I'm decent enough on the computer but have not encountered this problem before.

I currently have one SSD and two SATA hard drives on my PC. The SSD is the C: drive. Then, I have a D: and J: drive.

I don't always keep my J: drive data cable connected to the drive unless I am using it for data storage or file transfers. Today I had it disconnected. Thinking nothing of it at the time, I did a system defrag on the C: drive.

Afterwards, I wanted to use the J: drive, so, I plugged its data cable in but it does not appear anywhere! I shut the computer down and re-started it thinking it may help the computer notice that it was plugged back in, but again, nothing.

Is it possible that the disc defrag disposed of any memory of the drive, or, rearranged files so that previous locations are now located elsewhere having the J: drive reference? It's a 3 TB hard drive and I had only used about 200 GB on it. If I were to lose the information on it, all would not be doom and gloom. I'm just at a loss for idea's as to what I might be able to do to recover it.

Anyone with an idea I might try before disposing of this hard drive itself?

Intel Core i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz 16 GB RAM 64-bit OS Win 7 Pro Service pack 1 Western Digital 3TB hard drive

  • I don't think it's related, but why would you defrag a SSD? – gronostaj Aug 23 '15 at 21:49

I don't think the defrag would have done anything to cause this problem. I would try reseating the SATA and power cable again, and trying another SATA port on your motherboard if you have one. I would also look in disk management and see if it is being recognized or not.

Note on Defragging SSD You should never defrag an SSD, because the SSD controller writes data in a scattershot-fashion to multiple NAND chips and locations, using algorithms that only the controller understands. The operating system sees it as a hard drive with sectors, but the data is spread all over the drive by the controller. Defragging these “sectors” is like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded: You can feel parts of the pattern, but you can’t see the whole picture. In addition, NAND is good for only a few thousand write cycles, so defragging can reduce the SSD’s lifespan by unnecessarily writing data to it.

And since data is not being read sequentially, it doesn’t matter if the file is stored in a hundred different places, the performance will remain the same.

  • OK, didn't know that about defragging an SSD; good tip for the future. – Raventhru Aug 24 '15 at 9:24
  • Also: checked the cables yesterday when this happened and all was good. Shut computer down last night and went to bed. This morning, started computer before work and now the J: drive is there, BUT, it show empty.Right clicking on it and going to Properties it shows 2.72 TB left out of 3 TB. So, it shows almost 300 GB used on the drive but I am still unable to get to it. I am now wondering about just re-formatting it. Your thoughts? – Raventhru Aug 24 '15 at 9:30
  • @Raventhru, try chkdsk /r J: first (as Administrator). It sounds like you have a filesystem corruption, maybe it's fixable. – gronostaj Aug 24 '15 at 10:10
  • Long day; just home from work and saw this. Tried what you had written here and got this: C:\Windows\system32>chkdsk /r J: Cannot open volume for direct access. – Raventhru Aug 24 '15 at 22:56
  • Also, this time when I turned the computer on the J: drive did not show up again as in the beginning. Probably why the chkdsk failed. – Raventhru Aug 24 '15 at 22:58

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