|Did you READ and check out EVERYTHING at the link I pointed in response #1, and at the links pointed to at that link ??|
Your problems are very common.
If you had a different brand and or model of external hard drive, if you searched on the web for mentions of problems with those, you WILL find the same types of problems for those too.
You could buy yourself a new external enclosure for starting at about $30 for a 2.5" hard drive, or for starting at about $40 for a 3.5" hard drive, BUT
- there's probably nothing wrong with the external enclosure you have now, unless you have dropped it or have similarly exposed it to a physical event
- there's probably nothing wrong with the hard drive inside the external enclosure, unless you have dropped the external enclosure, or the hard drive when it wasn't in it, or have similarly exposed it to a physical event.
You can test the hard drive itself , regardless of whether you can presently access the data on it in My Computer or Windows Explorer
- when it's in the external enclosure , if the external enclosure circuits are being detected correctly (see next) . E.g. Seagate's Windows version of SeaTools will test any brand of hard drive.
- when the hard drive has been removed and connected properly internally to a desktop or laptop computer , by using bootable hard drive diagnostics - e.g. Seagate's bootable versions of SeaTools will test any brand of hard drive. (DO NOT boot from your hard drive on a different computer - usually the XP OS on it will NOT load normally in that case.)
- you STILL must be plugging it into (a) USB port(s) that can supply 500ma and that also work(s) properly with the drive AND the USB cable(s) you use must be adequate. If it's a 3.5" external drive, you MUST plug the external power adapter that came with it into the external enclosure. In some cases, you may need to use TWO USB connections on the computer end with a 2.5" external drive, or one USB connection and an external power adapter plugged into the external enclosure.
If all of those things are sufficient...........
- when you plug in or unplug the USB cable, when your sound is on so you can hear it, you will hear the sound for plugging in or unplugging a USB device (similar to dong ding, ding dong) .
-- the external drive's internal hard drive model will show up in Device Manager under Disk drives, and the external enclosure will show up there under USB controllers as a Mass Storage device .
- you may STILL not be able to see the data on the hard drive in My Computer or Windows Explorer, on ANY computer, if the data on the hard drive is damaged - the most common cause of that is unplugging the external hard drive when Windows is running without clicking on the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your taskbar and choosing to STOP accessing the drive, BEFORE you unplug it - usually that data damage can be easily fixed by using a program that can repair the damage and you will then be able to see it there.