External HD no longer works with computer [Solved/Closed]

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Hello,

I plugged my Western Digital external hard drive into my Playstation 3 and my Xbox 360 so I could stream my movies off of it. I went to plug it back into my computer, and now my computer no longer reads it :

Volume information for this disk cannot be found


Is there something I can do, some settings I can tweak somewhere where I can now use my external again on my computer. It still works with my 360 and PS3, just not my computer. I have about 17 GB worth of data on it ranging from pictures, movies and music and I really don't want to format my hard drive. If theres anything I can do to fix this PLEASE let me know. I'm on Windows Vista if you need that information.
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approved by Jean-François Pillou on Nov 28, 2018
64
Thank you
I had the same problem like many as you, Maxtor 3200 looked like it crashed, it wouldn't show up in My Computer anymore and it would freeze up any pc (tried 3 different ones) as soon as it got plugged in. Tried everything mentioned on this forum like changing drive letters and disabling in device manager, but nothing seemed to work.

Luckily I saw that my data wasn't lost, because when I plugged the external hard drive in a Macbook Pro, it showed up right away! And I could acces all the files and copy them without any problems!

But then I came across another forum with my solution but it was in Dutch.

What they say is let the drive be checked and repaired by chkdsk:
  • Go to START
  • Go to RUN
  • type in
    cmd
    (command-prompt opens up)
  • type in
    chkdsk #: /R
    (where you should put drive letter in place of #)
  • Then it will start checking your drive, be patient here because it can take a long long time for this to finish. Also it looked to me in the beginning of the scan nothing was going on, but after a minute or 2 it sayed THE DRIVE FORMAT IS NTFS...or something like that and from then it starts scanning for a long time. Took me about 4 hours to check the total drive! But in the end it worked again properly!!


Hope this works for more of you with the same problem as me. BTW dont know how this works when you have no clue what the drive letter is, I was lucky to see this still in my disk manager.

Say "Thank you" 64

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated. Add comment

CCM 4105 users have said thank you to us this month

Thank you this save my family pictures. Again many thnx
Thank you for your help much appreciated you saved me £80
Thank you Ovide
I had the very same problem; and also I used my MacBook to see if my data still exists!
It's strange how OSX can recognize the volume so fast and simple but Windows won't...
Anyway never thought of CHKDSK 'cause I was so stressful :D

It is still checking now but I know it will be fixed!

Thank you again
Thanks Ovide....

It helped me... As you said it took around 4 hours..... Thanks again..... you saved plenty of mine...

Jebin
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Since the external drive works on the PS3 - we know it's NOT a problem with the drive itself.

You may have pulled the plug on the drive while it was still writing - always use the "safely remove hardware" icon to power down and disconnect the drive before removing it.

Try another USB plug. Use one on the back of the computer, it would be the best. This has been known to sometimes work.

Try to plug in the USB drive before you turn on the computer. Or if you've done that - try to plug in the USB drive after the computer is on.

Go to device manager , open the USB controllers ,
If you find one with a yellow check mark, uninstall it , then rescan for
hardware changes - Windows should reinstall the USB driver at this point.
BiG thanks xpcman! I had the same problem and fixed it with your simple remedy of changing to another usb drive, in hindsight I should have tried that first but thanks to you for pointing out what should have been obvious to me!!:.)
7
Thank you
I FIXED IT !!!

I had the very same problem like many of you: Windows XP (sp3) detected my external USB Storage drive (WD My Book) as "WD" but wouldn't show the drive letter and volume on device manager. I had tried many ways for many hours but no use (messing with MBR Fix, Diskpart, changing usb cable, running WD Dianogstic and WD Fat32 Formatter, and tried most of the suggestions on the matter, etc..).

To make it short, try this and try your luck.

