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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    Hello,

    My computer system is XP and I have had a SimpleTech 500 GB hard drive plugged into my computer for several months. I turned on my computer this morning and the hard drive doesn't appear in "My Computer" I also check my device manager and the disc manager and it doesn't appear. I unplugged it and restarted my computer... The drive shows it has power it is plugged in but not registering to my computer. Please help this drive has irreplaceable pictures on it

  2. #2
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    Welcome to PF1

    First try the drive in another USB port, see if its showing.
    If it doesn't then try another PC, this is to eliminate the actual PC.

    If it wont show on another PC, then you may find the internal circuit board in the enclosure may have failed (very common) - you would need to remove the Hard drive from the enclosure and plug it into the PC as a slave drive or put the drive into another enclosure.

    Assuming the drive is OK you should be able to read all your data.

  3. #3
    ember BBCmicro's Avatar
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    If it happened to me I would pull the enclosure to bits, take out the hard drive, put it into a SATA dock and see if it's detected there. But that requires the drive to be SATA and that a SATA dock is available...
    Ryzen 7 1700 @ stock, EVO 960 500GB M.2 NVMe, G-Skill 2 x 16GB @ 2.4GHz,
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    wainuitech:

    I plugged it into a different USB and tried it on my laptop, both seem to work. The weird thing is this has happened before and we had to return the hard drive. This is the new one, any ideas of what the problem could be? Our computer is about 6 years old.. Dell 8400 Pent. 4.. Thank you so much for your help, I feel like i tried everything, but I guess I didn't!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    Once you have your data back and I hope you do manage to get it back, if you have important data then keep it stored in at least two different places.

    If your unsure about the previous suggestions call a techie.
    Life is about give and take.
    Shame some people take take take.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    BBCmicro:

    I am not sure about a SATA Dock, but it seems to be working now. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    gcarmich:

    Thanks, I normally always make a CD and keep my pictures on the computer hard drive, but the computer is full and I have yet to make a back up CD. I am doing this now. Thanks for your help.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    CFCJCC, now is the time to back it up, do it ASAP as the drive in the enclosure may be failing.
    Life is about give and take.
    Shame some people take take take.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: External Hard Drive dissappeared from my computer

    Quote Originally Posted by CFCJCC View Post
    I have had a SimpleTech 500 GB hard drive plugged into my computer for several months. Please help this drive has irreplaceable pictures on it
    Never, ever leave an external drive permanently plugged into your PC.

    The whole point is to BACKUP your stuff. This means you copy it onto the 2nd drive. Not move it, not haver the data on one and only one drive - you duplicate the data so that you have it in 2 locations.

    And then once you have added the data you unplug it and put it away.

    Any drive can die, sometimes without warning. Then what??

    And having it plugged in all the time makes it more susceptible to being killed along with your PC by excessive power (in case of storms or other extreme power stuff ups). It can also become corrupted by a snafu with Windows.

    DUPLICATE your important data, preferably with 2 hard drives - that are not connected to each other.
    wipe your paws.

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