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External USB HD invisible in My Computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by malik06, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. malik06

    malik06 Nibble Poster

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    Hello chaps.

    I've bought a 250GB LaCie Rugged external drive and it's doing my head in. It can be connected via Firewire 400 or 800, or USB. I connect it via USB, and it shows up in Device Manager under Disk Drives and USB Controllers as working properly, but it does not appear in My Computer and I cannot save anything to it using the software that came with it.

    The drive has 4 connections, 2 Firewire related, and 2 USB. One USB port is the data transfer connector, and the other is used just for power, in case the data transfer port doesn't provide enough. I've tried connecting it with and without the USB power cable, and get the same BS result: Fine by Device Manager, invisible in My Computer. I've tried enabling and disabling and uninstalling and installing like a madman, and get the same result.

    Can someone make a helpful suggestion before I bin this orange-ringed lemon?
     
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  2. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    Look under Disk Mgmt. Has the disk been intialized? Most of the time the external hard drives you purchase will be ready to go, but some aren't. If the drive isn't initialized or formatted, it won't mount into the file system.
     
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  3. malik06

    malik06 Nibble Poster

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    You da man! And I am still definitely a noob...

    I just formatted it. I'm good to go, thanks. :D
     
    Certifications: Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE
  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Its worth pointing out, for future reference, that this behaviour can also be caused by the drive letter the drive assigns for itself being the same as an existing drive. Basically, most usb drives (pen drives, etc) will be set with a fixed drive letter (F: for instance). When connected to the machine, they map themselves to this drive letter. Unfortunately (in XP at least), its seemingly incapable of remapping if the F: drive is already in use, meaning that is just sits there like a toad, and doesnt even let you know the problem.

    As a result, the drive appears in Device Manager, and even in Disk management, but doesnt appear in My Computer. In order to get around this particular issue, you have to go into Disk Management, right click on the drive, and select change drive letter, then select a drive letter that isnt in use on the machine.

    Helpfully, if you are in a domain environment where your user account has permission to do this, but the users account doesnt, you can open Computer Management on your own machine, and use it to connect to the target machine. From there, you can change the drive lettering remotely, without having to have the user log out. The only downside on this is that the disk management doesnt show mapped network drives, so you have to either connect anyway to take a look at the users my computer, or ask the user for a drive letter thats free.
     
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  5. malik06

    malik06 Nibble Poster

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    Fergal,

    Thanks for the additional tip! I'll keep it in mind.

    I've really annoyed myself with this problem, because I looked in Disk Management before I asked you guys for help with this, and somehow I managed to miss seeing the new drive there. If I had noticed it, I probably would have figured this out on my own. I think I missed it because my DM drive list is so long because I have one of those 5-in-1 card reader jobbies, and my new LaCie was at the bottom of the list, offscreen.

    It works now though. I'm using the Firewire connection instead of USB, and it saved 80GB in about an hour, which I guess is acceptable, although it's far below the stated specs for Firewire. By my reckoning, anyway. I'll play with it and see if I can get it working faster.

    Thanks again gents!
     
    Certifications: Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE
  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Don't forget that the speed of a drive will depend on the size of the files as well as other factors.

    If you have many 'small' files then a considerable time is taken just 'opening' the new file. This can cause a huge apparant loss of speed.

    Harry.
     
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  7. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    It also depends on how many USB devices you have on the same controller. If you're using a USB mouse, keyboard, wireless card, bluetooth adapter, etc., this will degrade performance.
     
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