Windows 7 Windows 7 Won't Recognize External Hard Drive


New Member
May 21, 2009
I'm using the release candidate and whenever I plug in my Western Digital Passport USB external hard drive, I get nothing. It doesn't show up in device manager or in My Computer. The light on the harddrive comes on and the drive spins up, so I know it's working. Windows just won't recognize it. Any ideas?
I believe your other post was pulled.

Don't know if you got this, bit.....

Did this occur immediately after installing windows 7?

Does the drive have its own power supply

Are any entries in Device Manager marked in yellow?
I don't use the drive that often so I only noticed it after installing the release candidate (I went through builds 7000 and 7057 before 7100). The drive does not have it's own power supply, it's a 60GB Western Digital Passport drive. I didn't see any yellow entries.
I have been having issues with Windows 7 on three different machnes not recognizing ext hard drives that were formerly recognized. Oddly, the drives can be seen in Disk Management but not with the correct labels I assigned. I read a fix online that suggested re-assigning a drive letter to the ext drive and voila! now Windows sees the drives ..however, all the folders are reported as "shortcuts". Great, so doing a 3 hour chkdsk to see if this fixes it.

Thanks to the fellow who cries "backup". As an old tech I cry the same to my customers. However, I will add one caveat "Backup to two or three or FOUR locations" or you will be crying a sad song. What good is a backup to external media that suddenly Windows does not see?
I am having the same problem. I just re-formatted a computer from Vista to Windows & and now windows won't even recognize anything. I know teh USB ports work as it works with other things. The external Hard Drive is a WD model # WD5000PO32. Is there any fixes out there? Or do I have to go find an older computer and transfer everything over to a newer external hard drive?? This is very frusterating. Any information or help would be greatly appreicated. Thank you!
Try going to Disk Management and give the drive a new drive letter. It worked for me and you dont lose any data.
Ok that sounds good. Would you be able to give me directions on how to do that? Or know where I could find some clear steps on how to do that? It would be greatly appriecated!
Thank you!!!:D
Hi babyD and Welcome to The Forum.

In the Search Panel or a Run... Window type diskmgmt.msc

Right click the drive you wish to change the drive letter for, select Change Drive Letter and Paths >> Change.
Change the Drives letter, Ok your way out. A re-boot may be needed.
So I was able to plug it in and have it open up using my fire wire cable. But as soon as I tried to open any files or transfer them. The whole thing froze and had to quit. Once I closed everything down and re-opened I can not get anything to pop up or be recongized on my computer. So I did the instructions you gave me but how can I change the drive letter if the external hard drive won't even show up on the screen? All I want to do at this point is take everything from my old hard drive and transfer it to a new one I just bought as the old one has everything on it that I need :mad:. Typical I no wto know ot back everything up a million times for the future. If you have any other suggestions that would be great! At this point I am trying to track down either a computer with vista or a disk so that I can put my old computer back for vista. As my external hard drive seems to only recognize Vista. It won't work on XP either, it will open once then freezes. Again all your help is greatly appreicated!
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