External hard drive not visible

March 1, 2009 at 16:13:12
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 3.214 GHz / 2046 MB

Hi Guys, wondered if someone could please assist me here.
I have a pc with XP Pro running 32bit and just recently a lap-top with Vista Home Premium running 64bit.
I wanted an external hard drive for storage and back-up purposes. I bought an Integral enclosure that has Esata and USB ports (both the pc & lap-top have Esata).
The hard drive I bought was a Samsung Spinpoint F1 1Tb.
The problem is, I can't seem to get either the PC or LT to see the hard drive in My Computer whether via Esata or USB. The drive is seen in Device Manager under disk drives.
I have tried using XP to Dynamic Format and allocating a drive letter - no different.
I was then told Basic Formating was better and to use Samsungs utilities to Low Level Format (I did that - took about 4 hours!), but still the same. ie there under disk drives but not in My Computer.
Am I missing something here and / or should I be doing something else?
What else would a complete external hard drive have loaded onto it that this one might not, having been bought as a seperate HD and enclosure?

Your help will be very much appreciated as had the HD now for over a week and still not been able to use it as I wanted to.

Fingers crossed,


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March 1, 2009 at 17:00:02

A low level format is a utility to write zeros to every sector. That is not the format that you need to do.

Using XP disk management the drive should be partitioned, have a drive letter assigned and formatted.

Right click My Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management.

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March 2, 2009 at 07:40:59

Ah, thought I must be missing something.
Will try that tonight when I get home from work.
Thanks aegis1, much appreciated.

Will report back when done.


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March 2, 2009 at 08:45:14

In addition to the above you should have two choices on how to use the drive.

Go to disk management and right click on the drive there. Choose properties> hardware. verify the correct drive is highlighted then choose the hardware tab> properties> policies. Tick the bullet to Optimize for Performance.

That will generate an icon in the tray by the clock that you must use to safely remove the drive. This will increase performance.

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March 2, 2009 at 09:21:53

Okay thanks for that OtheHill.
Does that matter whether the connection is made by Esata or USB?



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March 2, 2009 at 09:33:37

eSATA will be much faster so I recommend you use it. The option concerning how to optimize probably won't help the speed if using USB because the limitations of the USB connection come into play.

The safely remove procedure must be used to assure the drive is not disconnected before the write process is completed. Best practices in either case dictate that you use the safely remove icon.

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March 3, 2009 at 16:52:09

Thanks aegis 1 and OtheHill.

I have partioned, formatted and added a drive letter as per the instructions above.
Everything seems to work fine now - drive seen in My Computer.

Asigned drive letter P (for photos) but strangely when looked at via the LT it shows as drive letter F, but I can definitely live with that.



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March 3, 2009 at 17:49:01

"but strangely when looked at via the LT it shows as drive letter F, but I can definitely live with that."

What is LT? Something in Vista? You should be able to assign any letter you want. If it is showing as F is your last fixed drive labeled E?

eSATA is actually considered a removable internal drive.

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March 4, 2009 at 07:18:17

Othehill - sorry LT was meant to refer to Lap-Top.

The Lap-Top is just asigning the next drive letter -
C: main HD
D: recovery partition
which leaves it being asigned as F - makes sense now that I think about it.

Thanks again


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March 4, 2009 at 09:40:16

OK then.

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