Laptop with vista wont recognise seagate 500gb external hard drive

Hello, I just got a Seagate 500gb external hard drive. My laptop has vista basic and cannot see the external hard drive at all. Any help would be much appreciated.
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More about laptop vista wont recognise seagate 500gb external hard drive
  1. what type of external drive: portable or desktop type?

    How old is the laptop? Does all USB ports able to detect USB sticks or any other USB devices? Does the drive show up in Disc Management?
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