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Check the specification of the hard drive see of it is compatible with the Operating system you are using You didn't specify if the drive is USB or ........? Window 7 will usually detect a USB drive without drivers but the drive has to be compatible. check the Microsoft site for the compatibility download to check the drive for compatibility. There is a utility in 'Windows 7 that will check for you and also will check it the device will mount with a previous Operating system i.e. Window XP or Vista.
there have been alot of problems in the past with vista not all external components are compatible with this program.i had the same problem with vista so i got rid of vista and started using windows xp home edition since then i have never had a problem with it not recognising any device i have added to my computer.i hope this helps.
Is the account that your tying to access the drive with an Administrator account? If not, Log in as Administrator and try to access the new drive. If you ARE using Administrator privileges on the vista machine, the problem lies in the U3 smart driver. Try downloading and installing the drivers for the XP SP2 os on scan disks website, If vista rejects the install package off of the scan disk website, let me know and i'll extract the drivers and build an install for them for you.