Windows 7 Won't Recognize External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by mattjones16, May 21, 2009.

  1. sonaxaton

    sonaxaton New Member

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    I have a Seagate backup hard drive that appeared on my Mac, but not my Win7 PC. I tried what twincitybulldog said:
    Ext drive

    I did this:
    Go: control panel
    administrative tools
    computer management
    disk management
    scroll down the list of drives and your drive should be there.
    May need to be formated

    but when I right clicked on the drive in the list, or tried to change anything about it, the only option not disabled was to delete the drive :confused:
     
  2. mtnblue222

    mtnblue222 New Member

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    Re: external hard drive not recognized in windows 7

    I note that this thread has been read over 37,000 times so it looks like Microsoft has a significant problem here.

    I have a Seagate external hard drive that I use for backup. It worked fine for about 2 months on my Gateway desktop which runs Windows 7, then Windows stopped recognizing the drive. I've tried using the administrative tools etc. as recommended in this thread, but nothing works. The operating does not seem to see the hard drive at all.

    I tested the hard drive on my HP laptop running Vista. It works just fine. So it seems that Windows 7 is acting up in some way.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  3. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 New Member

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    Re: external hard drive not recognized in windows 7

    Just because a thread has been read over 37,000 times does not necessarily mean that Microsoft has issues with external hard drives.

    I have not had one issue with my three external hard drives at all. Two are eSATA connection and the portable drive is a USB 2.0 connection.

    I don't use proprietary external drives built by WD, Seagate, LaCie, etc. I always make my own with the hard drive of my choice and a third-party external case such as Vantec, ThermalTake, or Sans Digital. I also set the hard drive parameter for a GPT-type of hard drive (GUI Partition) rather than an MBR-type (Master Boot Record).

    If I were you I would pull the hard drive out of the external case and hook it up direct to your motherboard and see if it gets recognized and functioning from there. If not, then your hard drive has "bit the dust" and time to get a new drive. If it is recognized then it is probably a controller issue in the Seagate external case electronics.
     
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  4. funnellrly

    funnellrly New Member

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    This is my problem. I can't rename my external WD 320gig. Works on my mac without fail, but not my new system with win7.
     
  5. benrowsey

    benrowsey New Member

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    Re: Ext drive

    My external hhd is not recognized either. When i do this in disk management nothing is there. Nothing shows up in windows explorer or on my computer. The only thing I can do is "eject media" from the safely remove hardware page. Please help me! Thanks is advance. Ben
     
  6. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    Re: Ext drive

    My machine won't recognize IDE ATA/100 (these are a combination of Ultra, ATA and PATA) external drives either. I have tried 4 different drives (two are internal 2.5" laptop drives which I hooked up via a Pro IDE/SATA/USB adaptor) all using USB - Seagate, Seagate/Maxtor, Fujitsu and Hitachi. All of these devices are readable on an XP machine. These devices are not visible in Disk Management and each shows up as an "Unknown Device" in the Device Manager.

    I updated BIOS with "Intel-suggested micro code" updates - no change.
    I changed the USB interface from High Speed (480mbs) to Full Speed (12mbs) in BIOS - no change.
    The individual manufacturers do not have firmware or model/S-N specific drivers for any of the devices.
    Reformatting to FAT32 doesn't help.
    In the "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" section of the Device Manager, I only see a SATA Controller (but that's probably normal since these drives are not cabled directly to the motherboard - and aren't supposed to be).
    They don't show up in the "Safely Remove Hardware & Eject Media" utility.
    W7 Troubleshooter doesn't recognize the device as having a driver problem - just an unknown USB device.
    I have an external 1TB drive that is eSATA and it works.

    So I'm guessing there's a problem with Win7 and IDE/ATA drives. Anyone have any other ideas or comments (please withhold any preachy stuff about building your own or external case electronics - no need for any more silly and inexperienced jibberish).

    Thanks - bezimmer
     
    #26 bezimmer, Sep 13, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  7. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    Re: external hard drive not recognized in windows 7

    I have external hard drives 3 by Seagate, 1 by Toshiba, and 1 by Hitachi and Windows 7 64 bit sees all of them I have never experienced any problems. W7 also sees my Maxtor External Drive hooked up to my laptop via my home network and my laptop is running Vista 32 bit.
     
  8. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    Thanks Super Sarge. Mine are all relatively old - except that the Maxtor is a current model (that I bought in Feb 08). My OS is Win7 Home Premium v6.1 (Build 7600) and I've had this machine for over a year (was Vista x64 originally). I upgraded to Win7 about 6 months ago and I think it's a huge improvement over Vista.

    Is your system/OS analogous and can you confirm that your externals are IDE/ATA? Thumb drives work on my machine as well...

    Thanks again for the response.

