External drive letter assignment lost?

I'm having an issue with an external drive not having a drive assignment....

When connected via USB (40GB) I here the bing sound that it is in fact connected. but I dont get a letter.
Under disk management it doesnt show the partition. Under device management it doesnt show the drive under disk?
Any help is appreciated.
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Probably because the next logical letter is assigned to a legacy device no longer present.  If you are not afraid to reboot into safe mode, do it, and go into device manager (rt click, my computer, properties, hardware tab, device manager) -- open up drives and CDs, make sure there is nothing listed there that no longer present.  If so, remove them.  Look at the bottom -- do you see at least 2 USB entires in device manager?  If not, the USB is not installed correctly.  You might need new USB drivers for that MB.  If this is windows 98 first ed or earlier, it doesn't work right with USB, even 98SE has problems.

If after installing USB and removing legacy devices and rebooting into normal mode, the problem is not fixed, you probably need to reformat that 40GB drive (assuming no data on it) -- if the drive format is not recognized properly by windows, it will not be assigned a drive letter, no matter what you do.
What version of the OS are you using?  Regardless, try the Add New Hardware wizard located in the Control Panel, and let it autodetect for new hardware.
First...have you tried the external HD on another computer?  Is it detected there?  If so, look at your OS.  Do the Windows updates all the way around.

If it isn't recognized on another computer, then your computer is not detecting the external HD as an external HD.  If  you have windows 98, you might need to go and download the .exe file that allows 98 to communicate with your HD.  Assuming you have name brand External HD and are running Windows XP on both of those computers, the name brand external should be plug and play.  Get a replacement drive.
Essentially iPods are usb Hard drives as well and this is a common problem with  them when connecting without the drivers present.  The os goes ahead and gives it the wrong driver, and wont let got of it.  Unplug the hd, booot to safe mode.  Uninstall the device in device manager.  Reboot to normal.  Plug the drive in a *different* usb port, and manually choose the correct driver when it installs.
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