External hard drive problems

First of all, apologies if this is in the wrong forum, but i need help from somebody.

I recently bought a new laptop that uses vista, i want to use my western digital external hard drive with it but it doesn't recognise it all the time.

I have used the external drive on my old laptop which had XP and it worked fine.

the only way i can get the laptop to recognise it is if i unplug the drive's seperate power supply from the back of the drive and plug it in again. the drive is then magically recognised.

I double check that it is working by restarting the computer and it still recognises it. If i unplug the comp at the wall for under 5 minutes it still recognises it but if i leave it for longer than 5 minutes, i'm just back to square one.

can anyone offer any suggestions?


is there no new vista drivers you can download and install for it?

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