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Old 14th January 2006   #1
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computer not detecting external hard drive


I've hooked up a Seagate 40MB Portable External Hard Drive to my mother's computer, and the LED on the unit indicates that there's activity of some sort (constantly flashing blue light), but when I look under Device Manager and Disk Management, I can't find the unit listed anywhere.
When I click on Device Manager, and then on each entry under Universal Serial Bus controllers, every one of them says the device is working properly. If it's of any consequence, there are 8 entries in this category, even though there are only 4 USB ports being used (by mouse, webcam, printer and this external hard drive):
Logitech USB Camera
SiS 7001 PCI to USB Open Host Controller (two of these)
SiS PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller
USB Printing Support
USB Root Hub (three of these)

Under Computer Management, all I see is:
Disk 0 - Basic 74.53 GB Online (the internal HD that came with the computer)
Disk 1 - Removable (E: ) No Media (which I think refers to a memory stick)
CD-ROM 0 - DVD (F: ) No Media

The computer's a Sony VAIO, with WinXP SP2. I've run through the "External Drive Troubleshooter - Windows Detection Issue", but as far as I can tell our computer meets all the criteria, so I don't know what to try next. I've tried using a different USB port to connect the external drive, I've tried connecting both USB plugs from the external HD to the computer (it comes with a Y connection - if it can't draw enough power with a single USB connection, you're supposed to plug in both; with both connected, the unit makes little chirping noises in addition to the flashing blue LED - not at all like the whirring noise my own external HD at home makes), and I've tried rebooting the computer.
Does it sound like something's wrong with the external HD or with our computer (or isn't there enough info to determine this)? If I can't get it to work, I'll have to have my mother return it, since she'll never bother to figure it out...
Advice anyone? Thanks!

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Old 15th January 2006   #2
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I would try the drive on your computer, that would rule out the USB drivers. If you can set it up on your computer, it should just be a matter of connecting it back in to your mother's computer.

It may not be partitioned, so Windows cannot "see" it. You may need to use a utility to partition it. There may be information and utilities at the drive manufacturer's website.

Consider getting a self-powered hub. Sony recommend using a self-powered hub when using more than one USB device.

Matt

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Old 15th January 2006   #3
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Hi Matt,

It may not be partitioned, so Windows cannot "see" it. You may need to use a utility to partition it. There may be information and utilities at the drive manufacturer's website.
Wouldn't it automatically be a "partition" - these external backup drives I think already are formatted - in FAT or FAT32 I think.

Consider getting a self-powered hub. Sony recommend using a self-powered hub when using more than one USB device.
Think that is the problem, I'm supprised it didn't come with it's own power source.

Regards - Charles

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Old 15th January 2006   #4
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Last month purchased an external Maxtor 200GB ....
It came pre-configure for FAT32.
Has it's own power supply (but no external on/off switch ).

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Old 16th January 2006   #5
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Originally Posted by charlesvar
Wouldn't it automatically be a "partition" - these external backup drives I think already are formatted - in FAT or FAT32 I think.
G'day Charles, you're most probably right. I was just thinking back to some of my new HDD installation "blues" Some of the (internal) drives I have tried to install were completely blank (what I call "factory formatted"), owing to the fact that they had no Boot Sector/MBR, the only thing that could recognise them was the HDD's utilities.

Most unlikely, but maybe not impossible

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