An IDE hard drive is perhaps quite old. I would suggest to check for hardware issues. The GParted live cd can boot a linux environment, where you can run some check processes. I would suggest to use the latest stable GParted live. I precise that it is always possible to run such checks from within other Linux distributions, however in case of problem you couldn't be sure if it comes from a faulty drive or from some missing library or other software part. GParted live contains everything GParted needs.
A first check is done by GParted: it reads the partition table and displays info about partitions on graphic screen. In case of any serious problem (hardware or software) that prevents GParted from detecting that info, nothing is displayed. If the drive's hardware is detected but the partition table is somehow broken, then the drive can appear empty.
Another check can be done by watching the output of the "dmesg" command from the terminal window as "root". For this you have to open a terminal window and write the command
before plugging the drive to the usb port. After plugging the usb connector you can follow the system messages in the terminal. Normally, within a few or more seconds (it can be usually up to 30 seconds). If you take repeated messages about "I/O errors" this means that the system tries and retries to read from the hard drive but it get no reply. In this case, a hardware problem is highly probable at the drive level.
A further check can be done by using the SMART information stored on the drive by the drive's firmware. The firmware keeps information on anything happens during the drive's work, especially read/write problems and bad sectors. Special software can read this info and display it to the screen. GParted live contains "smartctl". You have to run the command
from a terminal window. This command delivers lots of information, as well as a health report at the end.
If you don't detect any serious hardware problem, the issue is probably related to some software problem, e.g. broken partition table (hard drive's boot sector) or broken partition boot sector, or broken filesystem.
If the system detects the hard drive, it gives it a name similar to "/dev/sda" or "/dev/sdb" etc (the final letter can change according to the other disk devices detected by the system on bootup). If the partition table is valid and contains one or more partitions, they are numbered as "/dev/sda1", "/dev/sda2" or "/dev/sdb1", "/dev/sdb2" etc.
Another software you can use is "testdisk". It is included in the GParted live media. Furthermore, it is available with it's own live cd too, from the web page "cgsecurity" together with the file recovery software photorec.
Testdisk scans the entire hard drive's space to detect lost partition info and tries to rebuild a broken partition table or similar partition-related issues.
Finally, a broken filesystem can be hard to recover, even impossible in some cases (that's why keeping backup of important files is always the best practice). GParted includes some check commands, however for the ntfs filesystem you need almost always the "chkdsk" command from the dos window.
*** It is highly recommended to backup any important files before doing resize/move operations. ***