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  1. #1
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    External drive has lost its identity

    I'm running Windows 7, and have a Western Digital 500GB external drive that hasn't been used for a short while.
    There's no data on the disk but, when it's plugged in, it's not listed in 'My Computer'.

    My Computer.jpg

    However, it's listed in 'Disk Management', but appears right at the botom of the list:

    Disk Management.jpg

    I ran Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic, which produced this result:

    Diag.jpg

    As you can see, the drive is listed, but named '..... External (USB)', whereas the Hitachi Drive (also an external)
    just says '..... (USB).

    How do I get Windows to 'fully' recognise the drive - currently I can't do anything with it.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like the USB interface on the external HD is where the problem is.

    Try switching cables, or plugging it into a different port on the computer.

    I fear, however, that the USB interface is going bad. They frequently do on external hard drives.

    If your USB interface has gone bad, you can get an external drive cradle for mounting internal hard drive outside of your computer. Then you can open the external hard drive case, pull out the drive in it (an internal drive), and mount it in the cradle.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-04-02 at 11:49.

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    georgelee (2013-04-10)

  4. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Thatman,

    You need to create a partition and give it a drive letter for the drive to show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    georgelee (2013-04-10)

  6. #4
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    Hi ' mrjimphelps',

    I plugged the drive in to a port at the back (instead of at the front) then went into Disk Management again.
    From what I can remember (the short-term memory isn't what it used to be!) I right-clicked and chose 'create volumn'.
    After assigning a drive letter, I was in business again. It also works from the port/s at the front as well.

    All done in a few seconds.
    Thanks for giving me a push and the enthusiasm - I felt like giving up on it!

  7. #5
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Maybe this trick will work for my external hard drive, which is no longer working in Windows.

    I've seen this so many times that I've been convinced that the USB adapter has gone bad. But maybe not...

    Glad I could help.

  8. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Last night I attached my external HD to the USB port and opened up Disk Management. It took about 10-15 minutes of "loading information", but finally I saw the drive listed. (I also saw it listed in My Computer, but I was not able to open any of the folders on the drive.)

    The drive seemed to be frozen, so I right-clicked on it and chose Properties, then the Windows Check Disk choice. I checked both options and clicked OK.

    It was up to 7600+ files this morning when I left for work.

    My gut feeling is still that this is a USB problem. My thought is that USB is not yet a fully mature, bug-free technology, and some USB bug has surfaced here, either in the USB adapter on the external HD, the USB circuitry in the computer, or in Windows.

    Hopefully it will be finished checking the disk when I get home tonight.

  9. #7
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    As of right now, the drive is up to 10767 file records processed. No indication as to when it will be done.

  10. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Two possible solutions have worked for me with new WD external USB 500GB HDDs:

    1) While in Windows 7 Drive Manager, give the external drive a Drive Letter. Sometimes this will take and you'll be good forever.

    2) WD Drives may require the WD SES Driver . This is a specific driver for certain models of WD HDDs, and they are not consistently recognized by Windows 7 or Windows 8 without the SES Driver. One of my more recent WD drives did require installing this driver into Windows.

    In the OP, are you sure the "Removable Drive" isn't the WD Drive? Without SES, this is sometimes how WD exxternal HDDs show up in Windows 7.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-04-04 at 07:30.
    -- Bob Primak --

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