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I can see my external hard drive in device manager, but not able to access it

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 1, 2011 6:18:49 PM

Hi Guys, any ideas how to access my external hard drive [Hitachi Deskstar] device manager can see it but it does not appear in disc management. it has a lot of family photos and all my letters on it that I would like to keep as the backup disc has failed
November 1, 2011 6:36:22 PM

make sure a drive letter is assigned to it in the disk management section of computer management. (right click on "computer" click manage)
a b $ Windows 7
November 1, 2011 6:38:38 PM

Hello... Asssuming you have Windows 7... you must INITIALIZE it to the Operating system... Guess "Plug and Play sort of went away" over more secure/ extra steps needed to access hardrives...
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November 1, 2011 6:42:57 PM

Ironsounds said:
Hello... Asssuming you have Windows 7... you must INITIALIZE it to the Operating system... Guess "Plug and Play sort of went away" over more secure/ extra steps needed to access hardrives...


what? I've never had to do that with any external drives in 7 or any other OS for that matter. but sometimes windows (saw it more in xp pro) won't assign a drive letter for some unknown reason.... how does one "initialize" a drive on win 7?

unless of course you are thinking of a new unformatted drive which is not the case of the OP
November 1, 2011 6:48:06 PM

In my experience with External drives, if the files that are on the base of the drive are moved\deleted then the computer does not know what to do with the drive. I had that happen with one of my Seagate drives and I had to take it out and connect it directly to the computer to get windows to see it. It had to do a disk check on the drive then and it could be accessed. I then replaced the drivers for the device to the bse of the drive and then it worked just fine. You may be able to do this without taking it out of the case if you can see it in my computer, you may be able to run scan disk on it there.
a b $ Windows 7
November 1, 2011 7:02:31 PM

Control Panel-Administrative Tools-Computer Management-Storage-Disk Management

In that Screen, is your External recognized? if so, right click on it for further options such as "make active".

Depends on your security Levels now, how Windows will handle external media plugged into it...
November 2, 2011 7:28:52 AM

Hi Guys, thanks for your input. Sadly it can be seen clearly in device manager but not recognised in disc management. At the moment I have it plugged into an ICY box through a USB connector. I have tried fitting it directly into an old computer as the master [and only] hard drive but then that computer will not start up. Trying everything I can think of to access it and not to lose all that date and photos. Anyone used PC Recovery? Tried it yesterday but did not get anywhere.

Sorry did not understand [videogameri] the bit about the base of the drive and replacing the drivers because the computer tells me the drive is working correctly and the drivers are up to date.

Thanks again for all the help. Robin
November 2, 2011 3:36:09 PM

retiredrobin said:
Sorry did not understand [videogameri] the bit about the base of the drive and replacing the drivers because the computer tells me the drive is working correctly and the drivers are up to date.

External HDD have files on then when they are shipped out from the factory. These files tell the computer how to use the devicecontroller to allow the storage of data on the drive. When you view the new drive they are on the Base of the drive, Not in a folder. Think of this like a normal computer file structure, the base of the drive is the C:\ area, that is the bottom most point. Then from there it branches off to different folders and files.

The external drive would read like this also, when it worked. EX: X:\ The driver files for the device need to be located at the base of the drive and not in any folder. Since you cannot access the drive, try what I did and take it out of the enclosure to see if you can see it in windows when it is connected directly to the Mother board like a normal internal drive. It should read this drive then and allow you to access it.
November 2, 2011 6:52:32 PM

Thanks for that it is now a lot clearer. A ray of hope for a short while this afternoon the external drive appeared in the disc management pane but has now vanished again. I will keep trying especiall when I was told today that it would cost me £95 plus vat to get it looked at professionally and £390 plus vat to recover the data ouch !!!!!!!!
November 2, 2011 7:27:01 PM

The place that my company uses cost $700+ to recover data. Usualy the HDD does not fail in External drives, the controller card for the External drive failes. I would take it out and try that first, if it does not read when in the computer that way then they would still be able to recover the data and it would be easier for them as well as they would not have to take it apart themselves. The tricky part is keeping the enclosure looking nice while taking out the HDD.
a b $ Windows 7
November 2, 2011 7:50:40 PM

put a jumper on the card to make it "seen" as a 1.5 connection vs 3.0. ( SATA )....... I think the jumper would go on the first 2 pins but you could check with the HD manufacturer ( site ) for info.
November 2, 2011 7:58:49 PM

retiredrobin said:
Hi Guys, thanks for your input. Sadly it can be seen clearly in device manager but not recognised in disc management. At the moment I have it plugged into an ICY box through a USB connector. I have tried fitting it directly into an old computer as the master [and only] hard drive but then that computer will not start up.


Wait the drive you are trying to access was the only drive connected to the old computer? Where was the OS your are booting in to to access the drive? Live CD or USB stick?
a b $ Windows 7
November 2, 2011 8:09:28 PM

Get yourself a HDD docking station, extract the HDD from it's enclosure, insert it in the docking station, plug that in your PC and see what happens. If the HDD was formatted in FAT or NTFS, it should pop-up like an external drive and the PC should give you the option to open it. If it was formatted in some ext3 or ext4 filesystem (and the enclosure controller would handle the disk administration), you can do the same by using a linux-based machine (or a Mac, I guess, but not sure there) to mount it. Either way, you will be able to recover your files.
a b $ Windows 7
November 2, 2011 9:53:34 PM

Hi

Is this Hitachi hard disk SATA or IDE/ATA ?
how old is it ?
what capacity/ size ?

you mentioned master which may imply IDE/ATA connection with 80/40 way ribbon cable.

