My WD 2TB External HD not recognized any more

December 29, 2010 at 14:39:06
Specs: Windows Vista Home Edition, Variable
I have two computers, a laptop and a Media Center computer attached to my Television. They both run on Windows Vista Home Edition.

My External WD 2TB Hard Drive works perfectly on my displays the hard drive in My Computer folder, and I can copy/move/rename and so on. I use my laptop with my external on the go often.

Earlier today, I was moving some files from my laptop to my Media Center computer usiing my External Hard Drive (Including slideshows for my job) when suddenly my MC computer stopped displaying the External Dive when I plugged it in.

It still displays on my laptop, and my parents desktop (also Vista, but Professional Edition not Home Edition) but not on my MC computer or my work computer.

Several thread I read stated that making my External Drive an Internal Drive was the only solution, but the reason I bought an external was to have an external. Because my laptop and my parent's computer both read the drive, is there a way to make my MC computer and work computer recognize it without erasing or reformatting the information on the drive? My laptop does not have enough space to hold the information as a back up.

When I plug in the drive, the lights blink and the drive *hums* like always. The computer also makes the musical sound meaning a new device had been plugged in. The "Smartware Virtual CD" drive option does show up in the My Computer Folder, but the drive itself never appears, and if I select the Virtual CD, the program never opens.

Only the Virtual CD drive appears in Disk Management.

I apologize if any of this is confusing, English is not my first language.

I appreciate any and all help given on this matter. Thank you.


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December 29, 2010 at 14:57:17
Uninstalled/reinstalled drivers.

now the HD is only visible if the computer start up with the drive plugged in.

Help still appreciated.

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December 29, 2010 at 15:08:11
Look in Disk management to see if the drive shows correctly there. Changing the drive letter, if possible, may solve the problem.

Are you using other USB external storage devices? Flash drives and/or memory cards will use the next available drive letter. That can displace the letter the external hard drive usually uses.

It is very simple to change the drive letter on the external drive. You can reassign drive letters in Disk Management for all partitions/drives other than the system/boot partition/drive. Make it a higher letter like S so that it never gets bumped again.

Only problem with doing that is if you have software that looks for a certain drive letter to access that drive. That could be backup software. You can then change the drive letter that software looks for. If you move the drive around chances are you don't have that issue.

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December 29, 2010 at 15:14:46
In Disk management the HD does not show up unless the computer is restarted with the drive plugged in.

Changing the letter did not help. (I tried to use Run... with the letter I chose after unplugging and plugging back in but it said the drive was unaccessible.)

I only use a USB mouse, but I changed the letter to Z:(External) and Y:(Virtual CD drive) but still the actual drive does not show up if it is unplugged while the computer is running.

The drive had a Virtual CD drive that Always displays, but the drive itself does not display unless it is plugged in at computer start-up.

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Related Solutions

December 29, 2010 at 19:01:51
Maybe the virtual drive is messing things up.

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December 29, 2010 at 19:03:42
In that case, I disabled the Virtual Drive...the External still does not display on my desktop, but is still displaying on my laptop.

Thank you for the suggestion, though.

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December 29, 2010 at 19:05:49
Try connecting another USB device to that same USB port to determine if the issue is with the port or not.

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December 29, 2010 at 19:09:22
I tried attaching a USB thumb drive, and using another cord, as well as plugging into another port.

Is there a way to *kick start* the drive or something? To make the computer view it?

The Disk Management recognizes it as being plugged in, but I can not seem to find a way to open or view the files from Disk management.

Thank you.

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December 29, 2010 at 19:23:54
Is the 2TB external AC powered or not?

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December 29, 2010 at 19:24:56
Yes, it has a separate power cord that is plugged directly into the outlet.

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June 15, 2011 at 05:57:50
We have the same problem. Hard Drive was working fine then all of a sudden it stopped being recognised by the computer.

It wirrs, lights flashes and is showing as working properly under devices.

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June 15, 2011 at 06:41:24
Are you now using more USB ports than before?

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