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New WD external drive not being read on XP

By constantobstacl ยท 156 replies
Dec 6, 2008
  1. If anyone can help - bless you! For the longest time I have needed to reformat my computer, which I simply cannot do if I do not backup my files somewhere.

    So I bought an external hard drive (Western Digital, Caviar Black, 1TB, SATA) & an enclosure (NexStar3). (This is my 2nd purchase like this and the 1st one worked fine, only it was an IDE drive). My computer is an HP Pavilion running Windows XP.

    This enclosure I recently bought has the option of USB or eSATA and came with the cables for each option. Since my computer would not recognize the new hard drive with the USB, I bought a USB to eSATA Bridge Adapter. I tried the adapter and the drive is still not being recognized when I turn it on. I tried to partition the drive but it does not show up in the Device Manager. I only see default empty drives (used for removable storage). I do notice a couple drive letters missing that were assigned to my other external drive or flash drive (they are not plugged in). I also checked the BIOS and do not see the external drive there. Looks like my system DOES support SATA.

    Is there anything I can do to get this external drive working? It's all I need to finally get my computer to normal again. I've seen similar problems as this and have tried the suggestions. Feel free to ask any questions or for any info I missed. I appreciate the help!!
  2. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Before I posted here I tried things from other threads, some of which are noted above. I can post details if needed as maybe they will help? For my situation? (RegScrubXP, Everest Home, HijackThis). As I am stuck at a dead end now. Please help! Thanks in advance.
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    Is XP upgraded to Service Pack 3?
  4. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    Do the below in order presented.

    Turn off then physically unplug the external drive.

    IF you have a mapped network drive to another computer then do the below.

    Rt click the mapped drive and click disconnect.

    Reboot to safe Mode.

    Go into Disk management and confirm no drives that are not supposed to be there are there.

    Go into Device manager and at top click "View" then "Show hidden devices".

    Rt click and uninstall any device with a red x or yellow exclamation point.

    If you have an Other devices Category then uninstall all there.

    Open Disk drives and if an old or unknown device is here like your old IDE then rt click and uninstall.

    Open Storage Volumes and uninstall any DIM volumes. Leave only the BOLD .

    Click Universal Serial Bus controllers and do the same to the DIM entries.

    Reboot back to normal. After back up to normal plug the external back in and turn on!

    Please note if the HW wizard detects and beeps, and at what point at plugin with drive off or when drive is powered on.

  5. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Computer ready to update and install SP3 but I have not allowed it to yet as I'm aware there may be problems with it(?)
  6. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your reply!

    So in conclusion, no changes have been made and alternate solutions are needed. Please help! Thank you!
  7. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    Well if you don't get the HW wizard it is not being even detected at all.
    You may or may not have this category only when Windows can not completely Identify something!

    In Safe mode Device manager, when you open the + you will see the tree of items.

    If you have any entries that appear dim/grayed out compared to other entries here then they need to be removed. You may not have any. But you must click the + to see them.

    I am not sure if the bridge is a factor but remove for now go back to a USB only connection.

    I need a picture of your system so do the below:
    Lets look at your startups
    when run give it a couple minutes it will produce a text file attach it back here.


    Download RSIT

    Run it, when finished it will open a log Maximized on the screen, copy/paste the contents of this log back here then close that log.

    Then the 2nd log is Minimized so Max it and post it also to a separate post.
    The logs will contain a HighJackThis log also.
    Download OTScanIt: http://download.bleepingcomputer.com...r/OTScanIt.exe
    Close all Apps and Browsers

    Download and save to Desktop and Dbl Click extract the files to an OTScanIt Folder.

    If Firewall or other Security or Malware protections pop you should allow them to let OTScanit to run.

    Enter the OTScanit folder and run OTScanit.exe.

    In Additional Scans select BotCheck, Disabled MS Config Items and Eventviewer Errors/Warnings

    Top Left click Run Scan.

    The scan can take some time so allow it time.

    Then finished a log will open,attach back to here.

  8. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your reply Mike!
    Above, because "dim" was typed as "DIM", I thought it was meant as an abbreviation. Looking back, I doubt I had any dim items. Thanks!!

    Files are attached throughout post:

    Thank you!!
  9. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    edit - double post
  10. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    Hi constantobstacl

    You have indications of Malware or residues of cleaned Malware but I believe you have some.

    This may have or not something to do with your issue.

    Do the below in the order given.

