Hard drive doesn’t appear

I am trying to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 and I’ve purchased a Western Digital external Hard drive so that I use the Windows easy transfer but I cannot save anything to this drive as it doesn’t appear as one of the available drives.

In Device Manager it shows as working correctly. It uses Windows USB drives so I have checked these. I have also used WD Help and they initially thought I had a faulty or damaged drive but I have the same problem with the replacement drive.

The likely problem is Windows has given the wrong drive letter to your external disk which is already in use by another device. This is a common problem on networks.

To fix it, you need to tell the system to change the drive letter. To do this, right-click My Computer, then click Manage and select Computer Management (Local)

On the right hand side of the screen (pictured above) click Disk Management then right-click the new drive and select Change Drive Letter and Path(s).

Click Change, and in the list, select a drive letter for the external drive that isn’t being used by another drive. It’s usually best to leave a few letters spare so this doesn’t happen again, for instance if the existing drives are C:, D: and E:, choose H or I. A good choice is R for “Removable Drive”.

When you’ve selected the new drive letter, click OK, and then click OK again.

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    8 Responses to “Hard drive doesn’t appear”

    1. I have tried your suggestions about the XP to 7 upgrade and still have a problem.
      When I use open the Computer Management tab you suggested, it does not show any new drive.

      In the top section it lists the C and D drives that I already have.

      In the bottom section it also lists these as disk 0 and disk 1 but also lists 2, 3, 4, 5 drives as removable drives g,h,i and j as removable drives with no media.

      It then lists CD ROM 0 as DVD E.

      I have used the Action commands of Refresh and Rescan Disks and still have no luck.

      Have also restarted and used different USB ports for the Hard Disk but still not working

      Welcome any other suggestions

      Regards, John

    2. Paul Wallbank Says:

      If it’s showing up properly in Device Manager then it will show up in the Disk Management section of Computer Management. You’ll have to check Device Manager is recognising it as a hard drive and not as some other USB device. Let us know how you go and we can open another queriy.

    3. Thanks again – I will check how Device Manager is recognising the drive tonight and see where that takes me.
      Regards, John

    4. Paul,
      Thanks again.
      I have checked in Device Manager and it lists 4 USB storage devices, then below these is another entry of ST380021A and then below again I believe the Western Digital Disk WDC WD3200AAZKS-00YGA0.
      When I double click and get the properties and go to the Details tab it shows as an IDE\WDC_WD3200AAZKS-00YGA0
      Hope that all helps

    5. Paul Wallbank Says:

      Hi John,

      Right click the WDC device and select uninstall then unplug the drive when the removal is complete. Reboot the computer then plug the drive back in. For the drive to be properly recognised it needs to be identified both as a USB and a mass storage device and it sounds like the latter isn’t happening.

    6. Thanks again
      Have done all that but the disk is still not showing as available for me to save to.

      It shows in device manager but doesn’t appear to be in the list of usb controllers or storage volumes
      Regards, John

    7. Paul Wallbank Says:

      Hi John,

      The drive isn’t being recognised correctly by Windows, so while it’s being picked up as a USB device, isn’t being installed as a Mass Storage Device. Are you using an extension cable or going through a USB hub for the drive?

    8. Paul,
      Thanks again.
      Out of total frustration I purchased another Hard Disk Drive but a different manufacturer to Western Digital who I have had the problems with (with both of their Hard Disk Drives the original and replacement.)
      The disk I replaced was from Seagate and worked first time without any of the driver or other hassles.
      Again thankyou for your advice.
      Regards, John

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