IMO) GRC's SpinRite – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 17 '12 at 18:25
@SpinRite: Probably needs a drive letter in order to run chkdsk on it... – martineau Aug 17 '12 at 19:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.