Help me get my hard drive back!
February 18, 2007 1:19 PM   Subscribe

My Dell Inspiron 5100 (XP, SP2) notebook has stopped recognizing my external hard drive. I get an error message that says "This device cannot start. (Code 10)." Googling says that I need to uninstall and reinstall the drivers, which I've done. However, after reinstalling the driver and plugging the hard drive back in, I get an error message saying that the device did not install correctly. What am I doing wrong? What can I do to get the computer to recognize my hard drive again?
posted by whatideserve to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
Code 10 can be a nightmare. We've fought and fought a sound card issue on an IBM Thinkpad T30 with a Code 10 since yesterday and just now solved it by completely removing the device from Device Manager, removing the .inf files from WINNT\DRIVERS\ETC\ and running the driver uninstallation program (which most drivers don't include, unfortunately).

On reboot it finally detected the correct sound card and installed the drivers, and now it's beer time.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:46 PM on February 18, 2007


Does the drive work on another computer?

If the drive fails on another computer, then you might want to look at getting a new hard drive enclosure and swapping the old drive into it.
posted by fuzz at 3:12 PM on February 18, 2007


Also, try a different USB cable.
posted by fuzz at 3:37 PM on February 18, 2007


I plugged into a Vista machine and it says the device is working properly, but it won't open on the machine. I hope that's a Vista issue. I don't have access to another XP machine to try it on right now.

I'll try a different cable. I've had really bad luck with cables for this drive.
posted by whatideserve at 4:12 PM on February 18, 2007


my dell desktop sometimes randomly chooses to stop recognizing peripherals unless i switch which usb slot i plug them into. you might also try doing a system restore to the last checkpoint before your drive started acting up. my machine would not acknowledge my wireless receiver under any circumstances until i did that.

i also had an external drive stop working, and i unplugged it and left it on a front hall table with some vague notion that i would try and have it repaired. after almost a year, i plugged it in on a whim, and it worked just fine.
posted by wreckingball at 7:47 PM on February 18, 2007


just now solved it by completely removing the device from Device Manager, removing the .inf files from WINNT\DRIVERS\ETC\ and running the driver uninstallation program

This is always a good strategy.

Also, don't be too worried about deleting a device from Device Manager and rebooting -- Windows will pick it up again when it restarts. As far as driver removal goes, one way to go is to look at the property sheet for the device in Device Manager (right click->Properties): there will be a driver tab that will let you rollback or remove drivers, which you can do before nuking the device entirely and rebooting.

If it's a USB external drive, doing the same thing to the USB ports in Device Manager, rebooting and then supplying new drivers (download them beforehand) might help as well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:51 AM on February 20, 2007


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