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 got a hard drive which I think is either encrypted or corrupted. When I tried to connect it to my other desktop, my desktop was unable to identify it. Is there any powerful way to detect and format it?

share|improve this question
What is your OS? Have you tried a live CD? I would recommend Hiren's or a Linux based... Couldn't you just format the HD or is there data you want off of it? – Grant Nov 19 '13 at 23:08
Have you tried using the manufacturer's software for that specific drive? For Windows, in the control panel search for storage. – BillR Nov 20 '13 at 1:41
For Windows, in the control panel search for storage or disk management or format. Does the drive appear under disk management? Or do you mean that the PC does not even attempt to read the drive? What is the error message(s)? How are you connecting it to the first and second PCs and what kind of drive is it (e.g., drive is Maxtor 500 GB SATA and 2nd PC (Vista) is SATA to USB)? [Sorry, this was the second half of the original comment. With 5 minute edit limit I can't even discuss what we are having for dinner!] – BillR Nov 20 '13 at 1:51

I believe GParted Live CD can do the job. You should also try Control Panel -> Administrative Tools->Computer Management.

share|improve this answer

Encrypted disk or partition is not the same as damaged device, it's a total different thing and you can surely see that in any partitioning tool. I don't know what OS you are using, but I'm using debian, and I also have some encrypted volumes on it. Look at the following picture:


So as you can see, you can simply delete or reformat each encrypted volume like it was a normal partition. But if you have no disk at all in your partitioning tool, then device is probably damaged, and you can do nothing.

share|improve this answer

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.