Question about Western Digital Elements powered by WD 320 GB External USB (WDE1U3200N) Hard Drive

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WD 500gb external hard drive 'elements' not recognised by laptop

I have a WD 500gb external hard drive 'elements' and it's not being recognised by mine or my dad's laptops. Power supply is normal. Have tried updating drivers, as well as going into Computer Management Snapin (i have vista, dad has windows 98) and no joy.

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Windows 98 does not properly work with drives > approx. 130 GB. This has something to do with the FAT* being not large enough for more cluster entries.

*(FAT = File Allocation Table; this tells the computer in which clusters on the HD a file is stored. What is the FAT good for? A computer stores files on HD like a very messy person: The first next free space is used; if it is not sufficient, the second next free space and so on. This leads to fragmentation, i.e. one file may be stored on many different sections of the HD. But unlike a messy person the computer keeps good track of where he puts all the pieces; this list is the FAT.

Here's how I worked around that problem: Partitioned them so that each partition was about 125 GB. Also: Cluster size must be 32 kB; if it is smaller you get more clusters and the FAT can't handle so many.

For example I have a 500 GB hard disk that is partitioned into four 122 GB partitions (just to be on the safe side; a couple of GBs not allocated). This works trouble-free.

You might do the partitioning with Windows's FDISK, though it gives you wrong indications about partition sizes. Use percent values (e.g. ''24%'' when specifying the required partition size in FDISK.

A partitioning utility I can recommend for ease and reliability is Acronis Disk Director Suite.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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I had the same problem with WD Elements 500 GB. I have Windows 2000. replaced the cable, ans the problem was solved.

Posted on Mar 12, 2010

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Hi i_mock_thee,

nice to have you here,

concerning this harddrive issue, try using another usb cable(from a thumb drive) with it to make sure the other is not broken.

if this external harddrive is only powered by the laptop's usb port it might simply not work because the laptops power supply cannot
provide sufficient power for it.
It may work with any other Desktop PC though.
Or if it has by chance a power adaptor inlet, purchase the fitting one and it might work then.

good luck

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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Try going to Disk Management and see if they show up there.

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