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

The title says it all, really! I unplugged my usb 3 drive to take it to my lounge and plug into the media centre and hey presto, it can see the drive, but it shows as an empty folder. Funnily enough it shows up fine with all the files on the initial machine (Windows 8). The media centre is Windows 7.

Any ideas how to get the Windows 7 machine to recognise the drive? It was working before btw.


share|improve this question
Have you tried chkdsk /r X:? (X: is the drive letter) – gronostaj Jul 3 '13 at 13:54
Unfortunately it now can't see the drive at all :( – Marco Ruschioni Jul 3 '13 at 16:01

In the computer that it works in, try running CHKDSK on the drive to fix any file system errors.

To do this:

  1. Plug in your USB3 Drive
  2. Go to My Computer
  3. Right click on the drive in question and select Properties
  4. On the Tools tab click on the Check Now button
  5. Select both options and run

For a preliminary run, you might just want to run it without selecting the two options, it will run faster, but might not fix your problem.

You can also run CHKDSK from the command line.

share|improve this answer
Ok I just went to my pc and plugged it in and I can no longer read it. ^%$£! Now what? – Marco Ruschioni Jul 3 '13 at 13:53
See if you can locate it in Disk Management (Run -> diskmgmt.msc), and then right click on it and attempt the steps above starting from 3. – peanut_butter Jul 3 '13 at 13:56
@MarcoRuschioni - Try a Linux Live CD. At this point the data likely is corrupt. Are you sure the files were actually transfered to the drive instead of say shortcuts – Ramhound Jul 3 '13 at 14:02
I can't see it in disk management. :( There was about 500gb on there, of all my media. @Ramhound - what is a Linux Live CD? I don't have a cd drive... – Marco Ruschioni Jul 3 '13 at 14:07
@Ramhound Ok I see there is a USB Live. I've never touched Linux before, which version should I use, and what exactly must I do once I have booted with LiveUSB? And thanks btw! – Marco Ruschioni Jul 3 '13 at 14:25

You can do the following to restore the drive to a functioning state:

  • Insert your broken drive into an USB port.
  • Then start an elevated command prompt.
    • Open C:\Windows\System32\, right click on cmd.exe and "run as administrator"
    • Or, if you have the search box enabled, go to [Start], type cmd.exe in the search box. That should show the right file. Right click it and "run as administrator".
  • Type diskpart
  • Type list disk. You should get a list of all detected drives, including ones with no valid partitions or damaged filesystems.
  • Select the correct disk with select disk X. (Replace X with the right number).
  • Double check that you have the right disk. No typos!
  • Use the command clean to clear all configuration information and all information from the disk. This restores the disk to a known working state.
  • Create new partitions as desired. E.g. create primary primary to create a new partition.
  • Exit diskpart and reformat the new working drive.
  • Copy your data from your backup to the USB drive.

Diskpart screenshot.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Hennes. This will be my last resort as I want to see if I can salvage the data on there first. – Marco Ruschioni Jul 3 '13 at 18:23

You must log in to answer this question.

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