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Plug and play portable hard drives not recognised by Windows XP

I have 2 plug and play portable hard drives with usb connections. My PC no longer recognises them although I have used them fairly recently with no problems. I have also used them on other computers. Sometimes I get the message that Windows has discovered new hardware followed by the messaget that there was a problem with the installation and that the hardware might not work properly. Other times nothing happens at all. The drive does not show in My Computer. I used to get an onscreen box automatically with a list of options (eg play media, open folder etc.) whenever I plugged in a drive but this no longer occurs. There are no installation discs with the drives and no drivers on the makers websites.

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Hi there,

well....their can be various reasons your computer does not detect a USB drive...the reasons and solutions (most possible ones) are listed below-

(1.) problems in USB cable - their might be problems in your USB cable itself..and that's why the system can not detect it...or maybe...when you insert your USB cable the computer flash a message that the device is not detected by windows..or something like that...maybe you can wait for sometime and then manually open up "my computer" > and right click on the divide you have inserted in your system > and click open....may be it will open...

(2.) USB mouse - well if you have a USB mouse...then sometimes the computer is only able to read one USB device...try to disconnect your mouse and insert your USB cable in the same USB plug.

(3.) software update - most probably your USB Driver has not been updated or some of it's files are missing....then simply uninstall it and re-download it from the Microsoft website...or from some other trusted and secure website like

(4.) clean ups - this is just the most common problems of USB drives not detect the external hard devices...just try to clean up your USB plug by blowing hard in it...make sure you take every possible step in cleaning it...

(5.) another software - may be the external USB based hard disk you are inserting requires other softwares to run it...for example an apple ipod will never be recognized by a computer untill i-Tunes is installed in the computer...some pen drives also require special softwares to run them.

just go ahead and try out these experiments i have written on my own right now...and see weather these work or not...and make sure that the USB Driver software is installed in your computer...

Good Luck!!

Posted on Jul 12, 2009


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