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External hard drive and Vista - help desperately needed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by posiep, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. posiep

    posiep Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    My laptop fried yesterday so I've bought a new one today which has Vista Home Premium pre-loaded on it. I have saved all of my university work onto a Pluscom 2.5 USB 2.0 external hard drive caddy which up until now has worked fine on XP. It worked on another xp pc earlier on, temporarily worked on a friends laptop running vista home basic, but it will not work on my new laptop. I've just tried it onto a totally clean pc that's running xp home and although it finds it as a mass storage device, it does not appear in My Computer and when I try to safely remove hardware it hangs the whole thing. I'm at my wits end, I desperately need the information on this drive so cannot risk anything that may format it and destroy my work. The other weird thing is when I go into safely remove hardware, underneath the mass storage device it says disk drive then a y with 2 dots above it. I don't know if that's relevant to anything? Can somebody please, please help me, I have deadlines to make and no way of accessing anything.
     
  2. RetroGuy

    RetroGuy

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    Dec 5, 2008
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    A virus can do that, or an error with your external drive's hardware. Or your partitions somehow got corrupted. There are a number of recoverey programs available that can be used if the hardware is still ok. First determine if the harddrive is being detected properly:
    Go to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Management. See if your harddrive's correct size is being detected. (you'll have to try all this on the laptop which detects the drive). Right click on the drive, go to properties, and see if the manufacturer's name show up in the window. If not, you'll have to seek out an expert to disassemble your harddrive, take out the actual disk and use it in another case and see if that works. I've not know the disks to go bad; usually the hardware error if any happens to the USB controller within the case but external to the actual harddrive.
    If the drive is being recognized correctly, then the problem is with the partitions. A friend of mine ran into a similar problem when his partitions weren't being read. He used [email protected] partition recovery, that worked for him. Try that, if it doesn't work don't lose hope, there are other programs to and one of them could work for you. (y)
     
  3. alwrmc

    alwrmc

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    B.L.
    There is the possibility that the external drive has no Vista drivers. Have you tried looking for Vista drivers on the web? I just did a quick Google for "Pluscom" but did not find anything that seemed pertinent.
    If the drive is usable on any other machine, I would try to copy those files and then burn to CD(s) or perhaps try/purchase another external drive and transfer to that.
    You may also be able to remove the hard drive from its case and install it into another case and see if it is recognized then. Most external HDs are simply regular drives mounted into a stand-alone case with circuitry built into the case. You should be able to open the case, unplug the drive and move it to another case. Some cases are sealed and that may prevent opening without breaking the case (careful with the drive inside).
    Lastly, probably not relevant in this case but, some external devices will only be recognized properly by connecting them after the machine is booted up. My Acom Data drive was like that, I thought it was bad from the day I bought it until I figured that out. Still have it and it still works great.
     
  4. posiep

    posiep Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
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    Thank you so much for the replies. After I couldn't get it to work for the umpteenth time I went to unplug it, dropped it and hey presto it now reads fine! I have however burnt everything onto a cd just in case it goes again. Many thanks again.
     
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