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Brand new HDD + external Enclosure not working

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March 23, 2010 3:59:25 PM

I just received my SEAGATE Barracuda 7200.12 500gb and Scythe Kamazo 2 - 3.5 external HDD USB enclosure.

The new HDD is unformatted as it's new. I don't have my PC here right now, so I can't plug it into sata port and format it.

So I plugged it into the external enclosure and connected it to my laptop via usb,
the HDD started spinning, but nothing else happened

I tried the following:
1. Paragon Partition manager in Win7 --- doesn't show the HDD
2. HDD management in Win7 --- nothing
3. Device manager in Win7 --- nothing
4. gParted in Ubuntu --- nothing

Does it mean that either the enclosure or the HDD is broken?
a c 327 G Storage
March 23, 2010 7:01:36 PM

Any new empty hard drive needs a 2-step process of Initialization before your Windows OS can actually see it and use it. The steps are Partitioning and Formatting, although some systems combine them into one operation in a Wizard. They can be done within Windows using its Disk Management, or they can be done with free downloadable utilities from your HDD manufacturer which makes it even easier.

If you are using Windows to do it, click on Start, RIGHT-click on My Computer, and choose Manage. In the new window expand Storage on the left if necessary and choose Disk Management.

The right side of the window will subdivide into upper and lower panes. The upper pane shows you the stuff Windows already understands. The LOWER RIGHT pane also shows you additional hardware devices it does not yet understand, and this is the ONLY place you will see your new piece of hardware. The display scrolls so you can see all it contains. Each device is represented by a horizontal box. At the left end, this has a sub-block with the device label like "Disk_0", a size, and a few other bits of info. To the right of that are sub-blocks (one or more) representing Partitions on this HDD. (An optical drive cannot have different Partitions, so it only has one block.) A Partition is one contiguous block of space on the HDD that will be treated by Windows as one "drive" with its own letter name, etc. You may have an HDD set up so that there is only one Partition that uses up all the space on the unit. Or, you might have more than one Partition on the unit, each serving as a drive. You might even have an unused block called "Unallocated Space". On your boot device I expect you will see its main block labeled the "C:" drive with a volume name, a File System like NTFS with a size, and a status like "Healthy". On your new drive you probably have nothing but Unallocated Space to the right of the little label block.
RIGHT-click on that Unallocated Space of the new drive and choose to Create a new Primary Partition. Since you do not plan to boot from this unit, it does not need to be made bootable. You will have a place to select how large the new Partition will be - the whole drive, or less than that if you plan to make a second Partition on it later. Now, you may be inside a Wizard that makes this process easier and also talks about format options. Or, there may be nothing like that and all you can do now is run the Partition Creation task. If that is the case, you come back and RIGHT-click again on the new Partition and choose to Format it. But within a Wizard, the Format operation choices may be set before you do the entire process.

For the Format step you have two main options. One is to choose a File System, and most should use NTFS unless you know you particularly need FAT32 for something. You can choose Quick Format which will do the essentials in about 10 to 15 minutes and is quite suitable for a new HDD. A Full Format will do the Quick thing and then proceed to testing EVERY sector of this disk, which can take MANY hours. It is a good option for a used HDD, and an extra precaution for a brand new HDD if you have time to wait. Run the task. When done, exit Disk Management and reboot. Windows should show you that big new disk in My Computer ready to use.
March 23, 2010 7:17:12 PM

Paperdoc said:
Any new empty hard drive needs a 2-step process of Initialization before your Windows OS can actually see it and use it. The steps are Partitioning and Formatting, although some systems combine them into one operation in a Wizard. They can be done within Windows using its Disk Management, or they can be done with free downloadable utilities from your HDD manufacturer which makes it even easier.

If you are using Windows to do it, click on Start, RIGHT-click on My Computer, and choose Manage. In the new window expand Storage on the left if necessary and choose Disk Management.

The right side of the window .....


Thanks for the long explanation. But I tried this. Nothing new shows up there.
The HDD is in an "external HDD enclosure" which is connected to my LapTopop via USB.
Does it change anything?
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a c 327 G Storage
March 23, 2010 11:58:18 PM
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One key point in that stuff is that the ONLY place you'll see it in Disk Manager is the LOWER RIGHT pane. But if it's not there, there is a problem, all right. Have you tried in Device Manager scanning for new hardware and changes? Or, in Control Panel ... Add New Hardware to force it to look for the added USB device? Did the external enclosure come with any driver that needs to be installed? If that's not it, maybe you do have a bad external system. As a test, try splitting it up. Take the Seagate drive out and temporarily attach it to a desktop unit and see whether the BIOS detects that hardware. If it does, but cannot detect the hardware in an external case on a USB port, that narrow suspicion onto the case.
March 24, 2010 9:48:07 PM

Paperdoc said:
One key point in that stuff is that the ONLY place you'll see it in Disk Manager is the LOWER RIGHT pane. But if it's not there, there is a problem, all right. Have you tried in Device Manager scanning for new hardware and changes? Or, in Control Panel ... Add New Hardware to force it to look for the added USB device? Did the external enclosure come with any driver that needs to be installed? If that's not it, maybe you do have a bad external system. As a test, try splitting it up. Take the Seagate drive out and temporarily attach it to a desktop unit and see whether the BIOS detects that hardware. If it does, but cannot detect the hardware in an external case on a USB port, that narrow suspicion onto the case.


Hi. I attached the drive to a Desktop PC, the HDD showed up in the Disk Management place, it was uninitialized, so I initialized it and formatted it to NTFS.
But when I put it back into the external usb enclosure my laptop still didn't see it.
I decided to RMA the enclosure.
Thanks for replies
March 24, 2010 10:14:41 PM

Best answer selected by aquicl.
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