Windows explorer no longer sees external USB drives

Discussion in 'hardware' started by act8192, Apr 17, 2013.

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  1. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    This is on Windows XP-sp3 computer, Asus Eee PC, G4108, Intel Atom, 32-bit. It's one of the series 1000, 904, 901.

    1. Brand new USB harddrive - explorer doesn't see it.
    Safe removal when done using the right click shows correct drive, in this case Toshiba so it's seen at the hardware level correctly.
    Computer properties > hardware > device manager - all ok, no red x nothing yellow.
    Control panel > Admin tools > comp management > disk management reports:
    1a. On the left, in the grey square:
    - Disk 1, Unknown
    - 465.76 gb
    - Not initialized
    The size is a bit surprising. It's correct for an empty 500gig drive, but this one is bundled with Nero backup of some sort and we haven't gotten to getting rid of it since can't see the drive in explorer.
    1b. on the right, white area: right click over the Unallocated space to attempt to partition, format and give it a drive letter is shaded out. Only Properties and Help come up.

    2. Just to try something, we plugged in an old USB Flash drive full of files. That flash worked 2 weeks ago just fine. Now explorer doesn't see it either.

    I googled all over the place, and am yet to find a solution. The only solutions out there to a drive missing from explorer it to format and give it a drive letter. But we can't!!

    Any ideas what's wrong and any confirmed solutions that actually work besides all the google fluff I found?
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    act8192,

    Have you tried each USB port?

    Have you tried the USB HD in other computers?

    "Not initialized" usually means it doesn't have a Disk Signature but see if other computers say the same.
     
  3. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I am helping someone in Germany.
    She only has one computer.
    I believe tried 2 of 3 available ports.

    Did you notice that I also wrote that a flash that used to work no longer is visible? That makes me think something bad with explorer. And not being able to format etc. is really weird.

    What Disk signature you speak of? In one of the places it's properly recognized as a Toshiba.... drive (I don't recall the exact name)
     
  4. cruelsister

    cruelsister Registered Member

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    Try this:

    1). Control Panel-Administrative Tools-Computer Management-Storage-Disk Management
    In that Screen, is your External recognized? if so, right click on it for further options such as "make active".

    2). If that didn't work, go to Device Manager, uninstall the drive, then try to scan for Hardware Changes.

    There is another possibility- the motherboard ports might just be failing (hope not).
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes.

    Your friend still needs to try the external hard drive in another computer. She must have a friend with a computer.
     
  6. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Thanks to all.
    Flash drives were ok, initial report was flawed.
    The new external drive is ok, it was something in Windows. Problem solved by someone locally. I don't know how they enabled those shaded out options because my friend isn't computer-literate enough to describe.
     
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