Why is my external harddisk not recognized ("Unknown device")

Posted on 2010-01-06
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Why is my external harddisk not recognized ("Unknown device").

Always earlier it has not been any problem with my external HDD Freecom Toughdrive on 250 GB, it has always been recognized. I'm not sure, but I think I didn't get any CD with drivers for it, so no drivers has ever been installed for it.

Then, I bought one more Freecom Toughdrive on 250 GB (exactly the same model). With this model came a CD for installing a password.

After this, I installed passwords for both my Freecom Toughdrives.

But this morning, when I started Windows XP SP3 Pro, I got the message about "Unknown device. No drivers are installed for this device" furthest down to the right on my screen (the Status field). So I checked it up with Device Manager, and also there it said "No drivers installed for this device".

And now, when I use the password application, it only gives me the alternative to remove the password, not to open my Freecom Toughdrive.

The second Freecom Toughdrive has no problems, it is the first Freecom Toughdrive that has no drivers installed and it is for this first Freecom Toughdrive that I am only given the option to remove the password.

I started the Hardware Update Wizard in Device Manager for this Freecom Toughdrive no. 1, but as I have no CD to install any drivers from, I can't get any further.

What should I do? I have really important info on that Freecom Toughdrive no. 1.

Related to this is also that the icon for this Freecom Toughdrive no. 1 is not the one usually used for HDD but instead looks like a white paper with some blue squares.
Question by:hermesalpha

    Author Comment

    It has happened for a long time that this Freecom Toughdrive no. 1 is not recognized, and I always disconnect it a few times, and after that Windows finally finds the external HDD.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    does it have it's own PS ?
    if not that can be the cause.
    you can try another cable, or usb port
    i would remove it's password, to access it easily till everything is ok
    you can go to device manager>view and click show hidden devices
    then remove all entries related to your drive, reboot and test

    you can also test it on another PC - it can be bad or dying - then i would open it, and connect it directly to the sata or ide cable for testing
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    try sistem restore a disable password this time

    Author Comment

    No, it's behaving exactly the same way on my ASUS netbook: doesn't get recognized until I've unplugged it a few times.

    Nobus, that might be the problem: FreeCom no. 1 and FreeCom no. 2 have exactly the same passwords.
    Maybe I should change them.

    But the problem remains with the icon for FreeCom no. 1, and that this problem with not being recognized was there before I installed the password utility. So when I think about it, it can't be the answer.

    How would I go about to test it and connect it directly to SATA or Ide cable (they are both external HDDs)?
    LVL 91

    Accepted Solution

    in order to do that, you have to open the case, and remove the disk from it - then attach it

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