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Can't read USB drive

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Lord of the View

Lord of the View


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I have an 80 gig external hard drive. It worked up until a few days ago. I took it to a friend's to help her back up some files before she reformatted her computer. I got it home and now Vista will not read it.

I plug it in. Turn it on. The "Busy" light of the external drive remains red. Vista will play it's stupid "ding" but it is not shown in Computer. Nor can I access it through the command prompt.

I have a dual boot with XP. XP will not read it either. I have tried various boot orders. Like turning the PC on first, turning the external drive on first, etc.

The drive is not recognized by Disk Management on either XP or Vista. I even tried on my XP laptop. In Device Manager, it says that the "USB Mass Storage" is unable to start.

Thus, I took the case of the external drive apart. The power light will turn on, but the drive will not make any sound nor vibrate. The fan will not turn on either. It sounds like some sort of power issue. Would I be able to plug the drive into my desktop using an IDE cable? It looks like the same as any other hard drive...

Any other ideas?
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    Retired Staff

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Yes, since you have opened the USB case you should be able to remove the drive and connect it as a slave drive inside of your computer. I have several USB external drives and I move hard drives around like that all of the time. The problem you may experience is that some "off the shelf" enclosures are not intended to be user serviceable and they make it hard to open the enclosure. If you got the thing open and you can remove the drive, go for it.
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