Right click on My Computer > Manage > Device Manager. Do you see any yellow exclamation points? If so, you have conflicting devices. I'd need some feedback at this point to continue to help you, but if you double-click on the yellow mark, a window will popup. See if you can troubleshoot or rollback some drivers.
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Unfortunately hard drives are a pain when they have problems.
First try a different USB port to make sure that there is a problem with the port.
With my experience on broking external hard drives, I am guessing that your HDD motor is not spinning.
Some things you can try for this (should be done with an experienced individual) - Take the HDD out of the case and place it in another external case (easily found at Best Buy or online (I buy mine from Milwaukee PC)). This solution has helped me in the past. - If the drive is failing to initialize you just may have to replace it. If you want your files to be recovered you can send the drive in to repair shops and they can try to recover the files BUT this is NOT cheap. - Simply buy a new external, they are pretty cheap these days (especially 250gb).
Some PC's cannot deliver enough power to the USB devices to function properly through the USB port.
Does your Lacie hard disk have a power input connector if so conect a power adapter to it before you put it into your USB port.
Another alternative, get a powered USB hub connect it into your computer then connect the Lacie hard drive to the powered USB hub.
If your computer recognized the hard drive before you have installed your last operating sistem(s) that can be the problem. Your operating sistem or BIOS is not seeing your hard drive any more. Installing a new operating sistem is going to solve your problem but try another one, not the operating sistem you used until now.
I would suspect your USB drivers. Go into device manager and remove (uninstall) any device under the USB heading. Reboot and see if it works better. Also I would try the drive on another computer to make sure it is working find and try a different USB cable just in case.
-Right-click on My Computer and select Manage.
-On the left, in the Storage folder, click on Disk Management.
-If the Write Signature Wizard opens, follow the wizard.
-If the wizard did not open, you can right-click on the disk "Unknown" in the bottom part of the Computer Management window and select Write Signature and OK. (If the disk is not labeled as "unknown" then it has already been initialized and you can proceed with formatting).
-Then proceed with formatting below.
-Now right-click on the unallocated space of the disk and select New Partition.
-The New Partition Wizard will open.
-Click through the wizard. You can leave most settings at their defaults, but make sure to select the option to perform a Quick Format.
This will perform a quick format, that will only take a few moments (depending on the size of the drive). Once completed, your disk should be accessible with the chosen drive letter in My Computer and Explorer.
If you still have the files on your pc and just use the drive as a backup, then there is nothing lost yet, and no need to recover, just return to retailer.
But if there is any sign of life, check; Right Click My Computer>Properties>Device Manager>Hardware,see if your Drive is in the list, if not, on top right there is an icon for scan for new hardware.
See if your PC can find your drive, if not return it.