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.