Go to Device Manager > Disk drives > and right click to "DISABLE" the problem drive. Unplug the power cord attached to the the problem usb drive, wait 30 seconds (just to be safe), then reconnect the the power cord, and wait for a few seconds. That was how my problem solved. Hope this help. Good luck.
Dear Mr Never_give_up

I actually have the same problem as u, I have WD 160 GB which was working great but I unplugged it manually for a while then we I tried to reconnect it was connect and my laptop tells me it is connected and I also see it by the Device maneger as 'WD" under Disk drive... and I can see the light if my Ext HD is ON but when I open my conputer I can't see the icon of it that I used to see before as G drive but I can see the reset of drivers like C, D, E drivers.


my background in computer not that great so I was wondering I disable it first then I disconnected the power cord but even that it dose not working.

Plz help me I need the data on it so so much I don't know what to do....
5
Thank you
Ok guys, I have the same problem with these symptomes:
-I tried to connect my external WD HDD to my desktop AFTER I switched off MANUALLY the drive while connected to my laptop.
-When I connected to my desktop I heard the sound that plays when a USB hardware is connected but when I went to CMD my drive wasn't listed there, so I tried to shut it off and reboot it. Didn't worked.
-Neither a PC reboot wont work or a an attempt to change drive name ( at least in my case )

Solution:
->Go to My Computer->Device Manager ( while the external HDD is TURNED OFF)
->Turn on the the drive(now two things will appear, your drive listed in Disk Drives and the USB drive for your HDD)
->All you have to do now is to remove the drive for USB Mass storage device and reboot your drive.
->Windows will reinstall the drive and it will work fine for you.

If it wasn't for this site I would never got the idea for fixing this, so thank you very much for your ideas and helping spirit.
razac,

You're awesome! What you suggested worked wonderfully. I had the same problem where everytime I plug my hard drive in, Windows would just freeze until I remove it.

What I did though was partially recover my data before I was able to read your post to fix this. If anyone was interested, I did two things that gave me access to my data when my hard drive was inaccessible -

I used Acronis boot disk and was able to backup everything into an image file.
and
I was also able to use Partition Find and Mount which showed that all my data was in fact in tact.

Anywho, what you suggested worked wonderfully.
can someone please break down wht razac said to do, maybe even razac. in simple steps plze talk to me like your talking to a child,

cheers
3
Thank you
Ok Gang.
I was able to fix this problem successfully! :D

Here are the simple steps:
1) Go to My Computer
2) Right Click > Properties
3) Click the tab called "Hardware"
4) Click Device Manager
5) Locate your External Hard Drive. a.k.a (USB Mass Storage Device)
6) It should have a red X. Click the drive.
7) Enable it

Your problem should be fixed. :)
> JBC3D -
I already change the driver letter but now it says that I need to formating the device. I CANT because there is a lot of files alredy saved in this device. What can I do?
> utaeladil -
hi utaeladi actually I have a same problem with my wd I tb hard drive I read your solution it seems it works can you please tell me in little bit brief because i',m not too good in computer like where to go where can I find disk defracments or what was it ...there is safely remove icon only no drive in my computer and while I pop in it just makes a usb recognition sound then hard disk seems not functioning because it doesn't make any processing sound..
help me please
do a big favor
> utaeladil -
hi utaeladi once again I did all the things you asked to in other posts but when I tried to change drive letter the thing is my external hard drive doensn't show up in disk management it just shows WD in device manager=disk drives....i don't know whats wrong I thing only WD hard disk are facing the same problem I tried connecting in other computer,uninstalling the usb cable and rebooting it nothing work I haven't tried MBR and I don't know how to do do you reckon you can help me with this or any kind to fic it please ..
you seem really generous to me I have really big faith in you please
> utaeladil -
Can you email to Email Id removed for security a link to your website / forum so I can ask you some additional questions regarding this issue with external hard drive. thanks in advance. Pavel
euphoric
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> utaeladil -
i have the same WD "local disk " problem on a larger scale .. my externa hard drive is a WD Book of 1000 GB half of which if ful of media files .. and now it wont work !!
no sounds are emitted when the device is plugged and when I plug it an auto run window appears but only the flash light thing is moving it does not show the files being scanned like it usually does ,
i tried doing the population step from (my computer -> properties _> hardware -> deice manager -->disk drives , I choose my external device , did a right click and choose properties and then the populate ) a message appeared : "volume information for this disk cannot be found . this may happen if the disk is a 1394 or a usb device on a windows 2000 machine ."
i do not know what this means but I was hoping that u do ..
ans one more thing when I tried then WD diagnostics program and did the full scan it started well and went smoothly through 25% then it stopped and a message popped ou that said too many bad sectors ..
i am sure that the device was not moved or tempered with !
please please please help me fix it !! without loosing the data .. and if by chance the data was lost is there a way to retrieve !!!!!
2
Thank you
Brilliant after reading ALL the different suggestions, and still none working it occoured to me, In computer managmenet/ Disk management


