Some USB drives have software to install but usually all work with Windows Explorer.
You should try this hard drive on more than one computer.
If there's a hardware problem then it would either be the case/electronics or the hard drive itself. Many USB drives are sealed.
If worst comes to worst you could open the case and mount the hard drive.
I need more information to help further such as:
- IDE/PATA, or SATA drive?
- USB and/or SATA connection on case?
- Is it a sealed unit?
- 3.5" or 2.5" (2.5" need no power adapter)
- Name of drive (a Western Digital unit or a case you add your own drive to?)