First off, try a different USB cord. It's possible since it's an external drive that the cord could be faulty, or could have been damaged if moved. USB cables that come with drives like this also have greater chances to be faulty. If that doesn't work, try this next option.
It's possible that the drive is not being mapped properly by the Operating System. In simple terms, the drive isn't being recognized because the drive letter isn't correct or it's having trouble recognizing it.
First, while both machines are turned off, connect the USB from the LaCie Drive to the computer, turn the LaCie Drive on first, then turn the PC on.
When Windows is loaded, goto "my computer" and check if it's there.
If not, close the window, then RIGHT CLICK on "my computer" and choose MANAGE After a few seconds you'll see windows called Computer Management Towards the left you'll see a menu system, go down to the "Disk Management" submenu which is under the Storage root. Now towards the right side, you'll see a list of available drives. This includes your cd-rom drives as well as HDD's and others. Now if you'll look towards the bottom part of the right side, you'll see the disks again, but with a graphic type next to them mentioning size and what condition it's in. Now scroll down in this page, see if you can find your LaCie Drive. If it's there and you can click on the graphic part, right click on it and then click "Change Drive Letter and Paths..."
Choose the LaCie drive in the next window, then choose "Change Drive Letter". Change it to any available letter "usually something past D:\ depending on how many drives are on the pc". Hit okay on the remaining windows in order to close them out, then reboot the computer. Now, if you see the LaCie drive but the graphic is all greyed out and it says Unallocated... then we have a problem. It means that it hasn't been partitioned. You could use a program to try and rescue the disc, but that would move things to a whole nother level. If you don't see the LaCie at all in the Computer management window, then either your USB drivers are missing, or the USB cord is faulty.
To help prevent things like this from happening, if you plan on removing a USB Storage device, there is a small icon that looks like a green arrow in your tool bar over by the clock. If you put your cursor over this, it will say "Safely Remove Hardware". If you left click this option, you'll see a caption similar to "Safely remove *** mass storage device". A list of any external devices "usually harddrives or some sort of other storage unit" will also be there, just choose the appropriate device. Then after a little activity, you will see a bubble come up saying "it's safe to remove hardware" and then you just either turn the device off or unplug it.
One more thing, always back up to another source. Although external hard drives are handy as backup, they can still fail. Think about getting a DVD burner to make a periodic backup of what you want to keep safe. They are cheap, and reliable.
Submitted by: Walter P.
It seems to sound like you have forgotten to reinstall something, either the USB drivers or possibly drivers for the external HDD. Open up the Control Panel, click on System, then the Hardware tab, and then Device Manager.
Look at the "Disk Drives" option and click on the "+" sign beside it. There should be an entry for your external HDD. It might read something like "LaCie USB Device." If it is not there, then your USB port is not recognizing it.
In Device Manager, open up the Serial Bus Controllers. If there is a red "x," then you need to reinstall the USB drivers from the disk that came with your motherboard, or retrieve them from Dell, or possibly download them from a third party Driver website. Also, make sure that you have USB "2.0" and not "1.0" or "1.1". There will be issues if you do not get the correct one. If you see any red x's, anywhere in Device Manager, you will need to give them attention. Reboot after reinstalling.
If the USB Device entry for your external HDD is there, click on it. This will show the properties. Towards the bottom of the properties window, there should be an entry that says," This device is working properly." If it does not say this then click on "Troubleshoot" and follow the instructions to repair the problem, then reboot.
Another item to note in the same window is a few lines down. There should be an entry under "Device Usage" that says, "This device is enabled." If it does not say this then change it to the correct entry, then reboot.
Another possibility is that your external HDD needs drivers that you will need to download from the website or get from the disk (if any) that came with your external HDD. This would explain why is does not work on other machines. I have not worked with a "LaCie" HDD before, but at the LaCie website, there is an option for Drivers so you might need to go there to see if your particular model needs Drivers.
In the future, get all your "ducks lined up" before reformatting. Take a good long look at your existing situation (programs, drivers, etc.), plan out what you need to do, and try to have all the disks or information on hand (or at least write down what you may need to know but won't have available to you because formatting erases your HDD and all existing information). I have reformatted harddrives many times and have learned from experience that if you do not have all the disks in front of you for all the programs you want to re-install, you will never remember them from memory.
Assuming none of the above solutions work, you can try to install your LaCie HDD on a friend's computer, installing the drivers on their machine so that it can connect with the HDD. Make sure that their machine has USB 2.0. If all of this fails then you might try taking your external HDD to a professional to have them copy everything from the HDD to CDs so that you can have copies to put onto your next external HDD and also have backups of your existing information.
