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Thread: External hard drives not always recognised in Vista

  1. Default External hard drives not always recognised in Vista

    Our External back up drive stopped appearing as a drive in My Computer all the time although it was still listed in Device Manager, so we got another one & now the same thing has very quickly happened to that! Some days it is recognised but most days we cant use it.
    Has anyone else had this problem or know of a solution?

    Thanks

    Sarah

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you have a little virussy thing going on there...... Have you Googled the symptoms?

  3. #3

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    There is an option in Win7 to not see temp/external drives in Windows Explorer is it the same in Vista ?

  4. Default

    Thanks for the ideas, yes we've googled it a lot but haven't turned up anything of use, I dont think it's a virus. The problem is intermittent, some days the ext drive is reachable. Obviously there's tons of stuff online about hard drives not working & theres tons of older stuff about Vista problems with USB.
    I've found people saying their ext drives are visible in XP but not in Vista but havent found a solution.
    I've gone into Control Panel/ Folder Options but cant see this option to turn ext drive view off/on?
    We're getting worried because we're finally editing this video of ours & can't back anything up!

    Sarah

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    Hi Sarah

    A similar thing happened with my USB stick. Sometimes it was showing up, other times it wasn't and this was in Vista.

    I realised that there was a conflict with drive letters, so I changed the letter drive associated with my USB stick and I haven't had any further problems. I am not saying this is your solution, but it may be worth a go.

    In Vista go to Start > Settings > Control Pannel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management.

    Assuming that your computer is recognising the device, you should see the name of the hard drive listed.

    Right click the name of your external hard drive and click 'change drive letter and paths'.

    A box will appear containing the current drive letter, select the drive letter, and choose change.

    Ensure 'Assign the following letter' is selected, and from the drop down menu, choose a different drive letter. Try to avoid common letters, including A, D, C etc. Try changing to Z or something like, but make sure your computer isn't using the letter you choose. The key is to change it from its current letter, thats important!

    Click OK then Ok again.

    My USB drive then appeared. You may need to reboot, but hope that helps and doesn't make your problem worse.

    Regards
    Andrew

    Camcorder

  6. Default

    Hey thanks Andrew for the idea & for the detailed explanation of how to try it (always a good idea when your'e giving technical advice to a woman!!)
    Sorry to say it didnt work, although the external drive shows up in Device Manager it does not show up in Disk Management so I couldn't do it!
    I dont know if that is significant?

    Sarah

  7. #7

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    Within 'Computer Management/Device Manager', I would expect to see the hardware name in the list of "Disk Drives'. The entry in the list should disappear a few seconds after the USB connection is removed; and should appear in the list a few seconds after attaching the USB connection. I would be inclined to rightclick on the name and use the option to Uninstall the device. Then ask Vista to 'scan for hardware changes'; which may attempt to reinstall the driver. I would also be inclined to check the Windows 'Event Viewer' logs; to see whether any errors or problems have been detected. I have used half a dozen external USB drive for a few years; but have never experienced this problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah & Allison View Post
    Hey thanks Andrew for the idea & for the detailed explanation of how to try it (always a good idea when your'e giving technical advice to a woman!!)
    Sorry to say it didnt work, although the external drive shows up in Device Manager it does not show up in Disk Management so I couldn't do it!
    I dont know if that is significant?

    Sarah
    Hi Sarah

    No problem!

    As Tim has suggested, I would expect to see the Hard Drive appear under the Disk Management area if it was being recognized by your computer.

    Just out of curiosity, have you tried plugging this into another computer to try and eliminate that your hard drive may be faulty?

    If your hard drive connects via USB, have you tried a different USB cable to eliminate that problem. I have seen this in the past, USB leads work and then don't for some strange reason!

    If all that fails, I know this is probably now what you want to here, but if the problem is intermittent, then it sounds as if there may be a problem with the hard drive unit itself.

    Regards

    Andrew

    Camcorder

  9. Default

    Ok I tried both drives on my husband's XP computer & they both worked fine!
    I tried Tim's suggestion of uninstalling & reinstalling them (thank you Tim for giving me details how to do it!) & both have been working fine all day!!! Which is a big result.
    I won't believe it's sorted till they've been working for a week though, but we're very grateful to all who offered advice!


    Sarah & Allison

  10. #10

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    I was going to suggest turning it off wait ten seconds and turning it on again.

    I'll get my coat.

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