Cannot access USB hard drive

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greenstick

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Jan 14, 2011
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I've searched previous posts and this type of problem seems quite common, but I haven't been able to find the solution.

I've plugged an external 500Gb hard drive into my USB port. The hard drive has it's own power supply. I get a chime from the PC when I switch it on or off, and it's listed under Disk drives in Device Manager, but it doesn't show under Computer.

When I click on it in Device Manager, it tells me the device is working properly

Computer is a Compaq presario A900 running Vista. Hard drive is a Western Digital Caviar Green SATA drive.

It shows up on Device Manager as: WDC WD50 00AADS-00S9B0.

I would have attached a screen dump of Device Manager, but I couldn't work out how to to it (I pressed 'Alt' and the home/prt sc keys on the Device Manager screen and then ctrlV in this window, but nothing happened.

Any help much appreciated.
 

greenstick

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Jan 14, 2011
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When you say Disk Management, is that the same as Device Manager? under the 'General' tab it says:

Location: on USB Mass Storage device

Is that what you mean?
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
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11,761
Sorry ...no it is not the same

Go Start>>Right click Computer>>then Properties>>then Manage and on the left hand side click on Disk Management
 

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greenstick

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Jan 14, 2011
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Sorry, I'm probably being really thick, but when I select Computer and right click on Properties,, I get a screen that's headed up: >Control pane>System

and the options in the blue bar on the right hand side are:

Device manager
Remote settings
System Protection
Advanced system settings

I can't see a 'Manage' option
 
Joined
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11,761
Understood....

My directions were not correct...try this Start>>Right click Computer then choose Manage and on the left hand side click on Disk Management


Do not need to click on Properties...:)
 

greenstick

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One last hurdle:

When I finished going through the wizard I got the error message

'The operation cannot be completed because the disk is not initialised'

How do I initialise it?

ps: once I've finished all this, will the hard drive work with another PC or will I have to go through the process again?
 
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Does it give you the Option in Disk Management when you Right click on the Unallocated space to Format...if so do that and choose NTFS

and after your done it should work on mostly all other PCs
 

greenstick

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
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12
The only options are:

New Simple Volume
Properties
Help

So I click on New Simple Volume which starts the New Simple Volume Wizard.

When I get to the Format Partition page in the wizard, NTFS is the default option.
 
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