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  1. #1
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    External drives not recognised

    I have a desktop PC running Win 7 Home 64 bit and have used 2 external hard drives for backup purposes on at least a monthly basis for several years. Suddenly 2 weeks ago I discovered that neither of these drives was recognised by windows. (Two other drives were recognised as usual) Since they were several years old I decided that they might well be faulty and ordered a new drive. This arrived today and to my surprise this was not recognised either. I decided to check all three drives on my notebook, also running Win 7, and all three were recognised. I went back to my desktop and checked for the drives in Disk Management and all three are listed and passed as healthy but still invisible to Explorer.

    How can I get My Computer/Windows Explorer to recognise the drives again and, more importantly, how does this happen? Was it something I did? And if so why were only 2 of my existing 4 external drives "lost". The USB hub and the two front ports work as usual for headphone, flash drives, memory card adaptors etc.

    Help please.

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    In Disk Management, do the disks have drive letters allocated?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post
    In Disk Management, do the disks have drive letters allocated?
    No. My 2 internal disks are 0 and 1 with appropriate letters but the external drives are merely designated as Disk 2 but with no letters.

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Allocate drive letters to them. They will then appear in Explorer.

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    If assigning them drive letters fails with the error Disk Management console view is not up to date - run this MS Fixit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2001877

    You could run the Fixit with both drives plugged in depending upon how you use them, but try with just one and then see if the other is auto assigned a drive letter.

    I've recently had this problem with a new 16GB Flash drive - it was awkward to get in and I didn't realize it wasn't locked which contributed to the power loss with it not fully going in first time and after trying and giving up on Diskpart, a Google eventually found that Fixit - HTH

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    Thank you. That did the trick but you never answered my other question. Why does this happen and how does one prevent it happening again? I have not lost external drives like this for 20 years and suddenly three of them get "

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    I've explained how mine happened and the article also.

    From that and my experience, there was a disruption in the driver loading when we both plugged our devices in so the info wasn't fully written and the Disk Management console wasn't updated.

    Reading through the article's Let me fix it myself, when you get an Unknown Device listed in Device Manager it is because of a corrupted driver.

    For you, somehow when you plugged one in, this was sufficient to screw up Disk Management for the others also not to be recognized and that's the best I can come up with from what I experienced with mine.

    My Cruzer 16GB Flash was brand new so it had to install its drivers from scratch rather than it just going budump and picking up from where it had left off from a previous use.

    I suppose the only way to prevent it occurring again, providing everything else is okay, would be to insert the USB positively and without any hesitation.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-12-19 at 19:11.

  8. #8
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    I'm not convinced that's the only explanation. Why Windows does anything is often a complete mystery to us mere mortals. As for a fix, the best -and most complicated- I've seen is here :-

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282530

    Its not guaranteed to work every time, so I'll stick with changing the letters when I need to as per Occams Razor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post
    ...As for a fix, the best -and most complicated- I've seen is here :-

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282530...
    That article is so old (Win98/ME).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post
    I'm not convinced that's the only explanation. Why Windows does anything is often a complete mystery to us mere mortals. As for a fix, the best -and most complicated- I've seen is here :-

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282530

    Its not guaranteed to work every time, so I'll stick with changing the letters when I need to as per Occams Razor.
    That fix I'd linked is for when it won't let you assign letters and you get the error about the Disk Management console not being updated - attempting to assign drive letters was the first I tried and failed.

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