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How do I change drive letter allocation to recognise an external usb hard drive

Posted on 2014-10-02
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi guys,

I have an HP Pro Book with an internal drive partitioned into three volumes (C:, D: and E:). I also have an external USB hard drive (G:) attached which I use for backups. Before this I had a Dell laptop from which I rescued the two internal disks before the computer died and put them into their own case/caddy. These disks work.

My problem is that when I try to connect them via a USB cable to my HP, the HP doesn't recognise them or pick them up. I have a feeling that the problem is related to drive letter allocation but I'm not sure. I've already tried changing drive letters through Computer Management and that didn't work but I also think here that I may not have done it correctly.

Advice here would be really appreciated. I need to get access to the info on those drives.

Thanks

Carl
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Question by:Carl
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 125 total points
ID: 40357140
Hi Carl,

If the HP is not recognizing them, then it's probably not a drive letter issue. However, if that is the issue (unlikely, imo) and you're not sure that you've changed the drive letters correctly in Computer Management>Disk Management, this article explains how to do it:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/A_12280-Running-Out-of-Drive-Letters.html

You may ignore lead-in — I was just having a little fun. :)  Regards, Joe
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by:choward16980
choward16980 earned 125 total points
ID: 40357261
Unlpug them, plug them in.  Do you hear any system noises like you just added a device?  If you put your ear close to the HD, is it spinning up and receiving enough power?  More than likely, you'll need a powered USB hub in order to mount the drives.  Most laptops have 5v USB, and you may not be supplying them enough power.  Also, check device manager, right click disk drives and click "Scan hardware for changes".  Do the drives appear?  

You say two drives, which leads me to believe that maybe these drives are a RAID array?  If they're in a RAID-0 configuration, you'll need to use a program like active undelete or R-studio to rebuild/Mount the RAID.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 40357268
In diskmanagement the disk is probably set to "offline". Right click the disk (not the partition(s)) and then select "online". After that you should be able to assign drive letters to the partitions.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 40358799
>>  when I try to connect them via a USB cable to my HP, the HP doesn't recognise them or pick them up.  <<  am i correct you don't have the notification sound?
does this external disk have it's own power supply ?  if not use a powered USB hub, since many laptops do NOT provide enough power on the usb -  which is Max for USB 2 : 5V at 0.5 A= 2.5 Watt !
here examples of powered usb hubs : http://lifehacker.com/five-best-usb-hubs-1414094277
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Author Closing Comment

by:Carl
ID: 40358848
Hi guys,

thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I've given you all points because all the answers were valid, and I did check them all because that's what I remember doing in the past. The problem ended up being a hardware issue in that the cases I had the drives installed in were U/S and the cable itself was broken. I found this out when, in desperation, I took my computer to my local PC shop to get another opinion. A new cable and new cases later, I could get my data back.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40359291
You're welcome. Great to hear you got your data back!
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