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external HD not always accesable

Posted on 2012-03-31
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Last Modified: 2012-07-31
if i hook up one of my hard drives to my computer it isn't visible when exploring the computer nor is it visible when i try to make an image using "windows 7 backup and restore" but if i use paragon backup it is visible..also if i choose "safely remove hardware" it IS visible
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Question by:matteogallo
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by:CyrRei88
ID: 37792402
There is probably something wrong with the File System. The hard disk has to be formatted in FAT, exFAT or NTFS to be readable by Windows. If it is formatted in a Linux or Mac file system, Windows won't be able to see it.

Is there data on the disk? If not try to reformat the disk by using the Windows Disk Management. Let me know if you don't know how to format and I can give you the steps necessary.
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by:matteogallo
ID: 37792449
it's actually NTFS... (I can see it with another laptop no problem)
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by:nobus
ID: 37792508
your computer  -  is that a laptop ? -  probably does not provide enough power on the USB port, and the hard drive does not have it's own power supply, right?
i suggest always to use  drives powered from their own power - or use a powered usb hub like i have  : http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=158910
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masnrock earned 500 total points
ID: 37792945
If you look in the Device Manager, does the drive show up in there? If the drive shows as working properly and no issues with the drive, could possibly be that the drive did not get assignment a letter.

One approach you can try is to reinstall the drive:
* Plug in and turn on the external USB hard drive
* Right mouse click on My Computer
* Left click on Manage
* Left click on Device Manager
* Expand the USB list
* Find the USB device for your USB Hard Drive (in my case it was the one that had no description)
* Right mouse click - Uninstall
* Turn off the external USB hard drive
* Turn on the external USB hard drive and let it find and install the driver

Second approach you could try:
* Find the drive within the Device Manager
* right click on the drive, select "Change drive Letter...', and assign a drive letter to it.

Let us know what you can see and what happens.
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Author Comment

by:matteogallo
ID: 37813738
please let me know how to handle this situation.  ironically (or maybe not so much given the nature of computers) after months of not being able to see the hard drive 9although ive only tried randomly) it was suddenly visible without me trying masnrock's suggestion...which I thought may be the answer...thanks masnrock

nobus, thank you but there is separate power going to this hard drive.

I was going to wait until it isn't visible again to try masnrocks answer, what should i do about this open thread?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37815204
since it has power, the other possibilities can be : bad contact in connector or cable (swap cable), or try another port
about this thread - you can keep it open, if you post regularly an update
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