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My External Hard Disk Drive is not recognized.

External HDD not showing up on computer. Have tried different computers, but works on none.
Have tried different connectors to the USB Socket, and tried different Sockets, but no go.
When plugged in:  the External drive lights up and whirrs around, as normal. But it does not show up in the My Computer window.
:
1.  When I connect to the USB port  a message appears
'USB Device not recognized',
One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and Windows does not recognize it.
The location of the device is shown in bold type.
-USB Root Hub (6 ports)
Unused Port, Unused Port, USB Mass Storage Device, Unused Port, Unused port, Unknown Device (bold print)

2. When I open Device Manager Window I see under -Universal Serial Bus Controllers' a list of items. One of them has a yellow mark; It reads 'USB Mass Storage Device'.

3.  When I click on the Properties of this Item (USB Mass Storage Device Properties) I get the following under Device Status:
'Windows cannot use this hardware device because it has been prepared for "safe removal", but it has not been removed from the computer' (code 47).
To fix this problem, unplug this device from your computer and then plug it in again'.
I have done this several times but it makes no difference.
(the device is enabled)
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Michael Murphy
Asked:
Michael Murphy
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2 Solutions
 
web_trackerCommented:
Since it is not working in multiple computers with different usb cables, I believe there is a problem with the drive itself. I would check disc management to see if it recognizes the drive there as maybe a corrupted partition that gives information of how the hard drive is formatted. It may not even recognize that it is partitioned.
It really looks like the external drive is toast, and if there is valuable data on the drive it may need to be taken to a data recovery place to recover the data.
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nobusCommented:
not necessary a bad drive, but a bad USB bridge
what model is it?  can you take the drive out of the case, and connect it to a sata cable of a working PC?
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rindiCommented:
Does it show up on diskmanagement? If so check if initializing or formatting it may help. Also run the external disk manufacturer's diagnostic utility on it. It will tell you whether it is good or bad. Most of them will also give you an error code if it is bad which you can use to RMA the disk or get a warranty replacement for it.
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EirmanCommented:
Try testdisk, it's really great at identifying and recovering lost partitions.
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

If that doesn't work, you need to remove the hard disk from the caddy and test the two items separately.
> To test the caddy you will need another hard disk that you know is working.
> To test the hard disk you will need another caddy or some sata leads to connect it straight into a PC.
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rindiCommented:
Opening the caddy usually is a bad idea, as you void your warranty if you do. It really only is an option if warranty has run out, or if you were so careless as not to backup your data... Besides that, many manufacturers of USB disks have adopted using disks that have a legacy USB interface already integrated with the disk electronics which you can't connect to normal SATA or IDE connections, so it often is useless anyway.
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nobusCommented:
that is why i asked what model it was...
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
it is a Hitachi
HDD   5K500.  B-320
5V 700mA  320GB SATA 3.0Gb/s
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rindiCommented:
Then download Hitachi's drive fitness test and use it to diagnose the disk:

http://www.hgst.com/support/downloads#DFT
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nobusCommented:
So - if you can take the drive out -test it alone! (much faster)
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
How do I test it alone?
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nobusCommented:
you connect it to a sata cable of a working pc - install the software downloaded from above, and run it
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
after working on it  today i saw that the drive did not show up in Disk Management or in any of the 3 tests prescribed above.  I was about to post this when it suddenly started working.  I had tried three different  usb cables just before it worked.  I looked in Disk Management and therebit was and described as 'healthy'.   I switched everything off disconnected  the cable that worked and tried again.  i noticed that after giving a green light for about 10  seconds the light turned red.  No sign of the drive in disk management  or my computer. I could hear the drive working.  I retried a few more times and it started working again.  I am leaving it working and saving the data from it.  could it be a defect in the connector socked  of the drive. Dust  etc
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rindiCommented:
Could be a power issue. Many USB disks come with a special cable that has 2 connections on the computer side. One of the connections only supplies the device with power from an USB port of the PC, and the other connection also provides power and the data connections. If your cable only has one connection to the PC, it is possible it doesn't get enough power from it, as a single USB port is limited in what it can deliver, and the disks often need more than that.
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nobusCommented:
is that the model of the external drive - or of the drive alone?
post themodel of the external drive/case
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
it is the model details when extracted from the case.  
On the case I read 2.5  inch sata external case
USB 2.0
serial hi speed
Now I have transferred a lot of material from the drive.  however I can only do it in small quantities.  If I try to transfer a larger amount (say 1GB)  the light turns red and the drive freezes and   disappears from the disk management screen.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
did  not post properly.  here it is.
What I have given above are the drive's model details when extracted from the case.  
On the outside of the case I read :  
2.5  inch sata external case
USB 2.0
serial hi speed

Now I have transferred a lot of material from the drive.  however I can only do it in small quantities.  If I try to transfer a larger amount (say 1GB)  the light turns red and the drive freezes and   disappears from the disk management screen.

I  am using the cable with two inputs as described above.  when I use a cable with a single input the drive is not recognized at all.  however later today i will
 it with another cable.
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rindiCommented:
Is this a case you bought separate to the disk? Does it also include an input where you could attach an external PSU? If it does use an external (probably 5V) PSU. Or as has been previously mentioned connect the disk to an internal SATA port on your PC (you may have to get an extra SATA cable). To me it looks like this is a power issue.

Once you have it attached to an internal SATA port, run the diagnostics. If that comes out error free, you can either use the disk as an additional internal disk, or get a better external case for it.
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nobusCommented:
i always recommend a usb external case with it's own power supply for USB2
as you found out - many PC's do not deliver enough power for it. ( USB 2 delivers 5V at 0.5A Max)
Michael , did you connect it to a sata cable directly?
or are we talking about a laptop?
then try on a desktop (from friend's or family) to connect it directly ta a sata cable

here an example of a powered one : http://www.startech.com/HDD/Enclosures/35in-Silver-USB-20-to-SATA-External-Hard-Drive-Enclosure~SAT3510U2V
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
I believe the problem is solved. Got hold of a brand new USB cable and it worked perfectly. I was able to transfer some 110GB of data to a desktop. So it must have been the issue of power supply. I have dumped two cables which must have been defective while keeping the one which had two outputs and worked partially. Tunis for advice on this. Will connect directly to data socket as Nobus advised not that I need to now but to see it working.
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nobusCommented:
>>  but to see it working  <<  10x faster...
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