Windows not recognizing my external hard drive.

15 pts.
Tags:
Hard drives
USB device not recognzed
Windows XP
When I plug my external hard drive into the USB, it does absolutely nothing. It doesn't recognize that a device has been connected at all. I know it's not a problem with the hard drive itself, because it works just fine when I plug it into my laptop, and I know it's not a problem with the USB port because my thumb drive works in the same port. If it's a normal driver issue, shouldn't it still recognize that a device has been connected, even if it can't use it properly? I'm on Windows XP SP2, by the way. Any suggestions on what to do would be most appreciated.

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How old is your pc? Check the speed of your USB port it shoul be 2.0 if the drive is plugged in to a 1.0 port this could cause the problem.

Aaron, if you reinstalled the OS and eveyything went ok then that is not the issue. You said previously that you could still use the drive on another pc right? Well this has happened to me and I realized the drive was bad. It too would be seen by a laptop but eventually the laptop would not recoginize it anymore either.

Plug it in to your laptop and save any files that are on it to another drive, as I believe it’s going bad. Wish I could be more helpful.

Assuming that the drive works, the cable’s fine, there’s no USB 1.0 vs 2.0 compatibility issues, and the USB port is working, try the answer from diggdougg (that’s me):

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  • Aaron Brown
    The USB port is 2.0, but the drive is actually backwards-compatible with 1.1 anyway. Also, it worked on the same computer in the same port until I reinstalled Windows. I probably should've mentioned that, buuut... I can't figure out how to edit the question, if that's even possible.
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  • Jblossom
    Aaron, This happened to me recently with a Smartdisk outboard USB drive. In my case it was a SmartDrive, which uses a Samsung driuve. The drive was fried, I paid $150 to get some of the data extracted. Apparently you can swap in a better drive as needed into this device - it's not a good one, I found by cruising a number of message boards.
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  • Mohib
    Well its not usb, you have manually give drive letter in disk management , Right click on My computer Click Manage Click on Disk Management, There you will see your external hard drive right click on it Change drive letter or give it one . boom it will give you relief Hope its help Cheers Azhar
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  • Genderhayes
    If the drive has a letter assigned, minimize the Disk Management window and open My Computer Plug in and turn on the external USB hard drive Right mouse click on My Computer Left click on Manage Left click on Device Manager Expand the USB list Find the USB device for your USB Hard Drive Right mouse click Uninstall Turn off the external USB hard drive Turn on the external USB hard drive and let it find and install the driver should be workable
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