right click the External USB device, and select accesable by path/assign path options, give it a path name (X)

and viola, instantly works, opens up using autoplay etc, etc

Dont have to reformat (Enless your drive IS actually damaged , but if its working and recognizable then its NOT ;)


simply put the device is recognizable , but not assisgning itself a path.

Once assigned in your diskmanagmenet its now recognized and avilable , in MY COMPUTER
But in Disk Management I don't seem to have External USB device at all, only The C: drive and something calling itself Healthy (GPT Protective Partition)

Could someone help? I have all the symptoms - it shows up under disk drives, but not in my computer and I need to store a very large file on it to get it off my heaving PC.

Thanks
no - hold on- it's there but it won't let me change the drive as that's all greyed out.
> PJCox -
The last few problems listed here (it shows up in device manager, but not in DISK MANAGEMENT and no-where else), I would try this...

First, try going to the DEVICE MANAGER (I'm sure you know how to get there, but for anyone who does not) by either RIGHT CLICKING on MY COMPUTER and going to MANAGE, then you have a DEVICE MANAGER section on the right, or you can RIGHT CLICK on MY COMPUTER, go to PROPERTIES, then go to the HARDWARE tab and hit the DEVICE MANAGER button.

Next, expand the sections for DISK DRIVES and also UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS CONTROLLERS. Find anything pertaining to your external drive. (For instance, on my PC under DISK DRIVES I have "WD 10EACS External USB Device". Under my UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS CONTROLLERS, I have "USB Mass Storage Device"). If they are listed as something similar, they can be removed by right clicking on them and selecting UNINSTALL or yo can click on them and hit the DEL key on the keyboard.

If they are not listed anywhere that you can easily identify, make sure nothing in there says UNKNOWN USB DEVICE, or that nothing has a yellow question mark or yellow exclamation point on them. If those are there, it could be that your Windows just didn't set the drivers up right the last time it loaded, for whatever reason. You can also delete those from the device manager.

Finally, you can click the button above the DEVICE MANAGER window that says SCAN FOR HARDWARE CHANGES, or you can RIGHT CLICK on the very top of the device manager list where it says COMPUTER and pick SCAN FOR HARDWARE CHANGES. (If you can't find either, you can reboot the PC and that should do it).
NOTE: You could optionally just power off your USB drives (or unplug the power cable if they have no button). When you power them back on, Windows should try to set them up again.

If that works, they may just start working again. (Or you could then check the DISK MANAGEMENT as listed in one of my previous posts and try to see if you then have the option to do the CHANGE DRIVE LETTERS AND PATHS fix.

If after Windows scans for new hardware, if it sets them back up as UNKNOWN USB DEVICE or something similar, or continues to give them a yellow question mark or exclamation point, then you may have some other problem with it, either the device could be going bad or it could possibly even need to have a new cable tried on it. Or you could UNINSTALL the drivers and move them to a completely new USB port incase the USB port is going bad. (Make sure you aren't using a USB HUB incase the USB HUB is going bad or running low on power or something.

Hopefully some of that will help! Let us know...
1
Thank you
I actually had the EXACT same problem. It is really annoying. You want to play videos on your XBOX but then you also want to be able to USE your hard disk after you do this. I'm not really sure what the deal was but it took a bit of messing around to fix the problem. First off, I went into my device manager and deleted the USB mass storage device and the USB controllers for the front buses, then restarted. This sadly still didn't work. So I when I searched more I found many people saying it could be a lack of power problem. I wasn't really in the mood to do a full power supply change so I thought that was stupid. Anyways after messing around I finally decided to make sure nothing else using power was connected to the front USB port and BINGO my WD passport drive was working. I guess it was a power issue after all. Now whenever I have both the printer and the USB drive plugged in the USB drive always messes up. Unless the USB drive was plugged in first. Its all very stupid. I guess the moral of the story is, that you don't want to have two power consuming devices plugged into the front ports. If you are using back ports I really don't know. But I hope that helped anyways.

