“Drive not detected / inaccessible”

This is the most common symptom we see here. An inaccessible drive can be caused by many different hardware or software problems. If you’ve had a new installation or changed system configurations, check your cables and connections. If the drive is connected and configured correctly and still doesn’t detect, it’s time for our services.

Call us anytime, 512-444-DATA (3282), to talk right away with a data recovery tech. We’ll help you through the process!

Description of Problem
For internal drives: you turn on the computer and either it doesn’t boot and displays a message saying that no boot drives were detected, or on a Macintosh shows the folder with question mark or a cancel sign icon. Sometimes you’re presented with the opportunity to reinitialize the drive or to reinstall the OS. If your data is important, don’t do that! The last thing you want to do is overwrite the old file system—we need that info for the best possible recovery.
For systems with more than one drive or with external drives, sometimes the OS drive is ok, so the computer boots, but one of your hard drives doesn’t show up in the BIOS or file system menu. Often, with a failing external drive, the system will operate extremely slowly (to the point of being unusable) until the bad drive is unplugged.

If this happens after a hardware change, there is a chance that the hard drive wasn’t installed correctly. Make sure the cables are seated and that any IDE/PATA drive’s jumpers are set correctly to master/slave/cs. For SCSI, make sure you’ve set the SCSI id correctly and that two components don’t occupy the same number. If no recent changes have been made prior to the problem manifesting, it’s most-likely that the drive is failing, and professional data recovery is advised. Keep in mind that ALL drives eventually fail, and often with little or no warning.

If you haven’t made any changes to the system before noticing the problem, or if you know all cables are connected properly, you should send it to us for evaluation. Once we receive your drive, we attempt to initialize the drive on our data recovery equipment and in the process, we check to see if your drive has a hardware or software problem, as well as the extent of the problem. Hardware problems can range from bad sectors or bad circuit boards to bad read/write heads, spindle failure, and or scratched platters. Often, the service area of the drive or firmware is damaged or corrupted as a result of other compound issues such as too many bad sectors. If the drive makes unusual clicking or other strange noises along with this problem, be sure to turn off the computer or drive immediately to avoid further damage.

Sometimes the drive’s hardware is not damaged but there is still a problem with software and/or your file system. Causes for software / logical trouble can range from improper shutdown, viruses, hacking, problems with updates, file-map or catalog file corruption, or an accidentally formatted drive and more.

The Good News
In the case of an inaccessible hard drive, the chances are high in most cases that we can still recover your data as long as the platters are not badly scratched, or as long as the data isn’t physically overwritten or corrupted. Often, we’re able to create a 99.9% perfect data recovery, even if the drive couldn’t be accessed at all under normal conditions. How well the data recovery comes out is usually primarily dependent on how badly the platters are damaged (if at all).

The Solution
Regardless of the cause your drive’s inaccessibility, be it hardware or software related, IT Data Recovery has the best solutions and greatest chance for successful data recovery. If you know that the hard drive or SSD is installed correctly and the drive still isn’t detected or is inaccessible, call us or click ‘START RECOVERY’ below for professional diagnosis and service.


Call 512-444-3282 to discuss your hard drive problem with a live technician and discuss options with your data recovery.

Click here to start your Data Recovery