External Hard Drive Detection Problem

By syrXrys ยท 7 replies
Apr 15, 2009
  1. I have a Toshiba hard drive that used to work perfectly. I have a lot of things stored on it and I got a larger HD so I wanted to transfer everything. I plugged my old HD into my laptop and to the other 5 computers in the household and they all detect the new hardware but it doesn't show up under My Computer on any of the computers that I've tried. It shows up under my Device Manager but not under Disk Management. I tried to change the letter assigned to it for the drive but under my Device Manager it shows up as a Mass Storage Device. If I could format it I wouldn't want to because of all the extremely precious things that are stored on it. Please someone help me! I don't know what to do. I'm running Windows XP.. the HD is in a separate USB casing. I'm at my wits end! Help!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Sorry, just to reconfirm.
    You have tried 5 different computers and none of them detect it properly, is that correct?
    If so, then just unscrew the external casing and plug the Sata drive internally, into one of the other computers (as a slave or secondary drive) then boot up the computer and hopefully Windows detects a new mass storage drive
  3. syrXrys

    syrXrys TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm still a little new with that whole slave drive thing. I don't know exactly what to do and I'm scared of damaging a computer by doing it wrong. And what's a SATA?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The red wire on the left is Sata

    If you are not comfortable dismantling the external drive
    And then mounting it into a Desktop computer (as a secondary drive)
    You may need assistance from someone else there that can help you do this

    By the way, this is still only a test, at this stage we don't even know if it's a faulty unrecoverable drive (although I doubt it)
  5. syrXrys

    syrXrys TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've opened one of the desktops that's at my disposal and I don't see any wire like that one in your picture. I'm comfortable dismantling a computer I just don't want to make it to where I mess up the EHD completely and make it unrecoverable. Should I look this up for more detailed pictures and if it doesn't work then re-post another reply here? Or get someone to walk me through it?
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Inside "one of your desktops" you don't see the Sata cable as illustrated above?
    Do you see the flat ribbon cable then (which is the cable on the right of the smaller pic above?

    Anyway, just plug the external dismantled harddrive internally into one of your computers
    Note: I won't be posting 100 replies to help you with every basic step, ie you may need someone there that has been inside a computer before, and unplugged harddrives.
  7. syrXrys

    syrXrys TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I found the ribbon cable and tried to plug in the HD in question and the cable doesn't fit. It almost fits but not quite. I'm sure it's the right cable but the holes just don't match up perfectly to plug in. So I tried a second desktop and that cable won't work either. Thank you for all of your help. I guess it's just trial and error to get it right.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes keep trying

    The ribbon cable can only go one way around
    And I usually use the CD drive ribbon cable

    By the way, obviously your external drive is not the smaller Sata connection, it's the ribbon cable which is IDE cable or ATA drive (being the same connection as your CD\DVD drive ;))
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