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Missing drive letter for external drive?

Posted on 2016-07-25
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Last Modified: 2016-07-27
Our client has a fairly new Windows 2012 server (5 -6 months). We have an external drive attached which is used for a weekly full system backup. The normal daily backups work online (cloud). These external drives are placed in their safe.

The external drive automatically maps as the E:\ drive. There are two external drives which the users swap each week. This full local backup runs on Saturdays.

Has been working absolutely fine, until now. Basically the E:\ drive has disappeared. Saturday’s job failed. I asked the user to check it, he said that it was firmly attached and the blue light on. So I asked him to swap it for the other drive, same problem. I re-started the server, still no drive (nor showing in Computer Management).

Any ideas?
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Question by:gerlis
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41728565
Can you try the drive (either one) on a different port?
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Accepted Solution

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Maclean earned 500 total points
ID: 41728583
Go to start>>run (Or open up a CMD prompt if you cannot locate run) and type in diskmgmt.msc
In disk management check if the external drive is showing.

If yes, right click it, and assign a drive letter.
If not, try swapping USB port and see if the USB is re-detected.
If not re-detected, test the drive on another PC
If OK on another PC, plug it back into the server, and check under control panel, system, device manager to see if there is a yellow exclamation mark or an error which you could submit here for review.
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Expert Comment

by:LockDown32
ID: 41728614
If these are external USB drives you might want to use USBDLM. It will guarentee that they come in as the same drive letter each time. http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

Is drive E: gone or has it just been replaced with something else?
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 41728615
Try a new USB cable.
It is also possible that both drives have gone bad.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 41728619
Sometimes it helps just restarting the server. Windows updates cause this problem thus after installation of updates the machine needs restart.
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by:nobus
ID: 41728845
is there no other device connected, taking the E: letter ?
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Author Comment

by:gerlis
ID: 41729001
All

Very embarassing, I advised my client to try the drive in another machine and, as he did so, realised that the drive wasn't propelry connected afer all!

This question can be removed, but thanks to all who responded.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41729327
I asked you (https:#a41728565 ) to try another port.
Maclean asked you (https:#a41728583 ) to try another computer.

Trying either of these two suggestions would disclose a bad connection
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Author Comment

by:gerlis
ID: 41729407
But the problem and hence the solution was neither of those.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 41729415
Instead of deleting - select your own solution.
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Expert Comment

by:Maclean
ID: 41730093
Think what John meant is that trying another USB port is a good way of checking whether the port was connected properly or not. If yes, the logical next step was to re-try the original port to establish if there was a fault. Not much poitn asking to retry the connection on original port, as some people can deem that slightly insulting and/or it is assumed that was attempted already.

But regardless, happy to see the issue has been resolved. I'm not worried about points,  I can't sell m on ebay hehe. But theoretically John or my suggestion would have led to the conclusion that the connection was bad, so you could consider to mark either John or your solution as the answer if so inclined :)
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by:gerlis
ID: 41730159
Won't let me mark any as solution now?
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