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Computer not recognizing external Hard Drive

I have a 1 TB Simple Drive II USB External Hard Drive, produced under the SimpleTech by Fabrik name. I am trying to use it with my desk top with Windows XP to back up my data before upgrading to Windows 7. It seems to turn on fine, but I cannot see the drive when I open up ''my computer'' as a component. This appears to be the problem shown at FAQ & Troubleshooting Tips from the Simpletech.com support web site, but reconnecting the usb to the back of the PC has not resulted in any change. Does anyone have additional suggestions?

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Aren't usb drives fun? Anyway, there are a few points where this can break down. Your external drive is actually made up of a few parts. It has a normal hard drive, and either what is called a "SATA to USB Bridge" or a "IDE to USB Bridge". If it is a full desktop size hard drive, it will come with a power supply that you plug into the back of the drive. If you have a laptop hard drive it can be powered through the usb port.

When you plug it in, the computer should recognize that you plugged in a new device and show you a message saying found new hardware, found usb to ata bridge, found disk drive etc. in that order. If you get these messages and still no hard drive shows up in my computer, then you may need to assign a letter to the drive or even format it. Right click on the "My Computer" icon, then select "Manage". On the right hand side of the window that appeared, double click storage, then disk management. It should list all drives attached to the computer. Your TB drive should show up as a removable disk, and should already have a partition. If it does not have a partition, you will have to partition it. Just right click on the rectangular part (on the right side) and select format. If you cant format it, try right clicking on the left hand side, the square bit, and select initialize. Then format.

If you just need to set a drive letter, right click on the rectangular part and select 'change drive letters and paths"

Here are some other things that can go wrong:

Not enough power, the drive isn't getting enough power and cant mount. Try plugging in the power adapter that came with it or try a different usb port. If it came with one of those funny looking Y shaped usb cables, plug both ends into the computer, so that it can get enough power.

Bad hardware, either the hard drive or the bridge is bad.

Then you need to return it to the store you got it from. If that is not possible you may be able to pull the drive out of the enclosure and use it as an internal drive.

Bad USB ports.

This can be hardware or software. If other usb devices work fine then this is probably not the case.

Posted on Apr 26, 2010

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