external disk not found

By davidinmelbourne ·
I have an external USB disk which
1/ is detected by Device Manager and flagged as good and healthy (it appears in both disk drives and USB controllers)
2/ I get the familiar "bong" tone when I plug in the USB cable, but
3/ it is not picked up in Disk Management.

Originally, Disk Management found it OK but in my infinite wisdom I clicked on "do not asign a drive letter or path", and ever since then it doesn't show up in Disk Management, so I can't get at it to format it or partition it.
Can I get it back somehow to show up in Disk Management so that I can format it and partition it ?

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All Answers

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Try looking for it in Devices not Drives

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to external disk not found

And see if you can undo the damage that you have done that way by formatting it there or at least reset the proprieties for the drive there under the Drives Heading. You will find the Drive there followed by USB so you will know which one you are dealing with.


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Tried that

by davidinmelbourne In reply to Try looking for it in Dev ...

Thanks Hal

I tried that when I first got the problem. There's nothing in Properties that is modifiable that will make the drive available for Formatting, nor for re-assigning a drive letter and path.

Any other ideas ?

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Other USB port

by ozi Eagle In reply to external disk not found


Try plugging it into another USB port, so windows sees it a s a new device.


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I've tried it in 3 diferent ports...

by davidinmelbourne In reply to Other USB port

Thanks ozi eagle. I've got 3 USB ports and I've tried plugging it in all 3 with the same fresults on each - I get the "bong" new-device sound, and it apears in Device Manager", but it still doesn't show in Disk Management, and nowhere do I have an option to format it or create a partition.

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Have you tried deleting the USB Ports and rebooting and allowing

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I've tried it in 3 difere ...

Windows to Find New Hardware and reinstall the USB Ports and then try the External Drive again?

As you told the computer to disregard this particular HDD and not assign a Drive Letter that may work. Otherwise I'm not too sure what to do with this one as the computer is only doing as it's been told and I'm not sure of the fix for this one.

But let me sleep on it and I'll see what comes to me.


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delete the USB ports

by davidinmelbourne In reply to Have you tried deleting t ...

Thanks Hal
I'm a bit nervous about deleting the USB ports - I have tried other external drives and they all work fine on all the 3 ports on the machine, so I'm assuming it's something to do with the drive itself, with my having unassigned the drive letter and path.
I wonder now if it's possible that the drive is faulty - until I removed the path and letter it worked fine, but I wonder if by BIG coincidence the drive could have gone faulty at the same time ? But could that be the case, considering that it still shows up fine and "working normally" in Device Manager, with no yellow exclamation marks or anyting ?

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Well anything is possible

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to delete the USB ports

But I don't think that it is overly likely. If possible can you fit this external drive to a different computer and format it up? That may be all that is required to make this drive accessible again.

Generally speaking when you unplug a External Drive while Data is being written to it you can get Hardware problems but that's about the only time.

Deleting the USB drives shouldn't pose any real problems but if you are at all concerned download the latest USB Drivers for your computer/M'Board and copy them to a Temp Folder on the HDD and when the Found New Hardware comes up point the Update Wizard to the new drivers that you have downloaded. That may be sufficient to undo the damage that you have done by telling the computer to ignore this HDD.

Unfortunately M$ Knowledge Base doesn't have anything on this issue.


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Another computer

by davidinmelbourne In reply to Well anything is possible

Thanks Col for your persistence with this for me.
I have now tried connecting the disk to another computer - both as an external USB disk, and by just putting the drive itself as a second internal disk inside the computer, and it just wasn't found there either, so I think the disk must have, by some weird coincidence, failed at the same time as I lost it when unassigning a drive letter and path. Thanks for your help, I think I have to get a new disk.

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external disk not found

by emmykal2000 In reply to external disk not found

hi David,
Looks like your problem is also stemming from IRQ and DMA conflicts. If there are any Partitions assigned apart from C: (or whatever Active Partition is on your system), they might be conflicting with the external drive.
Try to update the USB drivers on your system or look for the manufacturer of your drive and download drivers for it.
If it fails, use a third party tool to reset (Low Level format drive,) and you will see your drive back.
all the best

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It was OK before...

by davidinmelbourne In reply to external disk not found

Thanks Emmykal, but I don't think it needs the disk driver because this is XP.
As I said, before I clicked on "do not assign a drive letter or path" the drive was found fine by Disk Management and I could format it, and I could access it with explorer.
I wonder now if, by coincidence, after I had clicked on "do not assign...etc" that somehow the disk itself got physically damaged so that it wasn't recognised by the system...

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