External hard drive not recognized

Posted on 2004-09-04
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I have an external hard drive that is not being recognized properly by Windows XP. The drive is a Maxtor 3000LS 40GB. The problem started after I loaded XP SP2. The hard drive was showing as not being formatted, since there wasn't anything on the drive that I couldn't replace I re-formatted. Everything seemed  to be okay for a couple of days and then I started having problems with programs I had loaded on that drive which were causing problems with the OS. I did a complete system restore (wiped the C drive clean and reloaded Windows) with the original restore CD. The original Windows that came with the computer is ME. I could find the external hard drive in ME, but it did not have a drive letter associated with it in the system. I assigned the letter F to this drive and tried to format but was unable to complete through Windows ME. I then re-installed XP. The hard drive shows up in Device Manager under disk drives as "Maxtor (square)A RES C64K USB Device". It also shows as working properly and I can't update the driver as Windows can't find a better driver. Under volumes it is listed as Disk 1, Type - Unknown, Status - Unreadable, Partition style - Not Applicable, Capacity - 0MB, Unallocated space - 0MB, Reserved space - 0MB. It won't show up under Disk Management and the capacity being listed as 0MB is strange as ME showed the drive with the proper capacity even though the drive letter was not assigned. Of course, the drive is not covered under warranty (ran out 2 months ago) or I would be dealing with Maxtor. Any ideas on what to do?
Question by:skintop37
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

smiffy13 earned 85 total points
ID: 11982728
Maxtor offer a diagnostic program (free download) from their site: , it's called "powermax". It may be worth running that first and see what it thinks the problem is. I've run a similar program for a Western Digital drive that I couldn't access, and the WD utility fixed the problem.

Assisted Solution

amaiman earned 83 total points
ID: 11983010
The Powermax program will also allow you to do a low-level format of the hard disk, which is sometimes neccessary if parts of a drive get corrupted (for example if a previous format operation gets interrupted, etc.)
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

Cyber-Dude earned 83 total points
ID: 11983780
First, the reason you couldnt see it in Windows ME is sourced in the fact that you format the drive to use the NTFS FS thus causing Windows ME not to see it properly, as well as format it.

In Windows XP try to check the services you have in the Service Manager. Also, since thers a USB drivers update in SP2 as well,  try to update the USB drivers via Device Manager manually...

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Author Comment

ID: 11984930
I have run the Powermax program with no luck. It only shows the internal hard drive and cd drive. I am assuming from reading the instructions on the Maxtor website that Powermax doesn't work since it is an external hard drive plugged in through a USB port. I have updated the USB drivers manually, no luck. I'm not really sure what you are saying about checking the services in Service Manager. What am I looking for?

Assisted Solution

Blue_Rishi earned 83 total points
ID: 11986571
Could be a problem with...

1) usb-cable/port; try a different cable and usb port

2) chipset, usb or usb-storage drivers; reinstall or update all drivers for chipset, usb and usb-storage. If that doesn't work; downgrade them to pre sp-2.

3) problems with the hdd; if this external casing can be opened and the drive uses ide; hook it on ide and see what it does the; try to reformat (check the jumper settings when hooking it up!)

Blue Rishi

Assisted Solution

motaz_mohamed earned 83 total points
ID: 11988039
How is the external HD powered? If it does not have its own adapter this might be the cause of the problem.

There are two types of USB ports, self powred and bus powered. Some HDs does not work on bus powered USB ports because the output is only 100 mAmps while the self powered output is 500 mAmp. So in this case you will need to power your HD using an adapter.

Assisted Solution

Lamont77 earned 83 total points
ID: 12006494
Try right clicking on "my computer" (the real icon not a short  cut) and click "manage". A microsoft management console will open. Click "disk management" under "storage"

This will list all storage devices. If I am correct the hard drive that you cannot get to work will be listed there. Right click the hard drive that you cannot get working and select "format" - (get the disk formatted if needed). One of the other options that you can choose from here is "re-activate" mongst others.

The moral of the story is you should be able to get your hdd recognised and working from this Management console. If you need further directions on how to use the console then just give me a buzz back to this post as I get notifyed by email of any further answers.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 12293114
can the points be split between the participants?

Expert Comment

ID: 12303704
Agree :-)

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