When you 1st inserted the drive to the USB port, it should have displayed, "found new h/w" and then later say it's "ready for use". If it didn't then it got hosed. To find if this is h/w or irregular OS issue, then it becomes harder to resolve. Under Win7, it's all up to date and shows no issue at the device manager under control panel, then maybe some driver or unique issue has arisen. I say this because some of the cheaper devices out there aren't working or are broken from day 1, as in allowed to work. If the ext. USB drive hasn't been prepared yet, do so. Don't fall for it worked before status, start afresh. I suggest you get the HPUSBformatter s/w. use it and make it NTSF capable. Also, if the old drive had been partitioned before, you can totally wipe clean whatever it was before, again start fresh. I use either DBAN or KILLDISK, once done then use OS own formatter to prepare it or HPUSBformatter. This is a time consuming process but once done should really get the HD ready. If after all this it still pukes, then I would think more along h/w faults, like the ext. HD package. Understand also, that the ext. HD kit MUST state its Win7 capable in some way. I don't like to format ext. HDs in partitions it's already hard enough to make this work under USB, then add another layer to it, but that's me. Also, this isn't USB3 by chance in any way? Please provide info on that cable you mentioned you found online, details matter. if the ext. USB package provided any s/w to install, do so now, reboot and check results.