How to get my computer to recognize my external hard drive.
September 8, 2006 12:22 PM   Subscribe

This may seem like a simple tech question, but I just purchased an external hard drive, as well as an enclosure, and when I turn on the enclosure my computer (windows xp) recognizes the new hardware (little bubble on bottom right), but the drive does not show up on my computer. Any ideas as to what the problem might be?
posted by curiocity to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You probably need to format the harddrive. On the mac you would use disk utility. Under XP I imagine there is a similar program for formating hard drives? (I know in DOS you would use fdisk.)
posted by chunking express at 12:27 PM on September 8, 2006

In Windows XP, it's a little different - you need to right-click on "My Computer" and select "Manage."

Once that pops up, go to "Disk Management" and you'll see all drives on the computer. On the bottom right portion of the window will a list of each device. Find your new drive, right click it, and click the option along the lines of "Add new partition". I'm pulling this completely from memory so pardon the mistakes. I hope it helps.

posted by quadrinary at 12:29 PM on September 8, 2006

either the drive letter is conflicting with an already present drive (and you'll need to assign the drive a new letter), or the drive needs to be formatted.

my bet is that the external disk needs to be partitioned/formatted.
posted by wearyaswater at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

I think the above posters probably nailed it, but I'll add one more possibility: when it detects the hardware, does it reference the drive specifically (usually something like "Seagate WGA95493844"), or just "USB Storage Device"? There's a possibility that the jumpers on the drive are set wrong and that it's detecting the controller inside the enclosure, but not the drive itself.
posted by mmcg at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2006

Find your new drive, right click it, and click the option along the lines of "Add new partition".

Depending on how the drive arrived from the manufacturer, you may need to use the "Initialize..." option before any formatting can take place. Otherwise, this is right on. If your drive doesn't show up in Disk Management you should check the jumprers -- many external cages require the drive to be set to "Master."
posted by j.edwards at 1:08 PM on September 8, 2006

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