Cheers
try install net framework 3.5 from WINDOWS UPDATE'MICROSOFT'.
it works for me.
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Lets see if you have a master boot record (MBR) problem.

go to device manager - disk drives - Right click your USB drive

select properties - volumes - populate

under "partition" it should list "master boot record"

If it doesn't then you have a MBR problem - but, I can't see how the PS3 can read the drive if the MBR is bad.
kegar89
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Well, everything listed under Properties is just a single dash mark. I go to click 'Volumes', and everything freezes until I unplug the USB cord. I'm guessing I have an MBR problem? How do I fix this?
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I also think you have a MBR (master boot record) problem - there is a fix - but there is also some danger. Before you try to fix the MBR - have you tried to use the external drive on another computer?

Google MbrFix - download the program - burn it to a CD - boot from the CD (you might need to change the boot order in the BIOS to boot from the CD). I have never used this program and don't know the syntax for the command line interface. You will need to read the instructions.

fix the MBR on drive 2 your E drive (((( NOT on drive 0 which is your C drive))))
kegar89
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Yeah, I've tried it on other computers. It still doesn't work. I'll try this out.

EDIT: Just tried this FixMBR program, it doesn't work for me. I really don't know what to do. Anything else?
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Hey, folks.

I found this board while desperately searching for a fix for my Ext. HD.

My sister unplugged it today while it was writing, and now it won't recognize properly. It used to designate itself properly as the F:\ as soon as it hooked up. Since the unplug, it calls itself a USB Mass Storage Device in Device Manager, can't be recognized in Disk Management (so I can't designate a letter drive [f:\ etc.]), doesn't show up in My Computer, and doesn't need a driver as it says its driver is up-to-date (I have reinstalled the driver anyway, to no avail).

I've tried it with my laptop (which the HD was pulled out of) and my PC; the above results happen with both. I've tried razac's suggestion, and uninstalled the Mass Storage Device in Device Manager, but when I reboot the drive, it reinstalls itself as Mass Storage Device, not as it did as F:\.

When I first purchased it, it ran just perfect out of the box, no additional drivers needed. It did have start-up files on it, but obviously I can't get to those. I've got a few other Ext. HDs and they still boot up and run perfectly. The USB ports aren't the problem, either. I've run iPods, other HDs, and a mouse through all the ports.

The drive is a Comstar 1TB External HD. I'm running Windows XP on both computers. I've got over 200GBs on it, and as I run most of my applications off it, I'm really high n' dry.

Any help would be so appreciated. I'm desperate. If someone is so kind as to help and needs more info, please let me know.

TJ
xpcman
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I suspect that the Master Boot Record (MBR) is damaged. Look at the instructions for fixing the MBR at this site:

http://www.arsgeek.com/2008/01/15/how-to-fix-your-windows-mbr-with-an-ubuntu-livecd/
I have the exact same problem... I am not a computer person... and I have tried every solution that I have found... and at the end I just took the HD out of the case... Inside there is two pieces, I adjust them .. and it worked... I can guess that when I pulled the usb by accident ,somehow I loose the two pieces ... I have a simpletch HD that does not have screws I had to literally broke the case apart... I am just baking up all my data and see how I can replace the case... hope it helps Thanks
0
Thank you
try changing the security permissions - I had this problem and it only occured after I messed with my network - if you have messed with any shares or networks it could be that you have accidently locked yourself out of the harddrives
0
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can`t get your external harddrive to work. ( Windows do not want to read your harddrive)

Very easy to fixed that problem

first you must switch your computer on
then connect your external harddrive
right click on My Computer
choose manage

Now do the following

check for storage
choose Disk Management
On your right hand sight right click on your external harddrive and choose Mark Partition as active

if this does not work you need to format you external harddrive