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External HDD not recognized by Vista

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Alessia-C, Oct 16, 2008.

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  1. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    Hello everybody,

    I recently changed my Inspiron 9100 for an Inspiron 1720 which came with Vista Ultimate. Attached to my Inspiron are 4 external HDD's all of which work perfectly however, one of these is a Western Digital 320 Gb (WD3200BEVT-75ZCT1) which is giving me nightmares!

    It is NTFS formatted (don't know if that makes any difference) and always worked perfectly under Windows XP but, on the new machine, it works for 2 or 3 days and then without any reason whatsoever, Vista suddenly decides it doesn't recognize the drive nor its driver.

    Turning off the drive, plugging it into another USB port, and restarting the PC makes no difference. What I have found though, is that if I disconnect it completely including its power adaptor, and then connect it to another PC, it works perfectly. I then reconnect it to mine without restarting my machine, and it again works without problem ...until 2 or 3 days later when it repeats its nonsense.

    This does not happen with any other drive, including a 500 Gb Western Digital "My Book Essential". I mention that because I have read that WD drives are reknown for this kind of problem although others encountering it do not find it repeats itself after having got the drive to be recognized again.

    I'm really at a loss as to what to do now, and it's too serious a problem to continue as I have been because the recognition problem regularly happens when the drive is being written to causing loss of important data. :(

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated please.
     
  2. Everway9

    Everway9

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    Drew
    Have you ran a disk check for errors?
     
  3. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    There are no disk errors. As I say, if I plug it into a machine running XP it works perfectly and stays working. There are 2 XP based machines in my household and it works fine on both of them.

    In fact, if I unplug it from an XP machine and then plug it into mine it works nicely. The problem is simply that after a short time Vista decides it doesn't recognise it anymore.

    Since I posted this topic I have spent all afternoon Googling and reading about this issue on other forums. It seems that I'm definitely not alone as tons of WD external hard drive users are having similar problems. I have read at least 30 different solutions, and pratically all of them are claimed not to work by those having this problem.

    Western Digital do not have a solution to it and neither do Microsoft. The best solution being offered to date appears to be DO NOT BUY ANY WD PRODUCTS.

    I stumbled on one potential solution totally by accident. I found a site selling these things and the reviews being given by their customers were awful. Almost everyone was having practically the same problem ...not recognised by Vista! Then one of the reviews was slightly positive in that the customer had the same problem but found that WD drives do not like being connected to crowded plug sockets. He said the problem was resolved if he plugged it into a power socket all by itself. I have unplugged it and replugged it in many times to no avail but I ran an extension cable to a plug socket that had nothing else sharing it and lo and behold, Vista suddenly recognised it again!

    Is the problem solved?

    That I cannot say yet because it usually happens after 2 or 3 days of use. I will just have to wait and see and then return to update this thread.

    Incidentally, I also found that the problem I am having is NOT isolated to WD drives; it also happens to LaCie drives, according to LaCie owners in another tech forum.

    What's really odd is that I have another WD 500 Gb "My Book Essential" connected on a crowded power adaptor and it has never had any recognition problems, either with XP or Vista. :confused:
     
  4. Everway9

    Everway9

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    Are there any error entries in the event viewer that indicates the cause of the problem?
     
  5. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    Where do I access the event viewer please?
     
  6. Everway9

    Everway9

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    Right click on 'Computer' and select 'Manage' this will bring up the 'Computer Management' window. In there you should see the 'Event Viewer' open up that and check System and Application sections for any errors relating to the problem.
     
  7. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    Thanks for that. No, it's showing 0 event entries.
     
  8. Everway9

    Everway9

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    Ok then. I will have to go now as I'm leaving work for home. If by tomorrow you have still not managed to resolve the issue. We'll have another go. You could also call WD and see what they have to say.
     
  9. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    Once again, thanks for coming to my rescue.

    For the moment the drive is working again so I will have to give it some time to see if Vista fails to recognise it, which I highly suspect will be the case.

    Reading what others have had to say about calling WD, it appears that's a waste of time as they usually don't respond, and on the rare occasion that you do get someone, he says he has no solutions to this problem.

    While some claim that WD chips (in the casing) are no good, and others say WD drives are no good, it seems the common denominator is Vista. After all, if the drive works without fault when plugged into the USB port of an XP based machine, but doesn't when used with Vista, it would be hard to accept that the hardware is at fault.

    Also, there's nothing to download from WD's site because their external HDD's do not use drivers.
     
  10. Everway9

    Everway9

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    Do WD say that the HDD is compatable with Vista?
     
  11. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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  12. Everway9

    Everway9

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    I see the part number for your drive is WD3200BEVT-75ZCT1
    Whats the description? E.g. my book
     
  13. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    That is the ATA drive itself as displayed in the system however, it's in an external HDD casing which is called MyBook Essential. I repeat from my original post, I have another one with a 500 Gb drive and that has never posed any problem. Even though I say that, I found many complaints from other users of the 500 Gb version saying that Vista would not recognise theirs.
     
  14. Everway9

    Everway9

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    Well according to WD the drive is compatable with Vista. http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=350
    If lots of other people are experiencing the same problem then there is a compatability issue which WD should agree with. I would contact them and demand either a driver package, software patch or a refund as the product does not do what is says on the tin! Giv em hell!
     
  15. Alessia-C

    Alessia-C Thread Starter

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    According to WD this is plug 'n play technology that does not use drivers nor software patches. It came with a year's warranty and I have had it for 2 years which is before Vista even came out, so I can't say anything to them. Plus it still works perfectly on XP based machines and, as of this time, is still working on my Vista machine. I need to wait a day or two to see if it does its usual trick of failing to be recognised.
     
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