Cannot get a drive letter assigned

I am trying to add an external HD to my laptop running XP Media. The computer recognises a new mass storage device has been added, the driver installation takes place satisfactorily, but I cannot access the drive as there is no drive letter added to available drives in My computer, i.e. no drive letter!
When plugging in generic pen drives etc. they install and assign drive letters fine. Who can help?

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More about cannot drive letter assigned
  1. Have you ever used the external hard drive before? If so, forget this post. If not, although most externals are shipped formatted, you may have to partition and format. Take a look at this checklist:
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