External Drive Not Displaying at Boot

June 18, 2010 at 07:58:38
Specs: Windows Vista
I have a Hitachi HSD2000 external hard drive (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5082546&CatId=4230) plugged in by USB. This drive works fine, but has a few strange problems attached to it.
a.) When I boot up my computer, the drive is not displayed in the My Computer display. I have to unplug the drive then plug it back in for it to be shown. There must be a way around this, I think too much of this may be stressful to the drive and it's inconvenient. If there was even a way to "refresh" the drive so that it was shown (without doing it physically) that'd be fine, but I'd really like to know why this is the problem. It does this with all USB ports.
b.) Since having this drive connected, when I restart or shut down my computer, it hangs. When I shut down the computer, Windows turns off but the tower remains lit up and on. Why?

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June 18, 2010 at 08:02:53
Most probably it is mapping to a drive letter that is already in use like D:. To fix this Right-Click "My Computer" on the start menu -> Select Manage -> Scroll down to Disk Management -> Find the External Drive and Right-Click it -> Select "Change Letter and Path" -> set it to a drive letter you know is not in use.

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June 18, 2010 at 08:34:09
"Most probably it is mapping to a drive letter that is already in use...."

(Logical) drive letters are assigned to USB drives according to what drive letters are available in the operating system when the drive was plugged in - there should be no problem regarding mapping, unless all the drive letters C to Z are being used when it was plugged in.

Your external hard drive is apparently 3.5" and in that case it came with an external power adapter that you plug into it - that MUST be plugged into it, and working.

If the USB cable you are using between the external drive and the computer did NOT come with the drive, it may be inadequate and you may need to try another one. The cable must be rated for USB 2.0 use, and must be able to handle the full max 500ma USB spec.

For a desktop computer, you may have an IRQ sharing problem you need to fix. In that case, some USB devices work correctly, some don't.
See response 3 in this:

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