    D/L install and run ATF-Cleaner clear all except passwords in all browsers you have. Run repeatedly until no more found.

    D/L and install CCleaner: Clean temps and registry. Run both (temp and registry) repeatedly until no more found.
    http://www.ccleaner.com/download/builds get Slim version
    Reboot and run the above once more.


    D/L Xclean_Micro http://www.xblock.com/download/xclean_micro.exe
    No install, just run it delete all it finds decline to reboot on each item found, until the program finishes then reboot.

    Xclean will run minimized and will pop up a window if it finds anything. If it finds nothing it will exit.

    Please make a note of what it found if any as it has no log.

    Then do the TechSpot 8 steps: https://www.techspot.com/community/...lware-removal-preliminary-instructions.58138/

    Of course you can skip the CCleaner as you have already done this.

    Especially read how to turn off Norton while doing the scans.

    Do not shortcut this.

    Attach all logs.

  11. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you so much Mike!! :)

  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +186


    If i could join the thread to (hopefully) help and point some things out.

    I've spent alot of time digging in to the recurring mystery of Windows and disappearing usb drives / problems with usb hard drives. Many user problem reports sound very similar but there are often subtle differences and many, many different possible causes (as well sometimes nothing that can be pinpointed other then guessing at hardware errors)

    I think the best way to tackle these problems is by tackling each possible Windows problem "layer" (below is an outline. Not a detailed list of things-to-do and things-to-check-for)
    • Determine if a Windows and/or PC problem
      • Boot the PC directly into a non-Windows environment (e.g. Linux, or Knoppix or a disk recovery tool, etc). Is the device still not detected????
      • Connect the drive to a different PC (note: i've found several people claim that SP3 has caused usb HD problems in some cases but nothing i can is truth or just opinion. Point being you might want to try XP SP3 vs. non-SP3 machines. and 2nd note: i just recently heard this fact or fiction. To my knowledge all the other SP3 have been fixed)
    • Verify no Device Manager problems.
      • Check for ANY device problems reported in Device Manager.
      • Reconnect / reinstall the USB drive. The Windows Installer should install TWO devices without error:
        - The USB hard drive should appear under Disk Drives
        - The USB drive should also appear under USB Controllers. Look for USB Mass Storage Devices. Check Properties to verify it's for your usb drive.
    • In Disk Management:
      - Verify the usb drive is listed as under Disks
      - Verify each of the partitions on the usb drive are listed under volumes
    • Verify the usb drive and volumes appear correctly in My Computer and Explorer
    So initially, if you connect your usb hard drive (important it's just physically connected to usb port whether working or not) and then do the following would help provide some initial detail.
    Click to download then run Everest Home. From top of Everest window:
    • Click File->Preferences
      • Check English
      • Then (still under Preferences) click Report and uncheck Include Debug Information
      • Close Preferences window
    • Click Reports->Report Wizard. Get a Custom Report report in plain text. Check these items
      • Computer
      • Motherboard
      • Storage
    • Attach the report file to a TechSpot post. When you create your TechSpot post, use the paper clip icon to attach the report. (If you don't see it among your icons, you need to click the TechSpot Go Advanced button towards bottom of window)
    Check if Windows reports any problem devices
    • Click Start->Run, enter: msinfo32. (It may take a short while till a second window opens)
    • Expand Components (click + sign next to it)
    • Click Problem Devices. Anything appear?
    • If yes, click it, then Edit->Select All then Edit->Copy and then paste into your next post

    /********* EDIT *************/
    And as i just post this i see you and mflynn are in the middle of following up on something else.. Don't want to join with conflicting directions so let you proceed and give a holler if any question or any info i might be able to assist with
  13. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    Excellent post LookinAround

    But constantobstacl lets come back to this after we clean or confirm clean.

  14. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

  15. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    In the 8 Steps it tells you how to turn off virus scanners for the tools to work!

    Oh I misread that. But turn Avira off for now. After the other tools have cleaned then back on.