One final idea, that might help you avoid reformatting might be to partition your internal HDD and use Norton Ghost or similar programs to assist you. This will make a copy of your system so that you have a good copy to go back to. Roxio's Go Back or Windows System Restore is another way to get around reformatting. Only reformat if all else fails.
Good luck, San. This might seem like a daunting challenge but don't give up without a fight. I know I've written alot and it might seem involved, but it really isn't that hard.
Submitted by: Mike
Can we get the drive in working order again? We'll do our best!
First let me state a couple of things and why I wont' cover these issues...
[[[ I will have to rule out these few issues as you have tried the drive on other computers with exact results and assume all computers had working ports, usb 2, and XPSP1 or better...... Power suppy\USB ports\mainboard problem\etc... This is also not knowing what specific model drive you have, if it's USB powered, I would typically say bad ports, USB trouble or power supply but two reasons I would rule this out is due to you trying it on other computers, and not knowing if you have and AC adapter which would also rule out power to disk drive "ALONG WITH" the other pc troubleshooting issues you tried. I also cannot say if you had some sort of RAID configuration or if your drive is indeed capable, if it was and you wiped out your other drive, this may have affected your external drive but I can't say for sure. And last... Not knowing if you have firewire capabilities on your drive, you may try a firewire port if you have one and see if this works retrieve\detect\repair. We will assume you don't for this case...]]]
[[So going off the information given by you, let's start by tackling your first and second question....]]
1. What went wrong? 2.) can this be avoided in the future?
[These may be one in the same....]
First of all, you had no mention of properly removing the drive or trying another USB cable. The little icon in the task bar on the bottom of your screen left of the clock, that pops up when you plug in a usb device (the safely remove hardware) is there for you to properly remove the device in question as to not damage the device. If you left click the icon , you will get options to remove the proper device from the system. When you click on the proper device, and click STOP, it will tell you it safely removed the device so you can THEN unplug the USB device. (Hint, hint) You may also right click the icon and remove the exact device in question (unless you have more than one.)
< When you don't use this method, you risk damaging the device permanantly or erasing it's contents.>
So for future reference, and to avoid this, use the Safely Remove Hardware icon, then unhook the device, then unhook the usb cable from the PC. Note that if it is damaged, it may not have been your doing as it may have been going bad to begin with.
Many times people don't think about handling an external drive with care. Just because it's external doesn't mean it can't be damaged by bumping it or dropping it or putting it next to a magnetic source which could damage it. They may have an enclosure but still need care.
3. How can I retrieve the data on that external drive?
This is where it gets a bit more tricky as it could be numerous things as well as the cause of you PC slowing down to begin with and worse case scenario, a bad external drive. With external hard drives, data is not so easily accessed as with internal drives when they are not detected. Most often replacement is the best case scenario as data recovery is VERY expensive, far more than what another drive may cost in most cases and most often even the companies who warranty the drives will tell you they will not recover your data . If you can't get the data off, then it would be lost if the drive is repaired\replaced. While external drives are great backups, I still find DVDs and CDs to be one of the best sources for backup of important info ALONG with another drive.
[[ Let's give it a shot...]]
The first thing to do is this, make sure your XP has all the updates all the way to SP2 although SP1 is required for many external drives to work <properly>, it's still a good idea to get ALL updates. Make sure your USB cable isn't dirty or plugged up with some gunk as well as the ports. Test a different cable with your hard drive to see if it has the same issue. Knowing you tested the drive in different computers tells me this is probably not your issue but using the same USB cable will cause the same results if bad. If the cable is in fact ok, then what you need to do is this...Shut down the computer, hook up the drive and then restart, see if detected, if not, do the following , try hooking up the drive while already booted, first the power then the USB, then if not detected, restart the PC as is and see if finally detected.
[[ If not...]]
Right click the My Computer icon on your desktop, select Properties, Hardware, Device Manager tab. Look for the Disk Drives and click on the plus sign to the left. This will display if your drive is detected or not. Now , there are a few scenarios here, it may be detected and showing here, or it may not, <either way if is or not> and it has NO yellow (!) or red (?) by it, go to Start, Control Pannel, and make sure you click the Classic View. Look for Administrative Tools and open it. Then open the Computer Management icon in the list. Once open, scroll down the list until you see Disk Management on the left side of the box. Double click to open it as well. Look in the list to see if the drive name is listed here. If it is, it may have no drive letter. To assign a drive letter to it, look at the bottom of the window where you will see the disks listed once again usually with a blue line above it. Right click the drive in question, click Change Drive Letter and Paths and assign a non used letter to it, click OK and then close out of all windows. Restart the computer and when booted, double click the My Computer icon and open it to see if the drive is indeed there now.
