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My HP vista computer isnt recongizing my WD external drive

By chelsis
Mar 4, 2010
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  1. I have tried reassigning a drive but it wont let me. The blue light comes on when plugging it in. I have also tried using another cord. Does anyone no anything else I can try? Please help me!
  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

  3. chelsis

    chelsis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No it isnt. I have been using my external drive on my computer since november and then last week I plugged it in my computer and then it never came up and then i read everywhere trying to fix it and nothing has worked.
  4. xietianhua001

    xietianhua001 TS Rookie

    reinstall the drivers
  5. chelsis

    chelsis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok so it does show up on computer management as disk1 unknown not initialized with a little red arrow pointing down next to it. I right click and i have no option to format it. I also have a lot of stuff on my external drive that i dont want to lose. I have the options of initializing but when i try that its an error. properties shows up if i uninstall would that work? but how do i reinstall it? when i plug back in will it just install it? i dont have the cd to install it.. sorry i am not the brightest when it comes to all this.
  6. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

    ok i thought the WD external drive was new. have you tried to use it on a different computer
  7. chelsis

    chelsis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    no I havent because I dont have another computer but I will try to see if i can plug it into a friend's tomorrow. thanks
  8. pepsi1

    pepsi1 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Are you saying that your external drive is shown as the system drive (C) or disk (0), bypassing the internal hard drive of the computer, and you want this to happen, but can't get it to function properly now?
    Did you do something since the last time it worked properly, or did you have a power failure while it was on?
    As suggested....go to Device Manager......, right click on the drive shown under "Disks" and update driver....this should do nothing to your data. If that doesn't fix it, then right click on the drive again and select search for new hardware and you pick the drive from a list when the wizard takes you to that area. DO NOT format at any time.

    Since this is a Vista machine you have the option of using Diskpart...a cmd driven application to fix disk problems. Don't go there until you have tried the above.
  9. chelsis

    chelsis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i have updated drivers and it says driver is updated. I am trying to right click on it and it only shows me initialized disk (which i have tried and it errors), properties, and help. When I plug in my external drive it shows up in disk management as disk 1 unknown not initialized with red arrow pointing down next to it. i dont know how to diskpart. i known how to get up cmd.
  10. pepsi1

    pepsi1 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    IMPORTANT: Make sure you have the right Disk number (#)

    Go to START
    Go to RUN
    type in cmd (command-prompt opens up)
    type in chkdsk #: /R (where you should put drive letter in place of #--space before #, and after colon---example: chkdsk 1: /R)
    Then it will start checking your drive, be patient here because it can take a long long time for this to finish depending on drive size. It may look in the beginning of the scan that nothing is going on, but after a few minutes it will state "THE DRIVE FORMAT IS NTFS...or FAT32 ...something like that--- and from then it starts scanning for a long time. Took me about 4 hours to check the total 750GB drive! It is checking available space and fixing any links that are present and don't belong there. This does not fix major boot records, so if you have that problem chances are you will be able to see the drive now, but still have to fix the MBR. If your purpose is to save information on the drive and you get a screen that says format the disk, say no or x out the box. In the end it should work again properly.

    I don’t know how this works when you have no clue what the drive letter is, I was lucky to see this still in my disk management, but only for an instant when I unplugged the power supply while the USB was still connected...it appeared under disk drives in MY COMPUTER...but only for an instant.
    If you know what it was (drive letter) before it screwed up on the computer you were using, then it is probably the same letter. However, if you improperly disconnected the drive, and a new drive letter, already assigned to something else, becomes your new drive letter you have to change back to what it was, or change the drive letter of the assigned (CD/DVD) to something else and worry about changing things back after you get the drive seen again.
    If you have some interference with normal Windows functions working properly, go to Device manager (not Disk Management) and right click the drive and select disable (if this is the only operational drive, disregard this). This could be the non XP link that has it running in a loop or in direct contention with Windows programming. After running the repair (cmd), repeat the process in Device manager to update drivers, and look for new hardware if it is still not operational.
    Device Manager--- "check for new hardware". You should see a screen that allows you to select the driver. In that collection, it should be the manufactures name of the drive, like Seagate blah, blah----select that and you should be back to normal.

    PS--you stated your internal drive stopped working....was it labled "system" drive? It should have been. If your external is called Disk 1, then Windows has assigned your disk (0) (system to your internal drive. You can repair that drive the same way using the cmd: chkdsk 0: /R
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