What to do if your external hard drive does not show in my computer

By MrNoname ยท 134 replies
Sep 29, 2006
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  1. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    yea, change the cable.. and have you tried it in a different computer?

    if you're running XP you can also take a look here and also here
  2. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Great Guide mate. It help a lot
  3. SilverKnightLV

    SilverKnightLV TS Rookie

    My problem is the opposite. My J ext drive appears in My Computer and can be used, but it does NOT appear in Disk Management. I have an issue with the drive turning itself off (no light but fan runs, then needs power cycling) and wanted to see whT Disk Management had for it.

    Any ideas?
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Scroll down. If it appears in My Computer then 99.9999999999999999% chance it's in Disk Management. (i;d say 100% but i suppose nothing is impossible with computers, sometimes ;) )
  5. kaitu

    kaitu TS Rookie

    Help.. is there any one can help me with my external drive(seagate 250GB)
    I was connecting my external drive when someone came and put his flash drive
    which have a virus of surabaya. My antivirus was not updated so after he have gone
    we realise that our computer have a virus seeing it when restarted our PC. So we formated our
    PC and when everything was okay by installing Window XP and make my antivirus update. I connect my external to scan the virus in it. But when I connect there's nothing appear in my computer and also the lower bar, and the light which always turn on is not light. And i only hear a sound(peep sound) coming out of it. so can anyone can help me with this.?
  6. Cosmo185

    Cosmo185 TS Rookie

    the other night i turned my hdd on and before it finsished loading or what have you (autoplay) i turned it off. and now when i turn it on nothing happens on my computer??? any help would be appreciated. according to the usb properties it shows up there but no where else.. is it possible when i shut it off before it got done loading the drive got erased? i hope not please let me know
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

  8. Cosmo185

    Cosmo185 TS Rookie

    im running xp. and i ran the chkdsk utilities like u said but i dont think it made a difference. i have tried the hdd on another comp. and same thing as soon as i turn it on the comp freezes until i unplug it..
  9. masistas5967

    masistas5967 TS Rookie

    this is the solution for XP

    THIS IS THE SOLUTION FOR XP. I dont know if it works for vista or 7.

    1. click start and then run.
    2. in the open box, type regedit and then cklick ok.
    3. in the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkeys (first-second-third-etc) until you see in the right pane disk drives.


    4. in the right pane, click UpperFilters.

    Note. You may also see an UpperFilters.bak registry entry. You dont have to remove this entry. Click UpperFilters only. If you dont see the UpperFilters registry entry, you still might have to remove the LowerFilters registry entry. To do this, go to step 7.

    5. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
    6. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
    7. In the right pane, click LowerFilters.

    Note If you dont see the LowerFilters registry entry, unfortunately this content cannot help you any further. Go to the the "Next Steps" section for information about how you can find more solutions or more help on the Microsoft Web Site.

    8. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
    9. When you are promptefd to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
    10. Exit the Registry Editor.
    11. Restart the computer.
    12. First DELETE the UpperFilters and if this doesnt work after restart then you might have to DELETE the LowerFilters.
    Nik The Greek
  10. atai

    atai TS Rookie

    Thanks for the guide
  11. ansasausam

    ansasausam TS Rookie

    Thanks a lot Mr. Noname

    Thank you very much for presenting the solution to my problem. The problem has been fixed. Thanks again
  12. SonicTrex

    SonicTrex TS Rookie

    Hi, I have a similar problem, but mine seem a little worst. Not only is my computer unable to read External Hard Drive, it can't read any other external storage device like thumb drive and SD card.

    I've tried what T.S. has posted, going to disk management and changing the disk letter. However, everytime I changed the disk letter, it will just restore itself back to the original state.

    Let's say I assign Z: to my SD card, but after assigning for 1 second, the windows refreshes itself and Z: is no longer assigned to my SD card (returned to the state before).

    I'm really anxious about this problem now because I have some important files in my external hard drive that I'm trying to transfer from my old computer to this new laptop.

    P.S. I'm using Windows 7.

    Thanks a lot in advance. Please Help ]:
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hi SonicTrex

    Now that's really odd. I've never heard of "refreshing drive letter assignments right back to original state" like that!!!

    Are you using an account with Admin Rights??? (I ask to double check, altho i would think if not access rights, Win 7 wouldn't let you do it in the first place... but worth double checking)

    Then also try See [post=875300]How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers[/post]

    Then post back and we can look further.. as i also wonder if you might have some overzealous "real time protection" based anti-malware product that might be what's restoring the settings
  14. SonicTrex

    SonicTrex TS Rookie


    Anyway, what I meant was whenever I try to assign a disk letter to the storage device, the letter gets assigned for a moment and it disappears. I'm logged in as adminstrator. It shouldn't be my anti-virus software as the devices could work well before.

