Maxtor 500GB external hard drive not being detected but power is going to it

external hard drivehard drivelaptop

I have 2 * Maxtor Onetouch 4 Lite 500GB external hard drives (part no. 9NT2A4-500). They both used to work fine on my old laptop (an Acer) but I have not used them for about a year, since my laptop was stolen and I got this one (also an Acer [Aspire 7738G]). I have one plugged into the mains with one of the leads I believe was supplied with them. It appears to be receiving power as it is warm and the power light (on the unit itself) is on; also the mains adapter is fairly warm.

I also have it plugged into my laptop with a USB lead which I have tested on my mp3 player (so I know it works). However my hard drive is not showing on my computer. I have tried checking for new hardware, installing the software that was supplied with it, checking drive letters in case it is registered as C: or something stupid, checking for problems etc… I can't find any cause for it to do this. It does appear to be starting up and, possibly, shutting down and restarting constantly (that's what it sounds like altho I can't be certain).

I have had both hard drives stored in different places for the last year and they're both doing the same thing.. if it was only one then I'd guess it had got damaged or corrupted or something but since it is both I doubt this is it. The only things in common with both of them are the leads and the laptop, however I know the USB lead works and guess the mains lead works as there is power going to the unit.

Has anyone come across this before or does anyone have any idea what the cause / solution to the problem is? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Best Answer

I'm not sure what operating system you are using so I'll provide an answer for all versions of Windows after Windows 2000.

A tool called USBDeviceView will be a good first port of call, this will show you what USB devices are actually appearing to the operating system:

If the drive(s) are being picked up, it may be that they are not partitioned or formatted yet. Right click (My) Computer on the Desktop or Start Menu (whichever it appears in), then click Manage.

Select Disk Management, and if the drive appears, right click the blank area and format the drive as you wish (the default settings are usually fine).

If drive(s) are still not being detected, try them in other USB ports. I have found in some cases certain devices only work in certain ports. Also, check if the drives work in another PC if you have access to one.

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