Cannot find external drives

February 20, 2010 at 17:11:04
Specs: Windows XP
I'm hoping someone can help with this problem, as I have tried everything I can think of.

Yesterday I ran Norton antivirus. It picked up a virus and told me to reboot to resolve the problem, which I did. Following reboot, Windowa would not start - just kept going round in a restart cycle.

I ended up reinstalling Windows (I had done recent backup so didn't mind reformatting drive).

However, since reinstall I cannot view the 2 external hard drives that were attached at the time. I plug them in, hear the usual chime of recognition, but nothing shows in Windows explorer or elsewhere. I have tried Disk Management but the drives do not show there either.

What is more, I have tried to attach them to my laptop and although they are recognised as new hardware they are not visibile on that either.

Also, before this when PC was booting up and running through startup, these drives used to show as external devices. They don't now.

Can anyone explain to me what has happened and help to resolve this? I hate to think I have lost backup of all my data as well.

I am running Windows XP SP 2, the drives are an Iomega and a Freecom.


See More: Cannot find external drives

February 20, 2010 at 19:07:04
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

Load the main chipset drivers first.

USB devices may not work correctly when they're connected to certain USB ports e.g. ports in a hub or on the front of a desktop case. If you have a desktop computer, you may have an IRQ sharing problem you need to fix, or your power supply may be starting to fail.
See response 3 in this:

Also - if you are using a USB extension cable, some of them have inadequate wiring and will not work properly with some USB devices.

USB hubs don't work for all USB devices.
How to add more directly connected USB ports.
How to t-shoot and possibly fix problems accessing data on an external drive or flash drive or memory card, etc., and what usually causes the problem.
External drive requirements.
See Response 4:

More detailed external hard drive requirements:

See Response 9:

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September 27, 2010 at 01:26:50
I have the same problem, just to tell you and shourtcut :) the way for you, you need to fix your MBR for you hard drive, so it can work again for you

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