Most of the docking stations I have seen are usb to SATA and support 3.5" & 2.5" SATA hard disks

If this drive does not show up in disk management but does show up in device manager you may need help of expert if Data on drive is important
The more times you start this drive up the more you risk your data.

Hitachi produce a diagnostics program available on floppy disk or ISO image for CD which can do a thorough test of Hitachi & IBM hard disks

(It does not work via USB to IDE or USB to SATA so it would need to be in a PC not connected by usb adapter)

When you put this drive in a PC it would not start up, Were you trying to boot up from a CD/DVD or did it not get past BIOS & POST messages?


regards

Mike Barnes
November 3, 2011 8:24:48 AM

Catsrules said:
Wait the drive you are trying to access was the only drive connected to the old computer? Where was the OS your are booting in to to access the drive? Live CD or USB stick?


It was on that drive but I did also try starting the old computer up with the XP CD in the cd drive without success. Bye the bye, yesterday afternoon it did appear in disc management but I had visitors arrive so switched off. Hopefully at some time it might appear today.
November 26, 2011 7:21:19 PM

retiredrobin said:
Hi Guys, any ideas how to access my external hard drive [Hitachi Deskstar] device manager can see it but it does not appear in disc management. it has a lot of family photos and all my letters on it that I would like to keep as the backup disc has failed

.............................................
I have experienced USB external hard drives that are not recognized in "Computer" and are therefore not accessible. The drive does appear normally in Device Manager. Sometimes an external drive which has been in normal use shifts into this situation. In my case the drive appeared to have lost its "designation".

Other brands of USB external hard drive plugged into the computer are also not recognized, but flash drives are recognized.

The external hard drive appears normally and works when plugged into other computers.

To recapture the drive designation on the computer experiencing the problem -
Go to Contol Panel - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Storage - Disk Management. In my case the drive appeared, but has no designation letter. I right clicked on the "blank" drive and then
selected "Make Drive Active" and "Change Drive Letter and Paths". That seems to resolve the problem.
November 27, 2011 3:53:05 AM

In device manager you say it appears. Right click on the device and uninstall it. Next click on action ---> scan for hardware changes. Hopefully this will do the trick. I had to do this for various devices on different computers.
July 1, 2012 2:37:52 AM

ok so if you cannot see your hdd in my computer and its brand new, right click on computer and go to manage. then go to disk management. if you see the drive that you just installed right click on it and partition it.
now if you have been using this drive as a secondary and you just reloaded your pc but you have info on that drive then simply in the same menu right click on the drive you need to enable and click change drive letters and path. then give it at letter like E or H or what ever you want. then go to my computer and it should appear.
i hope this helps
October 11, 2012 2:11:19 AM

slhpss said:
make sure a drive letter is assigned to it in the disk management section of computer management. (right click on "computer" click manage)


Just tried this for my hard drive and it worked....thanks!!!
October 13, 2012 12:50:11 PM

Ok so I'm sure I ACCIDENTALLY deleted a few files from the base of my Seagate Goflex 500 GB portable drive using winrar. I know how to open the drive and hook it up directly to my motherboard but I can't seem to find the drivers anywhere.

I noticed you said you had a Seagate too so where did you get yours?

NEED HELP ASAP!!!
October 13, 2012 12:53:19 PM

videogamerign said:
In my experience with External drives, if the files that are on the base of the drive are moved\deleted then the computer does not know what to do with the drive. I had that happen with one of my Seagate drives and I had to take it out and connect it directly to the computer to get windows to see it. It had to do a disk check on the drive then and it could be accessed. I then replaced the drivers for the device to the bse of the drive and then it worked just fine. You may be able to do this without taking it out of the case if you can see it in my computer, you may be able to run scan disk on it there.



Ok so I'm sure I ACCIDENTALLY deleted a few files from the base of my Seagate Goflex 500 GB portable drive using winrar. I know how to open the drive and hook it up directly to my motherboard but I can't seem to find the drivers anywhere.

I noticed you said you had a Seagate too so where did you get yours?

NEED HELP ASAP!!!
April 4, 2013 2:25:07 AM

slhpss said:
make sure a drive letter is assigned to it in the disk management section of computer management. (right click on "computer" click manage)


Hi It's Bill here
I have a major problem, I lend my Uncle External Harddrive, He use it with his MACbook Pro
But when i take it to my home, it is not working on my Windows Xp computer then someone advice me to
install a Mac Explorer i did
but before it i have deleted the device from the Disk Management
after it it start appearing in my Windows Explorer but when I try to open it it show a message to Format it
but i can't format because it had a lot of Files in it and Many Family pictures i don't want to be ashamed in eye of my Uncle
Am waiting for your reply.

Please Help me
Regard's
Billjutt@ymail.com
April 24, 2013 1:08:02 PM

slhpss said:
make sure a drive letter is assigned to it in the disk management section of computer management. (right click on "computer" click manage)


i googled this issue.
i feel very silly for not having realized i simply needed to assign a letter to my drive. I nearly formatted it! thanks so much for this quick solution
April 25, 2013 12:15:32 AM

slhpss said:
make sure a drive letter is assigned to it in the disk management section of computer management. (right click on "computer" click manage)


Thanks It really worked for me.
->Right click on my computer
->Manage
->Disk Management
->Right click on Drive which is not visible in my Computer
->Click Change Drive Letter and Paths
->Click Add and Assign letter
->It will appear
->Hurrah......!
www.reviewz123.com
June 7, 2013 1:28:05 PM

I have the same problem. When I go to disk management and right click on the problem drive, everything is greyed out except "delete volume". Maybe try logging on directly as 'Administrator'?
!