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Thread: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    58

    External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    I have a laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium. I also have a desktop pc which runs on Windows XP. I have a external usb hard drive that works quiet nice in Windows Vista. I use it for backup and data transfer. I am trying to sync my old desktop with Vista. In XP I had installed iTunes and there are quiet ample of songs in it. I had copied them on the drive and when I connect my drive to usb, Vista cannot play songs from it. It shows me a error it is not able to access the file. What should I do know. Most of the time this drive works fine with Windows Vista. But now it is not giving a nice response. How can make all my audio access to Vista system through this external drive. Is this issue related to drivers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2

    RE: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    The issue looks a bit complicated. External drives mostly are plug and play device. There is no need to worry about the drivers inside them. They are automatically detected and for operating system like Vista this must never be a issue. Does that drive works well on XP or there is some error while copying. Check the usb port of Vista system. Try to connect on different port or simply use a extension if possible. What notification can you see on screen when you connect the drive to the Vista Laptop. It must show you a small green icon that indicates it is connected or found new hardware type notification if you are using it for the first time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    58

    RE: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    Hi, I think you can help me to fix this issue. Here is the details of drive and some idea on what I am going to do. My external drive is of Western Digital. The space is around 250GB. I got the cable which has two usb ports on the front part. I also have a usb DVD drive which I use to burn disc or format system. When I connect the usb DVD to system it shows up on the right side. There is a small green icon and I can play DVD's in it. I can also burn them. It works fine without any error. But when I connect the external hard drive, it shows up nothing at all. There are no indication on the right side nor the drive is listed in new hardware found wizard. So what should I do now to fix this thing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    3

    Re: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    Is there any network drive attached. I had the issue in my office. We had a network drive configured on our system. My external usb drive was not detected. I ask the IT guy on that. He said that the issue lies with drive conflict. If there is any drive mapped in your My Computer, then that might be causing issue. You can try to find the drive in Disk Management. For that right click on My Computer > Manage > Disk Management. Just check you can see the drive here. Also if there is any mapped drive, change the name and assign it any other letter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    3

    RE: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    I have some output on your issue. I had checked a number of discussion on Western Digital forums for common problems that we face normally with an external hard drive. I have a 500GB drive which was not able to work in Windows XP. But works well in other system. I had already tried a number of things to fix this out. Here USB port is not a issue. As your other devices are working on the same. The issue lies with compatibility. This is the only thing I had concluded and found a common issue among other devices. To fix that out start with updating your drivers. You might have the latest just try again. Go on the official site, choose your device and get the drivers or update for that. Second your usb port might not be able to give sufficient power to the external drive for turning on. Due to which it is not detected. This is another issue which is rare but still exist in my systems especially in laptops. A 250GB hard drive needs a good amount of power to turn on and transfer data. There are certain features in Windows which limits the power usage of each port. Try to plug your laptop power adapter first and then connect the drive. Another issue lies with the drive front usb connector. It might be loose or broken.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    3

    Re: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    I will advice you to check the connections of your drive and cable. Try to move it a bit up and down. Looks like loose connection. And one thing, as mentioned above, connect the drive when you had connected your laptop to power outlet by AC adapter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1

    Re: External hard drive not recognized by Windows Vista

    Might be a little late on this post. I searched for hours for a solution and most sites had me swapping the USB cable to checking disk storage in the system and maintenance. My issue was similar. Vista 64 was not recognizing my external HD. But the XP in the next room was so I knew it wasnt the power cord or usb cable for the HDD. It wasnt the USB port on the pc either. What I had to do is go into device manager and under Universal Serial Bus Controllers I saw an item external storage device and the icon wasnt the same as the others that were working. It wasnt an exclamation point or a question mark. Anyways I clicked on that item and sure enough it had been disabled. The Vista computer is only used by myself so Im not sure how it got disabled in the device manager but as soon as I enabled it, it brought up the typical autoplay do you want to open etc etc.

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