External USB HDD not accessible

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by I2I2, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. I2I2

    I2I2 New Member

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    Hello Forum,

    It's not a hardware issue, so I'm posting it here.

    Seems I'm not the first one but it seems to be a recurring issue which is slightly different for everyone.

    I cannot access external HDDs connected via USB.
    The Device Manager shows a device. Under "Properties, Volume, polulate" it shows a zero capacity however.
    There is no letter (in "my computer") assigned to any drive I connect. Diskmanager does show it but as "not initialised". The attempt to initialise it returns "not ready".

    What now?

    Stephan


    PS: ALL HDDs do show in Kubuntu. So I'd exclude a hardware problem. HDDs are formatted in journalised ext3/4 as well as NTFS/FAT32. Should at least show FAT32/NTFS drives and partitions, shouldn't it?
     
  2. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    They should show unless the partition data is corrupt. What make of drive is it? Is Kubuntu some type of Linux OS? WD externals don't list Linux as a supported OS. What OS or tool did you format the drive with?
    Joe
     
  3. I2I2

    I2I2 New Member

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    Hi Joe,

    Yes Kubuntu is KDE Ubuntu Linux.
    The HDDs are WD and Seagate. No issue with WD on Linux even though I know they can be troublesome in some cases...

    Stephan
     
  4. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    It sounds like some partition info is corrupt. Maybe something like TestDisk TestDisk - CGSecurity might fix it. Sometimes using these drives between different versions of OSs cause problems. I've seen it with people moving the drives between XP and Windows 7. Do you always remove the drive properly? If not that can cause corruption.
    Joe
     
  5. johhnymarshal

    johhnymarshal New Member

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    Have you tried it plugging in on any other computer ? Plug-in and go to Control panel and select add hardware and let it show some result.
     
  6. I2I2

    I2I2 New Member

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    Hello,

    Yes I have. Plugged it into an XP machine. Same problem.
    But why would it work under Linux then...? I got four HDDs alltogether. If they were all corrupt nothing would show under Linux. Got a new 3 TB WD which also works on MAC/Linux. Just nothing under W7...

    Stephan
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    How many partitions are on these drives? And I have no experience with external drives and their compatibility with Windows when they have formatting such as you state. Windows is much more picky about drive configurations than Linux. And of course you know a 3 TB drive is a problem Windows, unless perhaps you set the drive up in a GPT configuration.

    Because I have seen problems moving external drives between systems/OSes, I keep a dedicated drive for each of my computers. I also have a small NAS to keep files I want to share with them all.
     
  8. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    I don't know why but Linux works sometimes it's possible to boot from a Linux Live CD and retrieve data that is not visible in Windows. Moving HDs between different PC is an ify thing. It may work for a long time then suddenly stop. Keeping drives dedicated to a definite machine is best. If you use a drive between different machines to transfer data make sure it isn't the only copy in case of a problem. Check this link unwritable drive - Western Digital Community Post 6 mentions software that allows a Mac to use a NTFS drive. That might work better than mutiple format partitions.
    Joe
     

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