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Windows 7: Ext USB drive has drive letter but does not appear in Explorer

21 Feb 2015   #1
rebadurchee

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 
Ext USB drive has drive letter but does not appear in Explorer

I use an external USB 3.0 4TB Touro (HGST disk) as backup. Lately it does not show up in Explorer. It does show up in Device Manager. I use Partition Magic and find that it does not have a drive letter anymore. Then I assign it to the letter it used to have. And it still does not show up in Explorer.

If I look at the disk in Partition Manager I can see all the directories and files but I can't access it with Explorer.

I have uninstalled it from the system and rebooted and plugged it in again. I used drivecleanup. I get the message that the driver was installed correctly and it is ready for use, but it won't show up in Explorer.

I'm running Win7 Home 64bit.

Help! Thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Feb 2015   #2
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

I use Partition Magic and find that it does not have a drive letter anymore

Do you mean MiniTools Partition Wizard?

If I look at the disk in Partition Manager I can see all the directories and files .....

What Partition Manager is that? Can you please post a full screenshot of what you see?

Also post a screenshot of Windows Disk Management with only your 4TB external drive plugged in.(Please remove all other external drives /Flash drives). In Windows Disk Management screen tool bar on top, click on Show/Hide Console Tree, and Show/Hide Action Pane Icons to hide those so that we get an untruncated picture with all the information visible. If need be, adjust the seperators in the Drive list on top so that we can clearly see Capacity, Free Space and % Free.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

From what you have said the folders and files are still there. So don't panic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2015   #3
rebadurchee

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Jumanji, thanks! It was late last night and I misstated the program I was using. It is Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15. I'm posting the Paragon and Disk Management captures. Thank you.


Attached Thumbnails
Ext USB drive has drive letter but does not appear in Explorer-rebadurchee-paragon-disk-mgt.jpg   Ext USB drive has drive letter but does not appear in Explorer-rebadurchee_disk-mgt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Feb 2015   #4
rebadurchee

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Jumanji, This is very weird. After posting the screen shot of the Computer - Disk Mgt screen I noticed that it did not show that the Touro had a drive letter. I had assigned it one in Paragon but it did not show up in Windows Disk Mgt. I then went back to Win Disk Mgt and assigned the letter N: to it there. And now, all of a sudden, it shows up in Explorer.

I don't know what to make of that. Does Paragon Hard Disk Manager not work in the way it's supposed to? Or is this some random thing?

I do know that for over a year I had no problems with the disk being recognized when I plugged it in. It's only in the last few months that when I plug it in there is no drive letter and I have to go through all these contortions. I used to use Win Disk Mgt but recently got Paragon for partition and back up. Color me puzzled.


Attached Thumbnails
Ext USB drive has drive letter but does not appear in Explorer-rebdurchee-second-disk-mgt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2015   #5
m256997683119

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

I experienced something like that around last year (after I upgraded to x64 bit) with my Seagate external drive. I would also not show in explorer and in Disc Management it's there but no drive letter. What I did was assign a drive letter to it, "Z" and after reboot it would now show in explorer. Might be just a random "Windows" thing and might not be with Paragon....there were no repeat of the incident as of this writing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2015   #6
rebadurchee

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for your reply. My experience is a bit different. This external drive is my offsite one so I bring it home, load it up and take it back offsite the next day. I have another two complete backups in house (I'm paranoid after disc failures).

I got the disk after I upgraded to 64-bit and, for a while everything was fine, always coming up with the same drive letter and letting me back up. But a few months ago started not showing up in Explorer. I went to Disc Mgt and found it did not have a drive letter. I manually assigned it the same one it always had, and then it would work. This happened several times over the last few months.

Then I bought Paragon and started using it for disc backups to other disks. This time when I brought it home it would not show up. I then used Paragon and found that it had no drive letter and assigned it the letter through Paragon. The drive letter showed up in Paragon but Explorer would not see it.

After posting my problem, and the images, and after rebooting, I went back to Disc Mgt and saw that it had no drive letter. So, within Disc Mgt I assigned it the same drive letter it always had, and now it shows up in Explorer and I have backed up my files.

So, now I don't know whether this is a disk specific problem or a Paragon problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2015   #7
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Just try the following drive cleanup act and see whether it resolves the problem.

Download v 0.8.1 of the drivecleanup.zip from Drive Tools for Windows.( I hadn't tried v0.9.0 and so I shall stick with the known 0.8.1)

Unzip it to a folder, say drivecleanup.

You will have two folders Win32 and x64 each containing DriveCleanup.exe for 32 bit and 64 bit respectively.

Remove all USB storage devices from your system (except your Keyboard and mouse) and reboot.

Right click on the DriveCleanup.exe and run as administrator. (Use the DriveCleanup.exe file appropriate for your bit version of Windows.).

After the clean up act, reboot. This removes all non-present drives, registry entries pertaining to these drives, drive letters associated with those and you will be starting with a clean slate. All external drives connected will be installed afresh and get their drive letters afresh.

When you connect your off-site drive, check what drive letter it gets. Reassign drive letter/s if necessary and see whether it sticks.

Looking at the Disk Management screenshot, I feel its so much disorganised and needs to be organised better. But I would leave it to more proficient hands here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2015   #8
gregrocker

 

You should use Disk Mgmt for the functions it can provide as it is safest, e.g. shrink from right, assign drive letter, etc. All other disk managers except Partition Wizard bootable CD can and will fail with data loss. This is based on helping with tens of thousands of complicated partition operations here, while no other website would consider doing even one.

You have a Dynamic disk which is meant to span a single partition over multiple hard drives. Is there? If not then you'll need to Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2015   #9
rebadurchee

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Lots of work and family stuff so I'm late getting back here.

Jumanji - Thanks! I had already tried drivecleanup and it worked for two restarts. Then, for an unknown reason, it failed. But... now it's working again. I've had it plugged in and not and then plugged in about five consecutive times and it's connected each time. Color me baffled. But I sure appreciate you being here with me during this time.

gregrocker - thanks for the post. I had purchased Paragon to try to fix this dynamic disk situation, but I couldn't figure it out. I'm beginning to see why. Thanks for the referral links. I'll try them and then post here about the progress. Much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2015   #10
gregrocker

 

There is no need to purchase Paragon. Use Option 1 in tutorial I linked for free non-destructive conversion to Basic. The installed version of Easeus also offers this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Ext USB drive has drive letter but does not appear in Explorer




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