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Computer will not locate external hard drive

My computer is not able to locate the WD external hard drive. It gives the sound that it is connected but will not show up as a drive. Any solutions?

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  • dvsmynd Sep 06, 2009

    Sorry, my bad. OS is Vista 32 bit. Everything is up to date. I have 2 WD 1TB External Hard Drive. Both using Firewire. Both is about 3 months old. Light goes on for both and the problem is my computer didn't detect one of them. I disconnected the wire and reconnect. It just made that connect sound and no folder will pop up or show in windows explorer. The only thing I could think of is the drive inside. Thanks for your help

  • dvsmynd Sep 06, 2009

    Sorry, my bad. OS is Vista 32 bit. Everything is up to date. I have 2 WD 1TB External Hard Drive. Both using Firewire. Both is about 3 months old. Light goes on for both and the problem is my computer didn't detect one of them. I disconnected the wire and reconnect. It just made that connect sound and no folder will pop up or show in windows explorer. The only thing I could think of is the drive inside. Thanks for your help!

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Right click on your "my computer" icon in XP, or the word "Computer" on Vista/7, go to manage. On the window that opens up go to storage>disk management. Is it showing up in that list?

If you are using a Mac, go to your utilities folder and run system profiler. Does your drive show up under the usb devices tree?

If its linux, which distro are you using?

Does the drive work on any other computer? If not, I would suspect a bad drive, or a bad enclosure, or just an un-initialized drive, which can be fixed in windows by right clicking on the drive in that list and clicking intialize. In mac run the Disk Utility from the utilities folder and click the drive and select format.

In the future, pls specify your OS. thanks!

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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What operating system are you using? Did you install any software/drivers that came with the drive? Is it USB 2.0 and your computer is only USB 1.0? Do you have the proper USB drivers installed on your computer? Check in device manager and see if there are any problem devices. Make sure your motherboard drivers are up to date.

Posted on Sep 05, 2009

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Try a different USB cable between the unit and your computer.

If it is still under warranty (one year?) then contact W.D. to get an RMA (Return Materials Authorization) -- then, ship the unit to them, for repair/replacement.

If the warranty has expired, open the case, disconnect the USB-to-disk-drive adapter, and connect the disk-drive as a "slave" drive in some desktop computer, to see if it can be properly "detected".

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Hello

Okay , so there are some steps to figure out what is wrong with your external.

Firstly , if your computer makes a sound when you plug in your external , go to Start-Control Panel-Administrative Tools-Computer Management-Disk Management , and see if your external drive is listed here with your local drives. If it is listed , right click on the drive and change the drive letter to make it appear in "my computer".

If your drive does not make a connection sound when connecting to your computer and also does not show up , please follow the next step.

Remove the hard drive from the casing if possible and install it in your computer case or another external case.If the drive works , the problem is with the casing and you can ignore the drive.

Now , if the problem is with the casing , there are still 3 possibilities.

  1. The USB cable between the drive and the computer may be damaged.
  2. The circuit board which connects your drive to the interface of the external may be blown.
  3. The power supply (if applicable) may have a blown transformer.
The latter is the easiest to diagnose , does your external light up at all when you plug in the power? If not , then this is probably your problem. On the bottom of the adapter is a label which you will be able to use to have a new adapter made at your local electronics shop and this will cost about $30 max. They will also be able to test the adapter with a clamp meter to see if this is really the problem and this should be free.

The second component you want to test is the USB cable. If you have a printer , swop out the cables and see if your printer functions normally. Most externals use the same connector so you should be able to test it in this manner. If the cable works go on to the last step. If the cable is defective , replace it with a new one which you can find for about $10 at most electronics and chain stores.

The last component to test is the circuit board. This is a bit of a grey zone as you probably won't be able to spot the blown component unless it failed really badly. With the casing already opened , locate the external's circuit board and check to see if you have any blackened components or fluids leaking from some components. If all the other components of the external worked perfectly , then this is the faulty part. It is not really economical to replace the circuit as most of the time it is out of production by the time you need to replace it and it still costs a lot even if it is available so if your drive is working perfectly when connected via sata or IDE on your computer , the best is to buy a new casing and place your old drive in the new casing.

A casing costs about $50 and you could get it at most tech shops and big chain stores like Best Buy.

I hope this solves your problem and please reply if you need more help.

Kind Regards
Andrea

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