  16. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OMG.....................didnt think this could get any worse. But I have no computer now!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    I was on Step 1 of the 8 and chose Avira (the first antivirus option). It gave me pop up after pop up about the same detection, over and over-up to 16 at a time, when I close, it starts all over. Even when rebooting. I uninstalled it with difficulty and then went on to the 2nd anti virus. Im not even sure if it installed now?? ZoneAlarm installed fine.
    I went to Step 2 and was fixing all problems it found, I had all options checked except for the one it says not to,......I restart my computer so I can go on and try again (bcz it wasnt fixing everything).................
    well when the computer restarts my monitor screen keeps going black and doesnt return (its only a week old monitor). I even tested another monitor I was using prior. After several times(!), now the monitor is on, BUT my computer keeps REBOOTING, Windows will not load.
    It gives me the options of SafeMode, Last Known Recovery (or something...?), Start windows normally......and ANY option I choose, no matter how many times I chose it....it would REBOOT again, and give me these SAME options.
    I cannot reformat my computer, my ORIGINAL issue has to be fixed before I can.
    What could have caused this & how can I get windows to log on???? Why did this happen??HELP ME PLEASE:(
    I took my old cpu from my closet, and am on it now, w/a keyboard w/a messed up space key, sitting/lying on the floor, not comfortable :(
    thanks for listening and pleassssssssssse help if you can :'(
  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +186

    Your HP Pavillion should have either
    - Come with an Win XP installation CD and/or
    - Come with a recovery partition installed (it's a normally "hidden" partition on your hard drive installed by HP to help in recovery situations like this)

    You need either
    1) Insert XP CD and boot from CD
    2) Boot from recovery partition (will be by tapping a Function key at power up. I think it's F12 for HP)

    Go to hp website. click support and look up your model number for specifics.

    Here's a link on using XP Recovery Console

    Of course post back for more detail on Recovery processes as well (tho be sure to visit the hp website to see what automated procedures they might offer)
  18. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    Hold on Teresa I just got back from dinner am reviewing the logs and all we have done!

    Give me a few moments.


    EDIT: Hold off on any recovery CD but do find and let us know what you have.

    OK Teresa I see parts of what may have happened and I think we can fix it.

    You already had Norton Antivirus and you were installing a 2nd one. You should only install one of these if you had none.

    Also it is the first time I nave noticed it but not good to install a Firewall if you already have issues.

    Based on the results you have had I really believe you have other Malware issues.

    OK so what recovery disks do you have?

  19. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi guys,
    Actually I was trying to uninstall Norton tonight because it wasn't even useful anymore. I think it DID uninstall during this time, before I restarted the comp and got this new issue...
    I have "HP Recovery Disk 1" and "HP Recovery Disk 2", which were created after I bought the HP PC. I have used them 2 or 3 times now to reformat. But again, I need to save whats on my hard drive before I wipe it clean...

    Also guess what, I tested the NEW WD External drive on this computer, it doesnt assign a drive letter, BUT it IS recognized in Device Manager! See screencap below:


    Q: If I partition the drive on this PC, should it finally be read on my HP PC? (Both are XP SP2)
  20. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    (oh, my Norton was an expired trial that was useless for new updates--thats why I was trying to replace it)! ;)
  21. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for you first post, I had seen your suggestions in another thread and have tried them. It was very useful, but I wasnt sure where to go from there, hence why I started a new thread for my situation. I hope I can get my computer back and continue where you both were helping me. (Unless this new situation works^).

    Thank you both for your help and concern!

    Lets nip this in the bud! ;)
  22. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653

    OK it won't hurt to go ahead and format but I still don't think it will help on the other computer.

    You likely noticed that you got the HW Wizard when you connected here. But not on the other computer. That may be the other reasons we have issues on it as it had a basic system misconfiguration.

    What are the exact names on the restore cd's you have. I need to dfind them on the HP site to see what capabilities they have.

    We need to restore your system and keep all your files and data.

    When is the last time you restored?

  23. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well this was a step required/recommended after buying the PC- to "create system recovery disks" by inserting blank CD-R's (or DVD-R) while HP created the recovery disks for me. I'm looking at my "troubleshooting and maintenance guide" and it says to create them by going to Start > All Programs > PC Help & Tools > HP PC Recovery CD-DVD Creator.
    Hope this helps...
  24. constantobstacl

    constantobstacl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Reading further - looks like my disks have 2 recovery options:
    Standard - recovers factory shipped programs, drivers, and the operating system without affecting any data files you may have created since purchasing. Some data files may be difficult to find after the recovery, so its best to back up all hard disk drive files before recovery.

    Full System - completely erases and reformats the hard disk drive......
  25. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,653


    So you do not have an y CD's that came with the computer?

    Get me the model serial number and/service tag number so i can look it up at HP.

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