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you should be able to connect the external hard drive to your laptop and the drive should show up under my computer. Then just drag and drop or cut and paste any files you want to move to the external hard drive.
Check the usb port function in the computer bios settings and be sure that it is set to yes. Connect properly your external drive. If it has two wire usb connections, use both to obtain the maximum power that will be need by your drive.
For that make sure usb cable works fine. Try with different usb cable. Also connect usb cable in different usb ports of computer. Right click on my computer then click on proeperty then hardware->device manager. Then click on sign of usb controllers then uniunstall all usb drivers 1 by 1. then restart computer. Then check. If still not recognized then when you power up the computer press F8 key then enter in safe mode. then check. in normal mode again.sometimes harddisk need to start in safe mode . Let me know if you need more assistance. thanks.
There's not much troubelshooting you can do with a failed external disk. power off PC and hd and then disconnect all cables, wait 30 secs, power the PC on, let it boot to the OS, power the hard drive on and then connect. If the drive shows up but you still cannot access it or get weird property readings, it generally means the hd controller has failed. If the data's worth more than $1000, you can take it to a data recovery group like Ontrak or Cherry Systems, but otherwise, just get a new hd and restore whatever backups you have.
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.
If you really can not get it to work anymore, you could try opening it up and connecting the hdd directly on a IDE/SATA port in your computer. This will only work if you have a desktop, for a laptop you would need all kinds of converters.