    BZ
     
  9. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    I have no idea I know that I use Fire-wire for 2 of the Seagates, and can use E-Sata for the Toshiba if I desire I use USB, The others are all via USB and all my Thumd drives and flash card work with out any problems.
     
  10. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    I use a similar connector, I think manufactured by Sarbent, to connect 40 pin IDE (66, 100, 133) as well as 44 pin notebook hard drives and SATA drives to a USB port on my Windows 7 machine. It's an adapter, not an enclosure, so if we are on the same page, the only issue I have ever had in doing this was when I was attempting to connect through an unpowered USB hub. Other than that Windows 7 doesn't seem to have any problem seeing the external drive, I use it frequently to help friends and family recover files from otherwise unbootable systems, before attempting further repair steps, without problems. I have had and used several of these adapters over the years, as they do not seem to be very durable so I've replace a few when the seemed to stop working. I would imagine that you have tried multiple ports on your windows 7 machine, so the only other thing that I would suggest is that perhaps the USB port on the machine is not supplying sufficient power in the form of mA per port (milli-amps), try rebooting the machine with the adapter and an external hard drive attached just as a test. Best guess I could come up with, but I really don't suspect the OS is at fault.
     
  11. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    Good response - got me thinking... The old Seagate has an IEEE 1394 I/F as well as USB 2.0. Guess what? The 1394 works and the USB doesn't (tried plugging it into a Motherboard USB recepticle and that didn't work either - the Seagate has its own PSU so I'm not surprised).

    So why will this thing recoginize a drive when it's connected via 1394 and not USB????

    Bizarre. I still think it's the OS.

    Thanks for the response.

    BZ
     
  12. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    One other thought;
    Open the services console by typeing services.msc into the search box and hit enter.
    Scroll down to UPnP Device Host and make sure that for some reason it's not disabled. You may even want to try to start in manually or set the start up type to automatic just to see if that may be an issue.
     
  13. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    It was set to Manual. Switching to Automatic didn't help...

    Very odd.

    BZ
     
  14. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Odd, indeed.
    I know that you mentioned updating the BIOS on your machine. Is it possible that the MoBo manufacturer has an updated chipset driver, that may help?
    Can you make other adjustments to the USB speed settings in the BIOS, perhaps back to default or auto?
     
  15. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    Thanks, Trouble. I checked the chipset when I looked for an updated BIOS. The chipset firmware I'm running is the L&G (07/09).

    Trouble is I don't really need these drives... I just need them to work! Know what I mean?:cool:

    BZ
     
  16. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    From your original post
    So you already have a head start. I would just be interested to find out if a second windows 7 machine exhibited the same issues, with the same drives. There are just too many people out there using similar devices successfully with Windows 7 for it to be an issue with the OS itself.
    Just for the heck of it, have you tried booting into safemode? I really don't expect anything magic, it's just the quickest, cleanest way to boot the OS without a lot of other potential interference.
     
  17. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    Mystery Solved?

    Ah, the vaguaries of Windows... Couple of points here (back to Trouble) I didn't address... The adapter I'm using is just that, not a spare case - and it is a handly little bugger to, right? And I ruled out it as a problem since drives connected to it were visible in XP.

    Also, my BIOS only has two settings for USB I/F speed (Full and High). No Auto. Earlier in the process I set it back to High (480mbps).

    Now here's the bizarre part. The Maxtor is one of those drives that pulls all its power from the USB port - no external PSU. When it sees insufficient power, the activity light blinks at a periodic rate and it won't mount. In all of my troubleshooting, it never did this. However, just for grins, I plugged it into a rear USB port to see if there might be a power differential. Guess what? When I next booted, the driver installed correctly and it was visible in the Device Manager and in Disk Management, but not as an attached device under "Computer." But here's the more bizarre part. The other drives are now visible too. I watched the drivers load and nothing unusual happened except it found all drives this time.

    Back to the Maxtor Mini OneTouch and not being visible as an icon under "Computer"... When the system booted, the Maxtor was given a drive letter that corresponded to one of my other drives (H-Drive, so I changed it to Z: and, guess what? I can now see it. So now, they are all visible for no apparent reason other than one of the drives got plugged into the back.

    Things often tend to get Interestinger and Interestinger...

    Feeling a little more clever, I unmounted the Maxtor from the computer and remounted it in a front recepticle where it wouldn't mount before - fully ready to pay homage to Trouble who believed this wasn't an OS problem - you had me going there! Fully expecting it to not work because of a simple power differential I was stunned when it booted right up and showed up as Z-Drive everywhere you'd expect it to. So even though it's "solved" I'm not satisfied because I have no idea why (other than the Maxtor needed an extra kick and when it got it, the correct drivers were found and installed - that would explain why one drive worked via firewire and not via USB). Thanks, Mr. Gates.

    Thanks to all. If you have an opinion or idea about what may have caused this Windows magic, please drop me a note!

