Drive Active But Inaccessable

I have a external Wester Digital drive plugged in to my PC via USB 2.0. Earlier today i did a clean OS install on my machine. Before the clean install, I was using the same windows 7 installation and the disc was accessible. Its listed in this picture as disk 6. Its marked as active. I tried changing the drive letter/path but i receive an error message. I receive the same error message if i try to reformat the drive. The error message tells me that a change cant be made because Disk Management is not refreshed. If i refresh disk management the status of the drive doesn't change. I have restarted Disk Management, restarted my PC and plugged the external into a few USB drives hoping for a different result.

The trick is, i need to recover the data on the drive. Any help that could be provided would be greatly appreciated.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
It appears you have been changing partition sizes or installing different OSes since you have those 9 MB unallocated partitions. Are you using a third party partitioning software? Is the Drive Hidden or have you tried to unhide it? Did you use any type of encryption software on the drive?


Fantastic Member
Maybe a USB issue with the standard WIN7 driver, it may have worked fine before but it was a different driver version, go to USB maufactures site for a driver. The drive shows online not active in you pic. Do you have access to another PC so you can verify the drive and/or USB interface are OK? Can you remove the drive from the carrier and install direct to PC to get the information?

Joe S

Excellent Member
Try looking on the WD forums. I think I've seem this posted before. Try on another PC if possible. Some times Test Disk TestDisk - CGSecurity will fix the partiton. If it's a drive that allows password protection removing from case may not work and will void warranty. One more thing is to try other USB ports use one in back without a hub if possible.

Thank you for the replies everyone. I was able to access it and format it on another computer, but it still doesn't show on mine. both computers are running 64 bit windows 7

Joe S

Excellent Member
Is this a powered or USB powered drive? WD USB powered can be cranky they make a power booster cable. Make sure it's plugged into a back port without a hub.

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