Windows 7 Won't Recognize USB HD

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by hawkeye62, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. hawkeye62

    hawkeye62 Senior Member

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    I am pulling out hair by the hand full! I have an external USB HD that I have used in the past and it also works perfectly on a Windows 8 laptop. BUT, it is acting very strange on my Win 7 PC. Here is the story:

    It shows up in Control Panel > Devices and Printers as: USB mass storage device, WDC 5000 BEVT.
    It shows up in Device Manager as: WDC 5000 BEVT. (It is a Western Digital 2.5 inch, 500 GB hard drive.)

    Both places report: This device is working properly.

    BUT, it doesn't show up in Windows Explorer or in Windows Disk Management. It may be a drive letter conflict, but I have no way to assign a different drive letter.

    So, I am dead in the water.

    Any help will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Jim
     
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Have you attempted to boot the machine both with the hard drive attached and with the hard drive not attached and plugged in after the machine is finished booting? Does it make a difference either way?
     
  3. Josephur

    Josephur Windows Forum Admin
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    In device manager under USB Controllers, are they all listed as generic or standard? (do any of them mention exactly what controller they are?) If not you may want to install the latest chipset drivers for your motherboards chipset, this may resolve the issue.
     
  4. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    It sounds like some type of corruption problem. I have seen similar posts with people using USB externals on different OSs. Have you tried using different ports on the windows PC preferably one in back. Also don't use a cable longer than supplied or a hub. Also try a different cable if possible. WD had some cables that that were a sloppy fit.
    Joe
     
  5. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    You have WD drivers installed?

    It could be a partition problem. Use an outside partition program, like http://gparted.sourceforge.net/ in order to sort of nullify it.

    I had incredible problems with my Buffalo disk. It would work in USB2, but not USB3. Then it suddenly started to work in USB3, probably due to a Windows update - you do have latest Windows updates?
     
  6. hawkeye62

    hawkeye62 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Yeah, same problem regardless of boot connected or boot then connect. Same problem regardless of which ports or which USB cable. My other two SATA drives are WD, so the drivers should be OK. Anyway, I used Paragon Partition Manager and finally managed to assign a drive letter to the USB HD. That solved the problem. But, it is still a mystery why Windows wouldn't assign a drive letter on boot or on connect.

    Thanks and regards, Jim
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    If I wanted to assign a drive letter to a drive, I would use Disk Management or an Administrative Command prompt and use Diskpart and the assign command.

    I realize you say you tried Disk Management, but the system can see the drive, but Windows seems to have a problem.

    Do you change the drive between the Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers often? Have you done it since you assigned a drive letter using the third party application?

    There is an Attribute set on partitions/drives called "NoDefaultDriveLetter" and can be set to either Yes or No. I am not totally clean on how it works, but on an MBR configured drive, you can look at the attributes for that partition using Diskpart and it should list the setting and what it is. Since you have assigned a drive letter, I would think it would currently show "No" for the setting.
     
    #7 Saltgrass, Jul 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  8. hawkeye62

    hawkeye62 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reply Saltgrass. The drive never showed in Disk Management. But it did show in Device Manager. To further confuse, I have a SATA drive in an external enclosure. I usually have it powered off. But, one of the steps I took to solve the problem was to power it up. Guess what? It also didn't show up in Windows Explorer. But, it did show up in Disk Manager, so I assigned it a drive letter. I am not familiar with Diskpart, but my Paragon Partition Manager did show the drive and I was able to assign it a proper drive letter.

    Thanks, Jim
     
  9. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    So the drives are now showing up in Disk Management? If you right click a partition on the drive, are you given the option to change Drive Letters or Paths?

    Was Paragon involved in setting up the drive originally?
     
    #9 Saltgrass, Jul 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  10. hawkeye62

    hawkeye62 Senior Member

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    Yes, all drives give an option to change Drive Letters or Paths in Disk Management. I don't remember if I used Paragon on this disk or not. Most likely not. I have used external SATA drives and USB drives several times in the past and I don'tr remember having to use Paragon. Anyway, since assigning the drive letter I have removed it and re-installed it several times and it works as expected.

    Thanks again, Jim
     

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