Computer Won't Assign Drive Letter to IDE Hard Drive Enclosure

Posted on 2007-03-27
Last Modified: 2016-06-26
I have two hard drive enclosure devices (IDE) and a new Western Digital 160MB internal drive that I've tried to install in each.  When I connect the USB enclosure, Windows tells me that a USB mass storage device has been installed, and usually (but not always) I can see in Device Manager that it recognizes the device as containing a Western Digital drive.  However, I never get assigned a drive letter and can't access the drive through My Computer, so there's no way to put data on the device.  This is true for both USB enclosures.  A separate USB external drive (integrated, not a standard internal drive installed in a separate enclosure device)I own has no problem being recognized and assigned an additional drive letter.  Please help.
Question by:justasking
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LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 18801007
Have you gone to Computer Management/Disk Management and verified the drives are formatted?  And if so, assign them a drive letter there and/or format them.

Author Comment

ID: 18801528
My prior coment escaped before I finished it.  I did not format.  Can that be done while the drive is in the enclosure, or do I have to do it the way I would if I were formatting it as a replacement drive and open the computer?  I received no Windows messages telling me I had an unformatted drive.
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

SysExpert earned 75 total points
ID: 18802452
If it is not formatted, then it will not usually get a drive letter.

Try via disk manager, and if you can not do it there, then take it out of the case and do it via the  IDE interface.

I hope this helps !
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18802874
Unformatted drives will usually get drive letters.  UNPARTITIONED drives will not.  Go to Disk Management and create a partition and then format it.

Author Comment

ID: 19127147
Thanks.  Disk management did the trick.

Author Comment

ID: 19127170
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