Hard Drive is Inaccessible
An inaccessible hard drive can be a very worrying problem since it's the hard drive which contains all of your personal files. Hard drives can fail for a variety of reasons and, because of this; it's always a good idea to ensure that you have all important data backed up. If your hard drive is inaccessible, follow the troubleshooting tips below to attempt to diagnose and fix the issue.
1 - Find Out if the BIOS Detects the Device
You may need to refer to your motherboard or computer manual for this, since there are various types of BIOS. The BIOS is the computer's primary operating system-independent setup utility where you can configure important hardware settings as well as boot device priorities. The BIOS is normally accessible by pressing F2 or DEL on your keyboard just after the computer has been switched on.
In the BIOS, you should be able to find a list of drives installed on your computer, including hard drives, optical drives and USB drives. If you cannot see the inaccessible hard drive here, then it is most likely that there's a physical problem with the drive or the connection.
2 - Check Cable Connections
If the drive doesn't appear in the BIOS or boot screen, open up your computer and ensure that all of the cables are securely connected. If they are connected, and the computer still doesn't detect the drive, try connecting the hard drive cable to a different socket on the motherboard. Likewise, try a different power cable. If it still doesn't work, you may have a broken hard drive in which case, you'll need to take it to a data recovery specialist to recover any data on it.
3 - Faulty File System or Partitions
If there is a problem with the file system or partition, usually the only practical way to salvage the drive is to reformat it. You can try taking it to a data recovery specialist beforehand, however. You can also try running the repair tools provided on your Windows 7 DVD. To do this, insert your Windows 7 DVD and boot up the computer from it. You may need to change the boot device priority in the BIOS before you can do this. Refer to your computer or motherboard manual for further instructions should you need them. Windows 7 Setup provides various recovery options which can help you to repair you hard drive file system and partitions.
4 - Replace the Hard Disk
If your hard drive is failing frequently, or you see hard disk errors starting to occur in the Event Viewer, it's time to replace your hard disk as soon as possible, before it fails completely.