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PC won't recognize my external hdd


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#1
ravens_creed

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Hi there,

I have a Nexstar 3 external hdd that I use for backup purposes. It works fine on my laptop, it works fine when I boot up using my secondary Windows 7 OS/drive... it is on its own drive... but it will not show up when I boot up using my primary Windows 7 OS/drive. I guess, specifically, what it comes down to is that it won't show up in Windows Explorer. I even get the friendly "beep" when I connect it, so I know it's being recognized somewhere/somehow, but it won't show up in Windows Explorer, and hence, I can't work with the files. I'm confident the drive isn't faulty, so there has to be some sort of setting or something that I need to turn on to get it to work.

As a secondary, but perhaps related, issue, I can't burn CDs/DVDs when using my primary OS either. Again, I can do it if I boot up using my secondary OS, so it isn't an issue of faulty hardware, as far as I can tell.


Any help getting these long overdue and annoying issues cleared up would be greatly appreciated.


All my best,
Paul

Edited by ravens_creed, 22 July 2013 - 09:33 PM.

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#2
Wolfeymole

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I'm a bit confused as to what is actually going on here.

Are we talking about two machines running 7 or one machine, the laptop, with two partitions both containing Windows 7 and also with an external hard drive attached?
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#3
SleepyDude

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Hi,

For the HDD drive problem check if the Disk shows in the Disk Management maybe you have to assign a drive letter by right clicking the drive and use change drive letter and paths.
How To Change Drive Letters in Windows 7
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#4
ravens_creed

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Wolfeymole - my desktop has 2 HDDs, and each one has a different installation of Windows 7 on it. I only tried the external in my laptop to make sure that it wasn't faulty. So, there is my desktop, which has 2 internal hardrives, my primary (the one that won't recognize my external or burn discs) and my secondary (used to be my primary, want to use as a backup drive now, but don't want to format it until my new primary is up and running perfectly), my laptop, which really isn't in play here, and then the Nexstar 3 external drive.


SleepyDude - Normally that would be sound advice, and that's what I originally sought to do to fix this problem, EXCEPT... it won't show up in Disk Management either. That's the one factor that baffles me. Because it won't show up in there, I have no idea what to do from this point forward. :(



- Paul
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#5
Wolfeymole

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Sorry to labour the point but are there 2 actual physical hard drives in the machine as opposed to 2 partitions which may appear, when double clicking Computer, as 2 separate hard drives when in actual fact they are not?
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#6
ravens_creed

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Correct, two actual physical hard drives, as opposed to multiple installations on different partitions on the same drive.
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#7
Wolfeymole

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Can I ask why you would want to run Windows 7 on two separate hard drives as that would mean altering the sata boot each time you wanted to run the other drive?
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#8
SleepyDude

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SleepyDude - Normally that would be sound advice, and that's what I originally sought to do to fix this problem, EXCEPT... it won't show up in Disk Management either. That's the one factor that baffles me. Because it won't show up in there, I have no idea what to do from this point forward. :(

Hi Paul,

In your case I would try to uninstall all the Universal Serial Bus controllers from Device Manager followed by a restart to have windows reinstalling all the USB controllers again.
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#9
ravens_creed

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The original installation was on a much smaller sized drive (150GB), and I got tired of having to uninstall games and delete songs to make room for new ones. I purchased a larger (1TB) drive to act as my primary. Everything on the initial installation was fine, I could burn discs, I used my external drive with no issues to transfer my backed up files over to the My Music and My Pictures folders after the fresh install on the new 1TB drive.... this was months ago, dare I say over a year! I have no idea what updates or software installations or tinkering I did that caused the settings to end up this way, but ... here I am! Once I can access my external from my new primary drive (the 1TB one) I can finally back up my music and pictures to the external, and after that, I plan on formatting the older internal drive (the 150GB one) and installing a 32-bit version of Windows so I can play older games on it. You're right though, in that each time my PC boots up, I have to select which drive I want to boot from. One of the few annoying aspects of running two drives. You're right though, in that it doesn't make sense to have two of the same running side by side. Believe me, I'm trying to move forward from it. :)
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#10
ravens_creed

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SleepyDude - Normally that would be sound advice, and that's what I originally sought to do to fix this problem, EXCEPT... it won't show up in Disk Management either. That's the one factor that baffles me. Because it won't show up in there, I have no idea what to do from this point forward. :(

Hi Paul,

In your case I would try to uninstall all the Universal Serial Bus controllers from Device Manager followed by a restart to have windows reinstalling all the USB controllers again.


Very sound suggestion, I will get on that right now and see what happens.
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#11
Wolfeymole

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I can't see quite how this would happen if you had an operating system on both drives.

You're right though, in that each time my PC boots up, I have to select which drive I want to boot from.


Windows will see dual boot systems where two operating systems are on the same drive but in separate partitions.

What it, or in actual fact the bios, won't see is the fact that there are two operating systems on two separate drives.

On sata systems there can only be one primary boot hard drive, for example you may have the 150gb set on sata 1 as Primary and the 1tb on sata 2.

Ok both contain windows 7 but you would have to physically change the boot order to set sata 2 as the primary drive if you wanted to boot from the 1tb.
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#12
ravens_creed

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SleepyDude - Normally that would be sound advice, and that's what I originally sought to do to fix this problem, EXCEPT... it won't show up in Disk Management either. That's the one factor that baffles me. Because it won't show up in there, I have no idea what to do from this point forward. :(

Hi Paul,

In your case I would try to uninstall all the Universal Serial Bus controllers from Device Manager followed by a restart to have windows reinstalling all the USB controllers again.


Very sound suggestion, I will get on that right now and see what happens.




Attempted to no avail. The problem persists. :( I plug in the external, turn it on, listen to the "ta-da" noise that it is recognized, but still doesn't show up in anything... Windows Explorer or Disk Management.
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#13
ravens_creed

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I can't see quite how this would happen if you had an operating system on both drives.

You're right though, in that each time my PC boots up, I have to select which drive I want to boot from.


Windows will see dual boot systems where two operating systems are on the same drive but in separate partitions.

What it, or in actual fact the bios, won't see is the fact that there are two operating systems on two separate drives.

On sata systems there can only be one primary boot hard drive, for example you may have the 150gb set on sata 1 as Primary and the 1tb on sata 2.

Ok both contain windows 7 but you would have to physically change the boot order to set sata 2 as the primary drive if you wanted to boot from the 1tb.




Each time I boot up, it brings me to a Boot selection menu, where I can choose between the two drives (with their respective Windows 7 installations). If I don't press anything, after a few seconds, it will just time out and default to the primary drive and boot from it, so it's really just a screen that allows me to boot from the other drive if I so choose. It's kind of nice, because, as you alluded, otherwise it would just default to the primary, and I would have to change the boot order to access or boot from the other (secondary) drive. This way, if I want, I can just select my secondary drive and it will boot up as it normally would, no going into the bios or anything. Anyhow, I feel we're getting a bit off topic with this... unless the reason my external isn't showing up is because I already have two drives and it is being introduced as a third (although the external has no system files installed on it, obviously). I'm not sure if that tampers with my PCs ability to allocated drive letters to all drives present or not.
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#14
SleepyDude

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Attempted to no avail. The problem persists. :( I plug in the external, turn it on, listen to the "ta-da" noise that it is recognized, but still doesn't show up in anything... Windows Explorer or Disk Management.


What happens if you connect a flash drive?
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#15
ravens_creed

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Like a USB key or something? They work fine! No issues with flash drives. :)
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