Vista no longer recognizes external hard drive

Don100

Member
My WD Elements 1.5 TB USB 2.0 external hard drive is no longer being recognized by Vista. It will not appear in either the system tray or when I click Start>Computer.

Below are the specs for my desktop computer:

  • Dell Studio XPS 435 MT
  • Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
  • 8.0 GB RAM
  • Vista Home Premium 64-bit
  • 1 TB hard drive
  • Dual Dell 2408WFP Digital monitors
  • ATI Radeon HD4670 video card 512 MB (one card only)
  • All my drivers are updated (using Microsoft Device Manager)
When I plug the WD hard drive into my computer nothing happens, even if I give it 5 or more minutes to try to find it. When I plug this same external hard drive into my Windows 7 laptop, it is recognized quickly, leading me to believe the hard drive itself is fine.

I unsuccessfully tried to access this drive on my desktop computer though “Computer Management” by: Start>R-click Computer>Manage>Disk Management. There I see “Disk 0,” which includes my C and D drives, but nothing else.

When I plug the external hard drive into the computer’s USB port, I hear my computer make the normal “ding” that accompanies the plugging of an external device. Also, the external hard drive begins to hum.
I recently ran CCcleaner and don’t know if that was the source of my problem. I would try a System Restore, but that function has not worked on my computer for a long time.

Any advice is appreciated.
Don
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 435MT
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 2.67 GHz
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI RADEON HD4670 512MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive 7200 RPM
    Mouse
    Wireless Nausicaa 2.4GHz RF, with USB dongle
    Keyboard
    Wireless Nausicaa 2.4GHz RF, with USB dongle
    Internet Speed
    15 mb/s

Ztruker

Vista Guru

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz, 3401 Mhz, 4 Core(s)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750, Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 27" C27F398 Curved Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 (HDMI)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB
    Seagate ST2000NM001 2TB
    Seagate ST31500341AS 1.5TB
    PSU
    500W
    Mouse
    Lenovo USB
    Keyboard
    Dell USB
    Internet Speed
    50MB Down, 10MB Up
  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro X64
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP xw4400 Workstation
    CPU
    Intel Pentium D Dual 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    HP 0A68h
    Memory
    5GB
    Graphics card(s)
    ATI FireGL V3300
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer KN242HYL 24" (KVMS)
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1080
    Hard Drives
    Seagate ST3120026As 120GB SATA (boot)
    Toshiba DT01ACA200 2TB SATA
    Mouse
    Logitech via KVMS switch
    Keyboard
    Dell USB via KVMS switch
    Internet Speed
    50 Down, 10 Up
    Other Info
    Apache Web Server since 2001

Don100

Member
Thanks, Ztruker, for the lead. I decided to give my system one more shot at recognizing my WD external hard drive prior to making any changes. Amazingly, it recognized it this time. I did not do anything different. There was no letter defined for that drive once it appeared, but I solved that by Start>r-click Computer>Manage>Disk Management>r-click on the drive that now shows>change drive letter. Vista never fails to amaze me. I would have upgraded to Windows 8, but that does not seem to be a raging success either. I'm hoping Windows 9 will be better.

Thanks again for you advice.

Don
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 435MT
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 2.67 GHz
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI RADEON HD4670 512MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive 7200 RPM
    Mouse
    Wireless Nausicaa 2.4GHz RF, with USB dongle
    Keyboard
    Wireless Nausicaa 2.4GHz RF, with USB dongle
    Internet Speed
    15 mb/s
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