no drive letter for external hard drive

By my_pcfixer ·
I have attached a hard drive via usb and the drive is recognized but does not show up under My Computers. If I go to Computer Management I see the drive but it does not have a drive letter. If I right click it the only choices I have are Delete partition and Help. Its NTFS formatted and it shows 16 gig free space out of 40. Please help. Thanks

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

10 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

What make is the external..

Drive?. Go into "device manager" and see if it is located in there, it might have a red or yellow tag next to it, if it does then right click on it and select "update driver > browse computer for drivers". You might need to re-boot after this.
Hope this helps you.

Please post back if you have anymore problems or questions.

Collapse -

none of the above worked

by my_pcfixer In reply to What make is the external ...

Its a Maxtor drive from a gateway tower. I have no options to change drive letter.

Collapse -

I hope you like the command line...

by Nonapeptide In reply to none of the above worked

Try this:

run >> cmd

type "diskpart" (no quotes of course)

type "list volume"

You will see a list of all available volumes that are attached to your computer. Look for the one that does not have a drive letter and make note of its volume number.

Type "select volume #" where # is the number of the volume that you need to give a drive letter.

type "assign" to give it the next free drive letter.

type "exit"

That should do it.

Did it?

Collapse -

Gateway did it use GoBack?

by IC-IT In reply to none of the above worked

If possible return it to the original system.
Power it on and tap the space key. This should enable the GoBack menu. Disable GoBack and return it to the enclosure.
If the tower is no longer an option, use a partition editor and change the boot block back to 07 (if NTFS). (if you have partition magic than use the DOS ptedit.exe) If other type see this link.

Collapse -

Having same problem

by packardaz In reply to Gateway did it use GoBack ...

Tried this and no luck. Any other ideas for me? Working with a WDD400 NTSF format. Can see the drive in disk manager but no where else, and cannot change drive letter or access data.

Collapse -

Can't change drive letter at all?

by Nonapeptide In reply to no drive letter for exter ...

Whenever something similar happens to me, it's always because the drive letter that the HD prefers is already used by another device. So it sits and pouts until I force it to change to a usable drive letter.

In disk management (run >> diskmgmt.msc), if you right click the drive, you don't see "Change drive letter or path"? Right click the visual representation of the drive's disk space that is in the bottom half of the window. It will be the one that shows the partitions with different color strip at the top to represent if it's a extended partition, simple volume, etc.. Still not "Change drive letter or path"?.

If that doesn't work, we could get daring and use diskpart. I think you could do a 'list' and then choose the disk and assign it a drive letter. Let me know if you need help.

Collapse -

What did the HDD come out of?

by OH Smeg In reply to no drive letter for exter ...

If it's a NB and was a IBM T40 or something newer these have a Security Chip on the M'Board for BIOS Passwords which make the Drive unaccessible to anything but that Model IBM NB.

If you need to recover your Data you really need another IBM to plug into to clear any Passwords that you have on the Drive there is no other wary to get at the Data easily.

If you just want the drive and the Data on it is of no importance just chose to Delete the Existing Partition and reformat the rive you will then have access to it.

If it's not either out of a IBM ND or it's a Desktop drive you need to look at the Jumper on the Drive. For a NB Drive the jumper should be removed when fitted to a USB Caddy and for a Desktop Drive the Jumper needs to be set to Master.


Collapse -

another thing to try

by The Scummy One In reply to What did the HDD come out ...

is using a Linux disk to boot up the system and access the data directly from the NB. A USB HDD can be used to get data if needed

Collapse -

Try this

by Jacky Howe In reply to no drive letter for exter ...

I havent tried the first one.


Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows Western Digital

SeaTools for Windows
Diagnostic testing software all Seagate drives. Use the generic test when testing external drives.

Back to Hardware Forum
10 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  

Hardware Forums