I bought an external HDD (in a case) from Maplin. It has it's own external seprate power supply and connects to the PC via a USB cable.
All was well for the first couple of months. I only turned it on when I needed to backup or retrieve files. Otherwise, for the greater part, it has remeined turned off (but sometimes still connected to the PC).
In the meanwhile, I have installed and upgraded 3 different mobile telephone suites. Nokia's PC Suite, Nokia's OVI suite and Samsungs PC Suite at various times so that I can attach any of 3 different phones to the PC. A lot of the times, successful communication with the phones relied on a reboot of the PC.
Recently, I attached the external HDD and XP failed to pick it up. However, on careful examination, I did notice XP would initially pick up the drive and even assign it a drive letter. I could see this in Explorer. However, after only 2 seconds or so, it would disappear again.
My first reaction was to uninstall all the mobile telephone software and drivers as I thought it might have something to do with that. Still no luck.
Now, when I plug in the HDD, XP doesn't even acknowledge it.
I Googled this problem for several hours and stumbled upon a Microsoft recommendation to remove 2 settings from the registry. I did this but still no luck.
I ran SFC /SCANNOW but still no luck.
I am at a loss.
What diagnostics steps should I take to discovering why I'm having this problem?
And what can I do to fix it?