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Windows 7: Two External Hard Drives, Only One Shows

06 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Two External Hard Drives, Only One Shows

I have two 2TB Western Digital Elements hard drives (I just got the second one today), and I can't see both of them at the same time on my computer. Each one shows up and works fine individually, but if I put the other one in while one is already in there, the second one won't show up. I changed the letter of one of them, hoping that would work, but to no avail...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Here's a thought...

If you have two identical drives, perhaps Western Digital pre-formatted them identically at the factory. If they both have the same "volume label", then maybe that's what's confusing Windows when you connect the second one.

I recommend that you change the label on one or both external drives, to be unique. Maybe call one "BigDrive1" and the other "BigDrive2" or whatever you want.

First connect one drive and let Windows assign a drive letter to it. Then open Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click on the external drive, select Properties, and fill in the volume label for that drive.

For example:



Then "safely remove" the drive, disconnect it, and connect the second one. Then change its volume label the same way... but with a unique second label.

Now reconnect the first drive to a second USB port, and see if the drive is now accepted by Windows and assigned a second unique drive letter.


Note: if you have Partition Wizard installed, you can use it as well to plant a volume label.

Select the partition, right-click, and select "label" from the popup menu. Or, you can select the partition and select "set label" from the list of available operations on the left side.




Anyway, my hunch is that it's a duplicate volume label issue, since these are identical drives from Western Digital.

My own personal habit is to assign volume labels to my partitions implying the hard drive manufacturer, the drive size, and then the partition number (P1, P2, etc.). For example:




(just noticed I forgot to label my C partition the last time I installed Windows 7. It really should be WDC150-P1, which I will do as soon as I post this response.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64 Sp1
 
 

You may also be overloading the USB's power on your comp. causing 1 to not work
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 May 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Here's a thought...

If you have two identical drives, perhaps Western Digital pre-formatted them identically at the factory. If they both have the same "volume label", then maybe that's what's confusing Windows when you connect the second one.

I recommend that you change the label on one or both external drives, to be unique. Maybe call one "BigDrive1" and the other "BigDrive2" or whatever you want.

First connect one drive and let Windows assign a drive letter to it. Then open Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click on the external drive, select Properties, and fill in the volume label for that drive.

For example:



Then "safely remove" the drive, disconnect it, and connect the second one. Then change its volume label the same way... but with a unique second label.

Now reconnect the first drive to a second USB port, and see if the drive is now accepted by Windows and assigned a second unique drive letter.


Note: if you have Partition Wizard installed, you can use it as well to plant a volume label.

Select the partition, right-click, and select "label" from the popup menu. Or, you can select the partition and select "set label" from the list of available operations on the left side.




Anyway, my hunch is that it's a duplicate volume label issue, since these are identical drives from Western Digital.

My own personal habit is to assign volume labels to my partitions implying the hard drive manufacturer, the drive size, and then the partition number (P1, P2, etc.). For example:




(just noticed I forgot to label my C partition the last time I installed Windows 7. It really should be WDC150-P1, which I will do as soon as I post this response.)
I tried this (it's just the same as renaming them, right?), and that didn't work either. So now they have distinct names and distinct drive letters, but still nothing.

I'm pretty sure it's not a USB overload either, since I have another external HD (also Western Digital, but a different kind and size) that works fine when plugged in with one of these two.

Thanks for the help anyway, though!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Solution found here, thanks to Win7Survivor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Two External Hard Drives, Only One Shows





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