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USB external hard drive recognized by XP SP2 but no drive letter assigned

Posted on 2006-06-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Computer has A floppy, C hard drive, D DVD/RW, E CD-ROM, Z Zip drive that work fine. I formated a 10gb maxtor and put it in a USB case and hooked it up to the computer. It was recognized right away and shows in control panel as working properly and in disk management okay. But no drive letter has been assigned to it and disk management does not give me that opportunity. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Sam
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Question by:sgfoster
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rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 16958757
Did you "initialize" it?
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by:shpark82
ID: 16958834
how did you format it?

try using the windows xp cd to format the hdd

ie, boot with cd as if installing windows, delete whatever is in the 10gb drive, format using ntfs, after that just pull out the cd and restart comp.

better option: use partition magic



i best guess is that since the drive is recognized and not given a drive letter, it is unformatted or formatted incorectly
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by:sgfoster
ID: 16958927
The drive was partitioned and formatted (FAT32) on another machine and worked fine there. The primary drive on IDE 0 is also formatted to Fat 32. And the Zip disk is formatted to FAT also. XP has no problem with them so why should I have to go to NTFS on the USB drive?
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by:rindi
ID: 16959219
Did you "initialize" it?
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by:sgfoster
ID: 16959395
rindi..
 How do you go about "initialize"ing it?
Sam
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by:rindi
ID: 16959730
You should have that option in diskmanagement if it hasn't been initialized yet (could have another wording).
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by:sgfoster
ID: 16961041
rindi..
 The usb drive does not show in disk management. It shows in devise manager. Also, I tried to format the usb drive via the setup CD, as suggested by shpark82, but when I got to the point of selecting the drive to install XP the drive was listed as a 1mb drive on an uinknown adapter.
 I don't understand "initialize" as a part of the PC, MS-DOS or MS Windows world. Do you mean to fdisk and format it?
Sam
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by:rindi
ID: 16961323
No, initialize is just something that registers the drive. It doesn't format or fdisk it.

If it doesn't show in diskmanagement, are you sure the USB case is working? Are you applying extra power to the USB case, as the USB port itself can't suppy enough power to the HD by itself. A lot of these cases get the extra power via a cable connecting to the PS2 keyboard output of the PC, or sometimes there's an external powersupply. Sometimes a powered USB hub can also help.
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by:sgfoster
ID: 16961995
The USB enclosure is powered by an AC to DC power adapter and seems to be working properly. Lights light. Windows recognizes it and it shows the correct drive information in Device Manager under Disks and it shows as a storage device under USB. But, when you go to Disk Management you have no options to initilize, change drive letter, format or anything like that.  It's got me stumped.
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by:seehear
ID: 16962251
Can you post a screenprint of disk management?
Excuse me if these seem like dumb questions, but have you: 1) Tried the drive in other computers; 2) verified that you know how to change/assign drive letters using disk management?
You are logged in with admin rights while doing this, right?

I ask because I have never seen a drive in disk management and not been able to change the drive letter or path.  It may not let you assign a particular drive letter, but if it shows up, it will allow you to change it - provided you have an available letter to assign, of course.

Regards,
James
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by:sgfoster
ID: 16963865
Hold the fort guys. I just tried it on another computer and got the same indications there as on my main computer. I don't have the time to do it now.. but in the morning I will stick another drive in the enclosure to see what happens. I will get back to this tomorrow.
Sam
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by:Psyco_666
ID: 16967562
You may need to download some drivers for the particular usb enclosure. I had a similar problem with an older unit on XP, after loading some drivers from the manu's website - all was ok.

What is the make and model of the enclosure? Have you looked on the manufactures website??
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by:sgfoster
ID: 16969348
TO: rindi; shpark82; seehear; and Psyco 666
 I put another drive in the enclosure and lo and behold everything is wonderful in the world now. Thanks a lot.
Sam
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by:rindi
ID: 16969542
your welcome
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by:mutley69
ID: 16982986
Was the drive jumpered in master/stand alone mode.

I know that if it isn't that it may cause some weird stuff... Like being wrongly recognised... It may be an error off the box itself of course.

(maybe you can try to upgrade the firmware on the harddisk too... Some harddrive manufacturers provide you with this software).

It's nice that you tried with another harddisk and that this one is functional!
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