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western digital external hd no longer recognized

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by professor stas, Aug 19, 2006.

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  1. professor stas

    professor stas Thread Starter

    Aug 19, 2006
    I recently got a SimpleTech 160GB external hard drive (model #96300-4001-001) to replace the Western Digital 80GB external (model #WD800B008-RNN) that I had managed to fill up. When I connected the Simpletech drive, I couldn't access the WD drive. I shut down and disconnected the SimpleTech drive and started up again, but the WD drive was no longer recognized. Everytime I connect the WD drive, windows (XP, recently updated) gives me a USB Device Not Recognized message and lists the drive as an unknown device on a 6 port USB hub (it's not connected to a hub). I thought this might be an issue with the drivers installed on my machine so I've hooked it up to others with the same results. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drive in the device manager and running WD's diagnostic software (as was recommended by their tech support) to no avail.

    Is there anything I can do to get the drive to be recognized again?
  2. qldit


    Mar 18, 2005
    Good Afternoon professor stas, these kinds of devices on USB can really be difficult to troubleshoot.
    Rather than get too involved and possibly damage something, the easiest path is to remove the drive from the case and then install it as fixed drive in a machine.
    This avoids the go-between stuff that most likely will be causing your problem.

    With windows it is not uncommon to sneeze and you will lose your USB stuff!

    Another option may be to run a live Linux system, this is where a different reliable kind of operating system would load.
    This path would need a bit of re-learning. (fifteen minutes or so!) LOL!

    Others will have different ideas.

    There are all kinds of options.
    Cheers, qldit.
  3. Rich-M


    May 3, 2006
    Have you tried attaching the drive as an ide slave drive to see if you can read it?
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    First off, try connecting the external disk to another machine to see if it's recognized there. We need to deteremine if it's the drive or the machine. If the drive is recognized on another machine, try this process to refresh the USB drive parameters on your machine.

    Create a file with NOTEPAD containing the following lines and save it as FIX.REG
    -------------------------- Use text after this line --------------------------------

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment]

    -------------------------- Use text before this line --------------------------------

    Double click on FIX.REG and say yes to the Merge Into Registry question.

    Unplug ALL USB devices.
    Open Device Manager.
    View, Show Hidden Devices.
    Uninstall all devices under USB Controllers.
    Uninstall all devices under Disk Drives that you know are not present.
    Uninstall all devices under Storage Volumes. Say no to any reboot prompts until you are finished. Also, if a Storage Volume doesn't uninstall, ignore it and move to the next one.
    If you have a yellow ? with unknown devices, uninstall all of the entries there as well.

    When this is done, reboot TWICE.

    Reconnect the USB devices and see if they're recognized properly.

    NOTE: If you have a USB keyboard and/or mouse, you'll have to modify the instructions and leave enough parts for those to function. I don't have one yet, so I haven't had time to modify the instructions.
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