[SOLVED] Unrecognized Partition, How To Assign Drive Letter Without Formatting?

Brother_Hood

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I've known my way around Windows for about two decades now, and usually take care of such problems myself. I am familiar with the Disk Management tool, where the partition shows up as healthy and primary. Of course I am thankful that the hard drive works, and the quickest way would usually be to backup, format, and copy back. However, we're talking about 9TB of data here. I'm sure anyone can understand why I would love to skip the format this time around...

As for the back story of this hard drive: I just did a complete overhaul of my primary NAS / home server, which included a motherboard upgrade and a switch from Proxmox Virtual Environment to Windows Server 2022 (you have every right to berate me for that). I don't believe it is a problem specific to the Windows 11 architecture, upon which Server 2022 was built, because another disk I used with Proxmox shows up correctly. Both are formatted in NTFS, but I'm afraid the affected disk was formatted within the Linux architecture, and there might be where things got messy. I had the foresight to format each HDD in NTFS, just in case I would grow tired of Linux and switch back to Windows one day. At least with the other disk, I went the extra mile and formatted it within Windows. I'm afraid I didn't think of that for the affected disk.

The disk does show up in Disk Management with a healthy and primary partition. However, it shows 100% free space, and no drive letter. From the Windows Pre-Installation Environment, the disk shows up with the correct amount of free storage space. When selecting it, it says Windows can't be installed on it, and at the next step I get the error "The partition is of an unrecognized type", as can be observed on the screenshots below:

 

USAFRet

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The main reason for having only the one drive connected is so that the boot partition does not end up on a different drive.
Not something you selected or could prevent, it just does it.

Here, it appears to be the EFI partition on Disk 4, partition 1 (which we can't see in the bottom 1/2 of your screenshot)
 

Brother_Hood

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Thanks a lot for getting back so fast! Of course I could get to the files with something like a Linux boot disk, but I wish I could find a way to spare me the burden and time of moving 9TB of data around.

First off, you should have installed the OS with only ONE physical drive connected.
Yes, I am aware of that. However, I thought that would just be a precautionary measure. Personally, I never had any problems doing it this way. I could always re-install, but I don't believe that would solve anything. Like I said, it's probably because I formatted the disk on Debian (Proxmox) with something like ntfs-3g. I don't remember quite correctly. Should have seen that one coming.

Here's the Disk Management:

 

USAFRet

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The main reason for having only the one drive connected is so that the boot partition does not end up on a different drive.
Not something you selected or could prevent, it just does it.

Here, it appears to be the EFI partition on Disk 4, partition 1 (which we can't see in the bottom 1/2 of your screenshot)
 

Brother_Hood

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Correct, Disk 2 is the affected disk. Disk 4 is the OS drive (1TB SSD). So no surprise there in regard to the EFI partition.

When I right click on Disk 2 in disk management, it only gives me the option to delete. Looking grim, right?
 

Brother_Hood

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If I remember correctly, I did not format this disk on Windows. Since it was the first HDD I put into my Proxmox NAS that I built about 2 years ago, I believe I simply put it in and formatted right in there. It came from Seagate unformatted, and I opted for NTFS for compatibility with Windows. I believe I used the utility "ntfs-3g" under Debian (Proxmox) to format it, and that is the problem. Should have simply done it on my Windows desktop, and then put the drive in the NAS.
 

USAFRet

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If I remember correctly, I did not format this disk on Windows. Since it was the first HDD I put into my Proxmox NAS that I built about 2 years ago, I believe I simply put it in and formatted right in there. It came from Seagate unformatted, and I opted for NTFS for compatibility with Windows. I believe I used the utility "ntfs-3g" under Debian (Proxmox) to format it, and that is the problem. Should have simply done it on my Windows desktop, and then put the drive in the NAS.
The NAS would have wanted to format in whatever Linuxy thing (Debian) it uses.

Now, trying to directly access this in Windows won't work.
Windows will want to format it as basic NTFS.

We're presuming there is data on this drive you do not wish to lose?
 

Brother_Hood

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Exactly. Of course I can copy over the data in a Linux environment, then re-format the drive. Just thought there might be a way around it. I never copied 9TB of data in one fell swoop. That's gotta take, what, half a day perhaps? Even with those enterprise grade helium drives it must take a lot of time.

NTFS-3G is an open implementation of the Microsoft standard, so I thought Windows would be able to detect it. Bad judgement on my part. My other disk that I formatted in my Windows desktop is perfectly readable.
 

Brother_Hood

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I have a backup of the important user data, the others are just media rips. So I guess I'll have to break out my shiny new 14TB Seagate Exos drive and transfer the data over. Ah well, I'm gonna book this one under lesson learned.
 
The problem is that the HDD has been formatted as a "super floppy". Normally sector 0 contains the MBR code and partition table, but in this case sector 0 is the boot sector of the 10TB NTFS volume. That is, there is no partition table.

If you d-click the NTFS volume, DMDE should show you a complete directory tree, and it will allow you to recover the files to another drive.
 

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