If not listed, go back into Device Manager as mentioned above, this time with a different scenario. If it is listed but has the yellow (!) or red (?) there could be a driver issue or the device was not properly installed. Typically these types of hard drives don't need software or drivers but yours may.
<Note: Without knowing if you had an install program with the drive, we will assume you do for this.>
First though if has the signs above, go back into the Disk Drives + sign and expand again, right click the drive and choose Update Driver, <note: you should be connected to internet for this and if you have a disk, it may ask for it, or put in drive and allow detection or manually direct the driver update manager to it's location>
If the updater finds the driver and installs it, you may need to reboot to see if drive detected. However, you may in fact have to uninstall the drive first, and then install the driver, still in the Device Manager, choose the drive yet again, and choose to uninstall the device, close out all windows and restart the computer again. This may give Windows an opportunity to re-detect the drive.
You may need to install the software manually and find the USB drivers for your device or go to manufacturer website and check for either updated drivers or software. Windows does provide drivers but are very limited and mostly not compatable with hardware. One more thing to try is going to Start\Control pannel\Add Hardware icon. Double click to open, and it will scan for the device, choose YES I have already connected the hardware and click next. See if it listed in the lower box. If it is select it and click next and it will either attempt to install it or say it's finished installing device. On the bottom list if drive is not seen, choose add new hardware device and search for and click next, choose the search for and install the hardware automatically. The wizard will search for the device and return a message saying successful or there was a problem or find the specific device yourself. If not detected at this point, it probably won't using this method.
< If the updates and\or software do not fix the problem, it may in fact be another issue. >
[[On to corruption....]]
This said, A corrupt drive will not always be detected by the Operating System so the next thing to try would be this...
Your sofware (if you have it) may have a disk fix utility included as many do. Use this to attempt to fix the device as it may be corrupt.
<I warn though, any of these steps can result in loss of your data.>
It may also be a boot disk utility for your specific drive, if so , boot from it by putting it in the disk drive and restarting the computer. If it won't boot from the disk, you may need to go into your CMOS to set the boot settings. If so, do this...
When you power on the PC, immediately tap the Del key or F10, F1, depending on your system, until you get to the CMOS setup screen. Don't be alarmed if your mouse won't work as it's disabled here and you need to use the arrow keys. Look for something in the way of boot configuration, boot order, as it will show you the method of booting currently. Use the page up or down or arrow keys to change it to CD rom. Note: in some systems you may have to change more than one to Cdrom. Once configured, hit Esc button to go back to main screen and then you typically hit F10 to save and exit, hit Y for yes and the pc should reboot and hopefully to your CD.
<Warning: Every system is different and if you don't know or get lost, do NOT continue. Find info on the internet or ask someone who does know how as this can really mess up your computer if choosing wrong settings.>
If all was successful and you booted from the disk, and did whatever was neccessary from the instructions on disk to fix your drive, your drive may finally be repaired and\or detected.
< If you can't find or don't have the disk, once again, go to the website and search for such software. >
[[ Your bad , bad drive...]]
A bad external drive can cause slow downs on computers and other errors which may in fact be your case. Did you notice any unusual noises from the drive before this happened or when the PC began slowing down? Perhaps a lot noisier? If so, this would be another sign of a bad drive. Or as stated, you may have corrupted the drive by possibly unplugging it improperly many times or even once.
[[Let's try this ...]]
(IF) your external drive is under warranty: I would suggest getting a live CD of some sort, whether it be knoppix or BartPE which either one should work, go here
Both will boot to memory not your hard drive and have been reported to detect corrupt\bad external drives even if not detected by your Operating system, so you may copy the information to your internal drive. You may have to do some reading on this and is too long for me to post here. This is the safest and cheapest recover route to take. I would also like to mention if you can recover your data, you may then re-format the drive yet again and get it working if simply corrupt. If it's too bad, there may be little hope of recovery or repair. Other methods of the recovery of data can cost a lot of money, but it depends how bad you want your data.
[[One other way...]]
