Solved: No external hard drives recognizing

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nerd_in_trainin

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Sep 20, 2008
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I've bought 4 different hard drives and none of them recognize on my computer. Not on device manager, disc management, my computer, nowhere. The power comes on on em though. Wutz up. Wut could be the problem. im runnin on windows xp.
 
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Are you plugging in the USBs before or after the machine has started? You should be doing it AFTER bootup, and allow XP to 'find' them.

Have you tried a flash drive in the same manner? Does the computer 'see' them?

A-N
 
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With the drive plugged in if you go into Device Manager, see any yellow"?"?
Run,devmgmt.msc and hit "enter" to go into Device Manager.
 

nerd_in_trainin

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They are external plug and play hard drives. Ya know. for backin up the comp. I start it up after bootup, when the comp is already on Im logged in and the startup is complete. Usb jump drives are recognized. Already checked in the device manager. No yellow, the drives werent found anywhere.

Hp Pavillion
Was windows 200 me but upgraded to xp pro
service pack three

Intel Pentium 3 processor
996MHz, 384 MB Ram
2 usb ports at 500mA per port
(very crappy computer but still has more than ssytem requirements for the drives)
 
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Aug 6, 2007
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i had the same issue with a friend's computer once. since the computer is older, does it have USB 1.0 ports? are the newer external hdds backward compatible with USB 1?

i tried installing a seagate external drive on a really old PC, it wouldn't even recognize it.
 
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I have my external staring me in the face right now - here's the normal things that customers will forget to check when I fix them for them -

1 - Customers plugging the drive into the USB on the computer before the computer is turned on - for it's first encounter with a new external drives, most computers want to be up and running before plugging them in.

2 - Most customers do not realize that large format externals (based on 3.5" hard drives) have power switches... oops...

3 - As ryanclemson pointed out - the customer picked up an external HD that is not backwards compatible, and they only have USB 1.0 or 1.1 available (An HP with a PIII in it deffinitely has USB 1.1s max).

The upgrade to XP Pro should have brought the USB jacks to a 'live' status, so that the plug-and-play should work constantly - BUT... HP did make a few machines late in the PIII series that did not like being upgraded (I've got one sitting beside me - Model 8766C - it actually crashes when you attempt to put XP into it - and it came out the year XP came out). It could be a hardware issue inside the confuser, depending on the model.

A-N
 

nerd_in_trainin

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It is backwards compatible. I made sho 2 get one that was. i mean but if it wasnt, would the computer still turn the drive on? it powers the EHD. The light comes on, it just wont recognize it. anywhere. I proly gotta do the old, save to cd thang huh? I hate to do that though.
 
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No, even on the USB 1.1s, they will 'activate' an external, but might not recognize it... oh, I just thought of something... any idea what the maximum size your INTERNAL HD can be? You could be trying to put too large an external onto a machine that old. Try to put too large an internal HD into it, it will simply limit the size and waste a perfectly good big HD - but on an external, it would probably just ignore it... hummm...

A-N
 

nerd_in_trainin

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powered by computer. Which it does power it. It does turn on. SO if i put a 160GB External on ma comp it would ignore it? Wouldnt that be on the specs?
 
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They probably require more power then as many of those do not get enough power from the usb buss and require 2 usb ports.
 
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They probably require more power then as many of those do not get enough power from the usb buss and require 2 usb ports.
Rich-m is likely to be right. These devices run on my computer, but I have more power available.
Get a drive with its own power.
 

nerd_in_trainin

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Problem solved. Thank you all for your help. On the HP, the Rear USB Drive is the more high powered port. I just had to use that one. The simplest options are always forgotten. Haha. Sorry, i should have tried that already. Thank you though. I know to try all your solutions in the future if i ever have the problem again. Thank you
 
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