USB Disk Initialization

210 pts.
Disk Manager
External Disk Drives
External hard drives
Hard disks
Hard drives
Microsoft Windows 7
USB hard drives
Can anyone give me some tips or software ideas of how to initialize an external hard drive attached by USB? I have had 2 occasions, one with a brand new HD and one with a HD taken out of an old computer where Disk Management will show the drive as "unknown, Not Initialized" and you get the error "This drive is not ready " when attempting to initialize. I have done some research online of similar issues without any known solutions. Windows obviously sees the HD but doesn’t know what to do with it. Does anyone know of a software package or tip to force this to work?

Software/Hardware used:
Windows 7

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I’ve had the same problem before, but I can’t remember exactly how I resolved the issues.

I think you have to have the usb drive running before you boot up your PC or you have to set up the usb drive (plug the usb connector and power supply) after the PC has booted up.

Is the usb the correct version (1 or 2). I tried using a usb 2.0 device with usb 1.1 software (operating system) and it was not able to read the MBR (master boot record) to determine how the hard drive was formated.

Just a few suggestions


There might be incompatibility issues in your hard disk drive to your USB port of your computer system. Remember that there are several types of USB ports like 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Make sure that your hard disk drive USB connector are compatible with your computer port.

Discuss This Question: 3  Replies

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  • Ledlincoln
    Um, in Windows Disk Management, right-click on the disk description on the left side and select Initialize? (That's my recollection - I don't have an uninitialized disk to verify this with.)
    1,620 pointsBadges:
  • ConFlicker
    Ledlincoln - what you describe is the problem we are having. It won't initialize, it gives an error. Sunsetrider - The USB adapter and motherboard plug are 2.0 although I haven't tried running the drive before boot. Usually I plug it in after the OS has booted. I will try and see what results I get. Thanks.
    210 pointsBadges:
  • jinteik
    IF it is a new hard disk you might need to format the disk 1st. or if not you can try the short cut by assigning a Drive letter to it...
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