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  1. #1
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    Expansion drive not showing up in My Computer

    I have a Seagate external hard drive connected to my computer. Last week when I connected it, it worked fine. It showed up as the E drive. When I rebooted the computer, it took over the G drive. There is actually a network drive my computer is connected to that should have that letter. The external drive did work that way. Once I removed the external drive, the network drive worked fine. Now when I have the external drive connected, it doesn't show in My Computer at all. When I click on the safely remove hardware icon, there is a USB mass storage device with no drive letter listed. I assume this is my drive. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get my computer to fully recognize the drive so I can access it? This computer has Windows XP Professional.

    Thank you.

    Trish

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  4. #2
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    Just try shutting it down and unplugging it from the USB port. Then plug it in and turn it on. You may have to this a few times. It's a common occurrence with one of my external drives.

  5. #3
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    Thank you. I'll try that.

  6. #4
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    Try going into Administrative tools / Computer management/ disk management and assigning a new drive letter (use a high letter such as 'W' then drive will always use that number as windows always assigns the next available letter when new drives are put in and would be a long time before 'W' would become the next available letter.).
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2012-08-28 at 02:39.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

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  8. #5
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    Thank you! That worked.

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeL View Post
    Thank you! That worked.
    Your welcome glad it worked for you.
    I always use a high letter for external drives so they retain same letter every time they are plugged in. Essential if you have a file backup program running and scheduled. backup.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  10. #7
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    I like to give my drives names, as well, so that if I have more than one expansion drive (as I do, as a matter of fact), I can tell Blue from Green (both at the business end and thanks to a sticker on each of the drives).

  11. #8
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    Definitely name the drive. That's the only way to guarantee that you won't lose track of it again.

    Windows is not very good at retaining assigned drive letters, but I find that if I have no drives or devices with higher letters than H, any letter I or higher is usually safe for my external drives. I start that low because I have eight external drives with four partitions each. Obviously, they have to share drive letters, and only four (sixteen partitions max) can be physically plugged in at any one time, but you get the point I think. Because the drives do share letters, I find that naming each partition is essential. (For those who are counting, the lowest starting letter in Windows for 16 partitions is close to I. Windows only allows use of 20 letters, as the other 6 are reserved.)

    Some Seagate Expansion Drives have special software or drivers which are recommended to make them fully accessible under Windows. Yours may be this type, especially if it's large (1.5 TB or larger).
    -- Bob Primak --

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Windows only allows use of 20 letters, as the other 6 are reserved.
    Windows allows any letter A-Z. There are no reserved letters (unless you happen to already be using them for something else).

    Bruce

  13. #10
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Windows allows any letter A-Z. There are no reserved letters (unless you happen to already be using them for something else).

    Bruce
    Good to know. Maybe things have changed since Windows XP, but the old advice was that only about 20 of the 26 letters were available for the end-user. I've never actually run the whole spread on all my external drives (not enough USB ports) so I haven't tested Windows 7 or Windows 8 on this point.

    Usually at least the CD/DVD drive (if present) has an assigned drive letter in Windows. That would be unavailable to the end user. And any internal drive partitions (C: at the least) would be unavailable for USB partitions. We are getting pretty close to 22 remaining available drive letters already.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-09-07 at 13:48.
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    Not enough USB ports? Hubs are cheap - why not run 'em all and see what happens? I have one old computer with an internal Zip drive (obviously Z is reserved for that), a Travan tape drive, and 2-1/4 floppy as well as CD/DVD. No SD and all its relatives, I'm afraid, but I did have 5-1/4 floppy in its day, and lots of PCMCIA and other slots. If it's a desktop and you want to add ports, be sure they're USB3 and if you have any spare SATA drives you can get USB3 enclosures, which are very inexpensive. I think I paid $30 each for a 2-port USB3 card and an excellent 3-1/2 SATA HDD enclosure c/w fan. Maybe you can't get anything but USB3 now, but it is faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Good to know. Maybe things have changed since Windows XP, but the old advice was that only about 20 of the 26 letters were available for the end-user. I've never actually run the whole spread on all my external drives (not enough USB ports) so I haven't tested Windows 7 or Windows 8 on this point.

    Usually at least the CD/DVD drive (if present) has an assigned drive letter in Windows. That would be unavailable to the end user. And any internal drive partitions (C: at the least) would be unavailable for USB partitions. We are getting pretty close to 22 remaining available drive letters already.
    XP is no different:

    Your computer can use up to 26 drive letters, from A through Z.
    How to change drive letter assignments in Windows XP

    Bruce

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    XP is no different:

    Your computer can use up to 26 drive letters, from A through Z.
    How to change drive letter assignments in Windows XP

    Bruce
    You obviously did not read or did not believe my statement about how the CD/DVD drive, the C: (Windows) Drive and other required components take up drive letters in Windows. The resulting AVAILABLE drive letters are 22.
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  17. #14
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogberry View Post
    Not enough USB ports? Hubs are cheap - why not run 'em all and see what happens? I have one old computer with an internal Zip drive (obviously Z is reserved for that), a Travan tape drive, and 2-1/4 floppy as well as CD/DVD. No SD and all its relatives, I'm afraid, but I did have 5-1/4 floppy in its day, and lots of PCMCIA and other slots. If it's a desktop and you want to add ports, be sure they're USB3 and if you have any spare SATA drives you can get USB3 enclosures, which are very inexpensive. I think I paid $30 each for a 2-port USB3 card and an excellent 3-1/2 SATA HDD enclosure c/w fan. Maybe you can't get anything but USB3 now, but it is faster.
    External USB drives often require the entire USB port, among other reasons, because the portable drives need all the USB port's available power. Using a hub with more than one USB drive attached is asking for trouble, in my experience. Read/write and file transfer issues have resulted, or the drives simply were not recognized by Windows in some cases. My backups and archives are too valuable to mess around with this way.
    -- Bob Primak --

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    You obviously did not read or did not believe my statement about how the CD/DVD drive, the C: (Windows) Drive and other required components take up drive letters in Windows. The resulting AVAILABLE drive letters are 22.
    I did read and believe. But I don't see how 26-2=22 even if that is a bit closer to your target of 20.

    Bruce

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