drive letter for 200GB external USB hard drive never appears when connected to laptop

GMartin
GMartin used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi Everyone,

             Tonight, I had the desire to backup some end user files on a laptop using my 2.0 external USB hard drive; ran into the following problem.  I got a window with the title of Device installer error.  The message contained within it says Windows could not load the installer for Volume.  Contact your hardware vendor for assistance.  I know the external USB hard drive itself is fine because it works just fine; without error messages when connected to my older Compaq pc which even has an older version of USB, 1.1.  

             Any help regarding this question will be appreciated.  

             Thank you

             George
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Try connecting to different USB port on the same laptop.

Author

Commented:
Hi

           I connected it to a different USB port and got the same result.  By the way, the System icon is missing within Control Panel too which makes me wonder if the Windows XP OS might be corrupted.

           George
To test if it is hardware or software in that machine boot it off a Linux live CD and see if you can read that USB device.
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Author

Commented:
Hi

           I have the Ultimate Boot CD.  Will that work for the testing?  Also, what exactly am I looking for once UBCD opens?  In other words, which menu or menus do I need to go to for testing the USB ports of this laptop?

            Thank you

            George
If you can't read the USB disk on Linux then your hardware is faulty. If you can then your windows install is dodgy.

Don't know about ultimate boot CD.
I would use a Linux mint CD.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
George - has the ext drive it's own power supply, or is it powered from USB?
if powered from USB, your laptop may not be able to deliver enough power - so use a powered USB hub, like  i do : http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=158910
Commented:
Hope your Motherboard chipSet drivers are latest, update if you can.

-> Try to uninstall all entries in the usb section of device manager, then reboot and test
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
the ubcd is not for that George
you need ubcd for windows; or the live Knoppix cd :
 ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso
however - even if it runs on knoppix, you only know thze drive is ok
to know that - you can also test it on another pC

Author

Commented:
Hi Everyone

            The USB external drive has its own power.  The OS on this laptop is corrupted because the System icon within Control Panel used to access Device Manager is missing.  However, the laptop does boot; allow access to the contents of the HDD.  

             I am not sure if this is possiable or can be done, but, can I use a utility which can possibly get the USB ports on this laptop to work "outside" of Windows XP in addition to allowing me to see the directory structure of the HDD so I can backup the end user files?  I know the locations of the files needing a back up.

             Thank you

             George
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Yes, you can get access to both internal and external drives using boot CD for backup software such as Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Home: www.drive-backup.com
In this case the laptop and drive will use USB drivers from this boot CD.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
i use ubcd4windows, or Knoppix  for that :

http://www.ubcd4win.com/                              ubcd  Win
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso          Knoppix

Author

Commented:
Hi Everyone,

              Thanks so much for the shared insights given to this post.  After connecting the external 200GB hard drive on a different pc, I was relieved to notice a drive letter automatically loaded; permitted full access to the folders and files on it.  The cause of the drive letter failing to load for the laptop in addition to the missing System icon within Control Panel was most likely attributed to a corrupted Windows XP operating system because the hard drive itself failed when tested with a Western Digital Hard Drive Diagnoistic built within UBCD.  

               Thanks again for the input given to this post.

               George
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
glad to assist, George

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