Friends: I have found MS Knowledge Base articles # 133240 and #310575 which led to a solution of my dilemma. If you run XP and disengage the USB connection while an external hard drive is active, you will be unable to "see" the contents of that hard drive which may have been corrupted. You can check the integrity of the drive's contents by plugging the USB device into another port on your computer or into the USB port of a second computer if you have one on hand. The inoperative USB port can be reconfigured by following the MSKB troubleshooting routine outlined in the two articles I have cited above. This cure should work with other USB devices which have been accidently disconnected while the device is active. A warning: When a USB device is connected and running properly, an icon will appear in the systray. Always click on the icon and select the option for safe removal before unplugging any active external device. My external USB devices are all connected by a second cable to my surge suppressor and thus to household AC current. I can't tell you at this point if the newer USB devices, which draw current through their USB cable directly from their CPU, behave in the same manner when improperly disconnected. Paul King >The final sentence of the fourth paragraph should read "Partition Magic 8" >instead of "Drive Image 7". > >PK > > > >I have worked my way into a corner with some fuzzy thinking about >partitioning and formatting an external hard drive. I have an XP Home >system and a 40 gig USB linked external Maxtor 3000SL HD which I divided >into four partitions, all formatted, using XP's drive management utility. > >I used Drive Image 7 to clone my internal HD (Hitachi). Then I read the >external drive to verify that the clone had migrated to the external drive. >It had. > >Then I later attempted with DI 7 to update the external drive clone. That's >about when the s*** began to hit the fan. When I attempted to read the >external drive again with XP, there was nothing there. > >I have checked the MS and Maxtor knowledge bases without a great deal of >enlightenment. But I saw some posts at the Maxtor site which seemed to >indicate that the external hard drive must be partitioned with XP's disk >management utility. The posts did not say specifically not to use a third >party tool like DI 7 to partition, however. > >The cause may be that I disconnected the USB drive from my computer before >clicking on the systray icon which says "Safely Remove Hardware" and lists >all USB devices active at that moment. > >I am still not sure exactly how I caused my cloned OS and files to >disappear. Anybody steer me in the right direction? I'll be googling for an >answer before I check back here. > >Meanwhile, I backed everything up on CDs. > >Paul King -- ** Remove the anti-virus footer, ads, and this line and everything below when replying ** For a web-based membership management utility and information on list policies, please see http://www.freelists.org/webpage/24hoursupport To unsubscribe, send a blank email to 24hoursupport-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject.