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Windows 7: External hard drive not showing up

12 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
External hard drive not showing up

So I recently purchased and installed a new hard drive in my PS3. To do that I had to reformat my Western Digital 250 GB hard drive to FAT32 format. Ok, so that's all well and good but I then decided to take my PS3, 60 GB HD (the brand escapes me, but it's a big manufacturer of hard drives) and put it in an external hard drive enclosure. I figured that it's a perfectly good hard drive so there was no sense wasting it. Anyway, as technologically impaired as I might sound after this (which I'm really not) I feel compelled to divulge that I actually did not know that two external hard drives shouldn't be too close to each other. As soon as I put one on top of the other, the 60 GB hard drive beeped and a message popped up saying it needed reformatting. So after reformatting everything a second time, I plugged in the hard drives and the 60 GB one showed up but my 250 GB one did not. It's showing up everywhere else (disk management, device manager) but not in My Computer. So I have no access to it at all. Also, I did not need to reformat the 250 GB HD since my computer gave me no message indicating that I should. I'd rather only use reformatting as an absolute last resort since it takes HOURS but if it's necessary that I'll have to break down. Throw other options at me first though.

If I lost you in the midst of all that jumble, tell me, I'd be happy to explain further.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64


Have you tried assigning the drive a letter in Disk Management?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower

Keeping it simple go into the "Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management" tool and right click on the item representing the 250gb drive there and assign a drive letter. You may want one more reformat however from Fat 32 to NTFS which will make things a bit easier as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium

Well when I did the second reformat, I did it in NTFS. I also assigned it the letter F but maybe I hit do not assign by mistake. Any other suggestions?

EDIT: Y'all were right, forgot to assign a letter. Thanks a mil.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

Try adding the drive letter in Disk Management. FYI, the reason why the format takes hours is it is doing a full format. Check the box for a Quick format if you need to reformat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower

Once you have assigned a new drive letter once Windows detects it as a new hardware you should be seeing the autoplay popup with the option to view folders as well as seeing the button on the taskbar flash until clicked on. That shows Windows has mounted the volume properly as a new logical drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #7

windows 7 professional
external hard drive not showing up in my computer

i have purchased new seagate go flex 1TB external usb har drive.on windows xp it's starts smoothly but on windows 7 it is not starts.
showing only eject option, in deveice manager and not showing up in my computer.
how can i fix this.
please mail me answer on[removed by admin]

thanx in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

First thing Nitin. I suggest you go to your post and edit out you email address. Communicate through the forum. Only communicate your email address privately.

Regarding your problem it would help if you could expand on your problem more - that is more info please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2011   #9


FAT32 under windows only works to 32GiB due to software limitations.
Filesystem Limitations

you need to reformat the drive as NTFS, possibly zero-wipe to factory condition first in order for the usb external drive case to work it does its own partitioning. I had problems recognizing my 250GB drive in XP using FAT32 - I partitioned and formatted it using part240 I think (now I just use gparted to shuffle/create my partitions most of the time). I tried reformatting the drive as NTFS and sticking it in the drive case, don't rightly remember, but I think this did not work either. I had to zero the disk if I remember right because the chip in the case does its own special thing with partitioning or something. they are probably not all the same either.

your mileage may vary when it comes to usb external cases, but the part about FAT32 will be a constant with Microsoft very likely, because I think they are trying to keep compatibility with older software, including older bugs and limitations... (ugh!)

FAT32 I think can handle 8TB with no software limitations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower

XP will still recognise Fat 32 volumes on external drives. Often however drive manufacturers add a program so the drive will be seen right away following the program install or it initializes the drive for you. Vista was without Fat support where a program is needed unless reformated to NTFS.

For Windows use only not planning to use the drive with... "the other guy's OS" the manufacturer's advice right on the retail box or paper work that comes with the drive will usually recommend a reformat to NTFS since that's the native file system since 2000/XP. On XP, Vista, and 7 it is simply easier to see any drive initialized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External hard drive not showing up

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