I extracted this hard drive from a PC and connected it to my backup server through a SATA-to-USB 2.0 adapter and Windows promptly asked to format the hard drive. I proceeded to disconnect it and connect it to a Linux PC and the result is the same. fdisk shows no partitions whatsoever, as if the partition table were blank or corrupted. The thing is, that if I connect it to the "original" computer where it was, it boots normally and works perfectly fine. Why does this happen? Is there a way to workaround this?

Also: I have to add that this is not exclusive to this drive, I have experienced this behaviour where the drive would only work on the same PC/adaptor where it was "formatted" on, or where the partition table was created:

  1. With many Windows 8/8.1 laptops.
  2. With some Windows 7 computers.
  3. With a SATA 2.5" HDD drive enclosure I got. This one is tricky since I could only use the drive through the enclosure (I formatted the drive through it) and not directly from a SATA port or trough the SATA-to-USB adaptor, likewise, If I formatted the drive through the adaptor, it wouldn't work using the enclosure nor directly to a SATA port and so on...

I hope you can help me, thank you.

  • Is the backup server and PC you want to backup on network? – cybernard Aug 7 '15 at 5:19
  • No, I lack an extra switch at home, but the point is not how to backup the data but why this happens – arielnmz Aug 7 '15 at 5:27
  • Do the motherboards have TPM chips and/or could the hard drives be encrypted? – cybernard Aug 7 '15 at 5:39

I have seen this happen. The 1st possibility is full drive encryption using a hardware TPM chip (Workaround:disable encryption). Second, I think some PC manufacturers are offsetting the hard drives sector 0. So they create a reserved area, for them. The PC it told to start at sector 10 (or whatever) is 0, and you try and boot on a PC that does have this offset and of course it doesn't work.

Honestly, extracting hdd is the hard way. I would suggest a PXE(network boot) solution such as a drbl server. Hit F12, or whatever network boot is, a couple time, make sure it connects and walk away.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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