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Thread: External Hard disk shows offline in disk management in Windows 7

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    External Hard disk shows offline in disk management in Windows 7

    I have a computer to which I hook up different hard drives thrugh an IDE and SATA to USB adaptor to hook up a hard drive to the computer. I use this to run disk checks on the drive or to backup dataI had Win XP earlier and it detected the hard drives without any problem, but due to some other problems I installed Windows 7, but this is giving me a problem with the hard disk I connect.

    Some disks when plugged in using the IDE or SATA to USB adapter won't be seen in "my computer". If I go into Disk Management it shows the detected drive in there, but its listed as "offline". Because of this status, it cannot be seen on My Computer. If I right click on it and select "online" then only it shows online and on my computer. This dosenít happen with all the disks, but randomly. I cannot waste my time everytime going and turning it online. Is there a option in Windows 7 where I could disable that option of being offline and is permanently?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: External Hard disk shows offline in disk management in Windows 7

    Some of the disks might be dynamic disks initially or created ti be be, According to Microsoft the offline stustus is only for dynamic disks. One way to check this out is using the Command Line Interface, run Cmd, then change directories to the root. When your drive is connected, type "List Disk" and you will get a list of all disks connected, their Status, Size, Free space, and also if it is dynamic. In DiskPart, you can type "Select Disk x" (whichever it is), they type "Online Disk" to bring it online. Although the first method looks better to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: External Hard disk shows offline in disk management in Windows 7

    I also had one issue with trying to backup a customer's drive on a Vista computer. I pulled the drive, and connected it to our computer. Again turned it online, removed it and then Now I put the drive back in my customers computer, it wouldn't boot. I then had to back up it with ERD Commander, and fix the system start. This fixed it and got it booting again but Iím worried about this going forward.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: External Hard disk shows offline in disk management in Windows 7

    When you connect it to your computer for backing up, run diskpart and see how it configured the disks. You might also take the same sata disk, and SATA-USB or PATA-USB controller conversion process has affected the Offline status in your test computer too. The win-7 handles the removable drives as such due to the different way OS handles security permissions due to moving removable drives temporarily from an XP machine to a Win-7 computer. So, transferring from XP to 7 might have a problem because of the security parameters in Win 7 that make it offline which you have to turn online everytime.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: External Hard disk shows offline in disk management in Windows 7

    Try changing the disk setting using DiskPart. The DiskPart is a text mode command line interpreter that is used to configure and maintain disks. It has about 30 subcommands like DiskPart, FSUtil, Chkdsk, Defrag. Have to begin Cmd to start it. IT can change the way a disk behaves by command directly. For example DiskPart> "list disk" Ė which gives info about Disk numbers, Disk ###, Status of each, Size of each disk, Free Space, whether Dynamic or Basic types, and the partition style. Using the disk # ou can find the info for a given disk and can change it settings too. It might give you some clue as to why it is going offline. Just play around with the commands.

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