Note: <This is strictly "Assumption on what could Possibly be done"><This involves going into the computer, taking apart the case of the PC, and external Hard drive, and mounting it inside the case to the IDE cable. If you don't feel comfortable doing so, have someone who does do this, or ask for help. If you don't know how to do this, there are many step by step tutorials etc...Just Google for one , sometimes in PDF, or ask on Cnet forums. >
Next is the hard way: <and remember IF it's under warranty, do not attempt this as it will void your warranty.>
Also as I said before, I don't know the exact model and cannot tell you if the drive is part of the enclosure(case) or can be removed. This would also indicate if you can buy another drive for the enclosure which is possible also if bad and unrecoverable.
On many , the case may have two screws or more that usually are secured as to not fall out of the case but enough to remove the drive itself. (Remembering this is an assumption) Your drive may be removed and hooked up internally inside the computer itself. You would hook the drive inside the computer as slave on the IDE cable, or if more than one drive, unhook a cd\dvd drive temporarily and hook the hard drive in it's place. On newer systems, you may only need to boot up and see the drive (IF) detected and then access it's contents and use some sort of disk fix utilities to attempt repair or format.
I hope this helps you with your issue, if not by fixing it, then at least to understand it.
Submitted by: Paul K.
It sounds like you could be missing a certain driver for your system. A couple months back I got an old Dell Dimensions computer from a co-worker. I used it for a while with an external USB hard drive before I decided to do a clean rebuild (i.e. reformat the hard drive and re-install Windows). When the system was up and running again it would not recognise my external hard drive. I just assumed this happened because I didn't have any of the original drivers that came the system. I have rebuilt a few systems in the past but this is the first Dell system I have dealt with, and the first time this has ever happened to me.
Now to answer your questions:
1.) What went wrong? - When you reformatted your hard drive you most likely deleted a driver that the system needed to recognise the external hard drive. If you bought this system from Dell they should be able to help you fix the problem. You should also check out the LaCie website to see if they have any downloads or information that might help you.
2.) Can this be avoided in the future? - Next time make sure that you have all the latest drivers for your system before you start to rebuild (I keep all of mine on a CD that I burned). In this case (and in mine), you didn't know that there would be an issue because you probably started using your external drive without having to install any drivers.
3.) How can I retrieve the data on that external drive? - If you can't find a copy of the missing driver, there are a couple options for you to access the info on the external drive. The easiest one is to connect the drive to a second computer and share it across a home network. Here's how to do that:
I am assuming that you have more than one computer on a network at home, and they are both running Windows XP.
1. Attach the drive to the second computer and turn it on.
2. Open Windows Explorer.
3. Find the external drive in the folder list on the left, and right-click on it.
4. From the pop-up menu select properties.
5. Click on the tab called Sharing.
6. Windows XP should ask you if you want to share these files with other people that use this computer or with others across the network. Select the option for across the network.
7. You should now get a warning about the dangers for sharing files across the network and another prompt if you want to do this anyway. Select the option to do it.
8. In the new window that opens select the "Share this folder" option, and type in a name for the drive in the "Share name:" box. (i.e. External_HD).
9. Click Apply and then click OK.
10. Now go to the Start button and select Run.
11. In the Run window type cmd and then click OK.
12. In the Command-line window that opens up, type ipconfig and then press Enter.
13. You should get some info about your local area connection. Write down the numbers that appear beside the heading IP Address. The numbers should look something like this 192.168.0.0
14. Now go back to your Dell computer and open-up Windows Explorer.
15. From the menu bar up top select Tools and then Map Network Drive.
16. In the box labelled Folder, type in the IP Address that you wrote down earlier and the Share name that you gave the external drive (e.i. \\192.168.0.0\External_HD).
17. If you want to automatically reconnect to the external drive on the second computer every time you login to the Dell computer, make sure you check-off the Reconnect at logon box. If you don't the next time you login to your computer you will have to re-map that drive.
18. Click Finish. Windows should quickly search for the shared drive and open another window showing you the files on that drive. The new network drive should also now appear in the folder list in Windows Explorer.
The second option you have is a bit more technical. You could remove the hard drive from the external case and install it in your Dell PC as a second drive. This is actually a simple procedure but if you don't know what you're doing you could damage your external hard drive and damage your PC. The other issue is that Dell computers are sometimes very limited in what can be added to them. You might open the computer and find that there is no room to add a second hard drive, or that you have to replace the hard drive cable in order to install the second drive. You might be able to take the system to a computer store and ask them to install the second drive for you.
Submitted by: Craig B.