    I have tried the link you have posted (Btw, there's one ineffective link on opening "elevated command prompt" :/) but to no avail.

    Also, I think I might have found the source of error. In the device manager, it actually shows all my storage devices to have error code 10: the device cannot start. Rest assure, I know this thread is not the right place to post this, so I will seek the solution somewhere else [:

    Weird though, I have only bought this new laptop for 1month and it could use all my storage devices at first (Thumb drive, SD card, external hard drive).. Jeez...

    Still, thanks.
  15. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hey SonicTex

    1. Thanks for the heads up about the ineffective link. Will fix it when i get the chance

    2. The symptom you mention above (about all storage drivers having error code 10) might result from a bad class filter driver. (A Windows class filter for class=Disk will be applied to all your Disk devices so if you have a bad class filter, it might be the single cause of the problem.) It's at least worth checking it out. See if this might apply [post=815753]CD/DVD or Disk Problems? How to Fix Problems Caused by Filters[/post]
  16. df3c

    df3c TS Rookie

    I have also recently found a problem with my Buffalo 500G external drive. This drive has no independent power supply. It does not show on my desktop PC.

    Luckily, I found my solution: the USB cable is bugged. Change to a new USB cable perfectly works.
  17. simo9445

    simo9445 TS Rookie

    Thanks alot dude

    Thanks! You saved my life! <3!!!!
  18. Boogey

    Boogey TS Rookie

    Drive not show up on My Computer!!

    I have a promblem with my Lacie 1TB external disk. I plug it in and its shows up on the "Safely Remove" but its not shows up in "My Computer". I also try out the way with the "Disk Management" but i cant click on the option "Change driveletter"...can any1 help me with something else please?
  19. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    See if this might help [post=875300]How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers[/post]

    If still the problem, click Start->Run, enter diskmgmt.msc (for Disk Manager)

    When you connect/remove the drive does a new disk # appear (and disappear) in the lower pane?

    Does this new disk show its formatted NTFS? or FAT? or does is say something like RAW or Unformatted? or something else?
  20. Boogey

    Boogey TS Rookie

    When i connet the device and i got into Disk Manager i can see it there but on the "File System" colloum its empy..no NTFS..nothing :(
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    In that case, i'd guess the file system is corrupted and Windows no longer detects it. (Did you unplug the USB cable without first using the Safely Remove Hardware icon?)

    In any case, try TestDisk. Many have used it and reported good results (it'll attempt to recover the filesystem and your files)

    p.s. do NOT write anything to that drive till you've done recovery
  22. blueyes71

    blueyes71 TS Rookie

    External Hard drive does not even show up in the disk management

    ok, not computer savvy, AT ALL, but attempted steps as described, still nothing shows up in disc management other than the internal hard drives. Tried same steps on two other computers, same same. unplugged/replugged external hard drives power source (plugs into wall surge protector) and tried other USB ports on same and other computers...nothing; attached new USB chords...nothing. External hard drive lights up as if it should be operational and seems to be faintly clicking, to the touch (can't hear any noise really). Device will not turn off no matter how long you hold down the power button. Also tried just restarting and then totally shutting down the computers...nothing still. Never been on a forum previously, for anything, had lots of pictures on there that can't be replaced, I know...I'm dumb for not backing them up somewhere else. Please, help!
  23. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hi blueyes

    If you still can't get the disk to appear in Disk Management and you've had the same problem plugging even after connecting it into different computers, is likely a hardware problem with the external drive

    Those external drives essentially conisist of two components: the case which has the disk inside it and the disk itself. Sometimes its the connections on the case itself which fail. The disk inside may still be OK

    That would mean opening the case, removing the disk and connecting it to a USB adapter cable or putting it in a new case. All of which isn't too hard (if you've done it before) See this thread as an example. On the other hand, you might want to take it somewhere to let a shop do it for you if you're not sure if you can do so yourself
  24. darrell dragon

    darrell dragon TS Rookie


    i followed the disk management instructions but i cant assign a drive letter and theres nothing in the file system, no ntfs or fat or anything
  25. Nagarjun

    Nagarjun TS Rookie

    Still a problem....

    The disk management shows that your disk(disk 2) is not initialised annd when I try to initialize it, it says that the requested sector was not found....!! I'm bamboozled.... Help please

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