Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Can't read my USB or External hard drive what's wrong?

  1. #1

    Can't read my USB or External hard drive what's wrong?

    Okay so I just installed Win 8 last night and everything seemed fine before I turned off the computer. Now, I'm a student and I work a lot from my USB/HD. I have both my usb and HD connected to the computer but the computer doesn't read them now. Its as though the aren't even connected please someone help me I depend deeply on these drives!

    By the way thank you for reading and/or helping me!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Hello, Michi89. Welcome to EightForums.

    I take it the HD is an external drive? USB?

    They don't work on reboot? Can't see them in File Explorer? Can you see them in the Device Manager?

    Please post your machine specs.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 162
    Windows 8 Pro

    Can you see any of the drives in Device Manager?

    When I plug in my working flash drive, I can see it listed under Disk Drives in Device Manager.

    I have another flash drive (Team Group SR1 16GB) when I plug it in I get an error message "USB device not recognized". It's not listed under Disk Drives but it's listed under Universal Serial Bus controllers with a yellow "!". When I look at the properties it says the USB device returned an invalid product description string descriptor. I have no idea how to fix it. My guess it's a driver problem but I hove no idea.

    When I go to Disk Management I can see my working flash drive when plugged in but not my SR1 flash drive.

    Take a look and let us know what you find.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    So I update my system specs... at least to where I know. Here's the thing. Since I posted here I contacted the AnswerDesk service that Microsoft offers and both times they were able to make it read. So its not that the drivers are not compatible. One guy told me it had to do with 3rd party apps. The second guy thought it had to do with voltage issue. So what I can ascertain here is that when I look at the My Computer window although both are plugged in they don't show up at all. Digging in deeper into the computer into the Device Manager if I look within the Disk drives and portable devices they both show up but they're grayed out. I learned that, that means that they are "not connected" when they really are though. This is going to be my third time contacting the Answer desk people and I'm really getting disappointed here. Something is off and I am starting to see I'm not the only one suffering this.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    "and both times they were able to make it read" means that they work until you shut down and can't see them when you boot back up? How did they get them to work? To me, odds are it's not hardware or voltage if greyed out. I don't think it's the individual drivers for each, but it's the USB driver, assuming they're USB connected.

    Please let us know how it goes?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,476
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    When you look at those drives in device manager Do they have drive letters assigned to them? I have one external hard drive in an enclosure that connects via USB. I plugged it in and nothing happened. Looked in device manager and it was there but it didn't have a drive letter. Once I assigned it a drive letter it was visible on the Computer screen. Odd thing was every time I unplugged it, it would loose its drive letter and I'd have to do it all again. After giving it a higher drive letter instead of the next one available it works fine without having to do any extra steps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 4
    WIN 8 pro 32b

    USBhdd is a device but cannot find it as disk

    I have a similar problem with an usb hdd that is listed as a device but does not come up in My Computer

    I have not found the solution in this thread, so could Anyone have a new look at it, please_
    see attached print screen it's the Iomega HDD

    The C,D,E,F are partitions on 2 internal HDD

    I have tried it on 2 pc's
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IOMEGA.jpg  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    From the windows screen, type disk management. This should allow you to start the program to "create and format hard disk partitions"

    In this new program window you should see your usb drives. Right click the drive and then select "change the drive letter and path"

    Give it a new drive letter.

    Hopefully you should now see this drive is available from windows explorer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1

    Hi all, I think I have something similar going on but I'm also not able to figure out what exactly to do to fix it... I am trying to use my old laptop hard drive (NTFS) as an external drive with my new Windows 8.1 laptop and while I can see it in File Explorer and Device Manager, I can't read any of the contents. It's as if the drive is empty and I know it's not! I can browse the files as expected on my Windows XP desktop at work. Any tips would be most appreciated! -K
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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