    Cheers,

    BZ
     
  18. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    I agree - this seems so weird. Couple of thoughts... Could be MSFT doesn't expect someone running W7 Home Premium to need IDE/ATA drivers installed. I've tested all four of the drives that didn't work before and they all work using the front USB recepticles. Several won't work in a powered USB Hub, but all (including the Seagate that was attached via firewire) now work in the front set of USB recepticles, under USB 2.0.

    It may be that there wasn't sufficient power in that front hub, but it's so odd that they all work (simutaneously) now - in fact, 2 of them currently attached depend solely on USB for power so I know we're presenting a pretty high current load to the hub. It's just so odd to me that the Seagate (a 500MB external in beast of a case with its own power) wouldn't have been "seen" by UPnP. At least now when I get properties for the drivers there's valid driver info, where before it just said Generic USB device. Go figure.

    Thanks a lot for the good thoughts and quick responses.

    Hope this helps someone out there. Even though I tried this using the front ports, I'd recommend plugging the drive you cannot see into a back port while the machine is off and then reboot it. Ya never know... :confused:

    Cheers,

    BZ
     
  19. benrowsey

    benrowsey New Member

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    Re: Ext drive

    i tried that too. i go to disk management and nothing is there.
     
  20. bezimmer

    bezimmer New Member

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    Re: Ext drive

    First let's start with some details about you and the boxes...
    • How comfortable are you with troubleshooting Windows or your computer? (Novice, Some Experience, Nearly an Expert, i.e., Do you know how to upate your BIOS or Chipset firmware? Or, have you ever opened up your computer and replaced any components?)
    • Does your system seem to have any other problems?
    • What troubleshooting steps you have tried so far?
    • What happens whey you try the simple stuff like a different cable(s) or plugging it into a different computer?
    • Brand, model and age of computer? Laptop? Under warranty?
    • OS version? Up to date?
    • Model, brand and age of drive? Under warranty?
    • Does the drive have any other I/F ports available (like eSATA or Firewire)?
    • Does the drive have it's own power cord and power supply? If not, are you sure you're using a USB cable certified for "High Power" (up to 500mA) devices? This is very important for USB devices that do not have their own power supply...
    • How many different ways have you tried plugging it into the computer?
    Without knowing anything else I'd suggest you plug in the drive and turn it on (if it has a power switch), then go:
    > Right Click "Computer"
    > Manage
    > Device Manager
    > Universal Serial Bus Controllers
    Did you find a USB device that's marked with a yellow Caution sign? If No, Shut Down the machine and pull the USB cable out of the computer. Skip the rest of this and start with "Once the machine is completely off..." below. If Yes, right click on the device with the Caution icon, then choose:
    > Properties
    > Details tab
    > Property, then scroll down to "Bus reported device description"
    Is this your drive? If No, Shut Down the computer, skip the rest of this and start with "Once the machine is completely off..." below. If yes:
    > Go back to the open USB Properties box and click on the Driver Tab
    > Click Update Driver
    > Click Search Automatically (make sure you're hooked up to the Internet)
    If Windows says the driver is correct and up to date, try to find the drive again (using Disk Management or under "Disk Drives" in the Device Manager). If there, is there an icon in "Computer"? If there, but there's no icon in "Computer" you may need to reassign the drive letter - see Reassigning a Drive Letter below if you don't know how to do that. If there is an icon in "Computer," then we should be done. If No, Plan B.

    Plan B:
    Once again, while the drive is plugged in and turned on (if it has a power switch), go:
    > Right Click "Computer"
    > Manage
    > Device Manager
    > Universal Serial Bus Controllers
    If your suspected drive is marked with a yellow Caution sign, right click on the icon, then choose:
    > Uninstall & click OK
    > Whether or not you found a caution icon, shut down the machine
    > Pull the USB cable out of the computer

    Once the machine is completely off, plug the drive into a USB port that is on the back of the machine - but only use a USB port that is original equipment - don't plug it into an add-on (e.g., PCI-USB) card, make sure to use a "known to be good" cable and do not plug the drive into a USB hub. Reboot with the drive turned on, if there's a power switch. With any luck the drivers will load on reboot. If not we'll have to do some more digging...

    Reassigning a Drive Letter
    > Right click "Computer"
    > Manage
    > Under Storage, click once on Disk Management
    In the upper list:
    > Right click on the drive whose letter you want to change - be sure you know what you're doing here, or quit and get help
    > Change Drive Letter and Path for (your drive)
    > Click Change button
    > Click the pop-up menu to the right of "Assign the following drive letter:"
    > Choose something deep into the list like X, Y or Z.
    If you're sure you know what you're doing, click Yes.
    Go to "Computer" and it should show up there.


    Shoot me some answers/results and I'll try to help. Try to be as detailed as possible.

    BZ
     
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