How to Troubleshoot 2.5 inch USB Hard Drives

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A summary of common questions and their answers regarding installation are listed below to help you troubleshoot your USB 2.0 external hard drive.


1) Make sure you do not install any software UNLESS you are running Windows 98. Provided that your current version of Windows or Mac OS is updated with its own latest drivers.

2) Do not install any software from the CD, except per the instructions above. Doing so could cause instability in your system.

3) Don’t use USB Hard Drive through USB extension cable.

Use Both USB cables are required for the unit to receive adequate power for proper operation of the drive and enclosure. If you do not have two ports available for use, or you find operation inconsistent even with both leads connected, try connecting the enclosure through a powered USB hub.

A summary of common questions and their answers regarding installation are listed below to help you troubleshoot your USB 2.0 external hard drive.

Problem: Drive and adapter show properly in Device Manager, but no drive letter is available in My Computer or Windows Explorer.

Solution: This is a normal occurrence with a new drive, or with a drive that contains an existing partition that Windows does not understand.

Using a new drive with Windows 98/Me: Before you connect the drive via USB, you will need to connect it via IDE and partition and format it using normal methods. Once that is complete, you can connect the drive via USB and use it normally.

Using a new drive with Windows 2000/XP: You can partition and format the drive via USB using the Logical Disk Manager utility. Click Start, then Run. Type

diskmgmt.msc , and click Ok. This will start the utility. The USB drive should be

visible in the bottom pane. Use Windows help for assistance with using Logical Disk Manager. Once you have partitioned and formatted the drive, Windows will assign it a drive letter and it is ready to use.

Using a drive with existing data that Windows does not recognize: If Windows does not assign a drive letter for a drive with data on it, it is because Windows does not recognize the partition on the drive. This is common when connected an NTFS formatted drive (such as a drive from a Windows NT,2000 or XP machine) to a Windows 98 computer.

Windows 98 only supports drives that are formatted using the FAT or FAT32 file

system. Unfortunately, there is not a practical workaround. You will need to connect the drive to a Windows 2000 or XP computer to retrieve the data.

The drive does not power up.

Make sure that the power cable connected to the back of the external hard drive is securely attached and that the green-colored power LED is lit.

The drive is not recognized under “My Computer” or the computer desktop.

If your system has a USB 2.0 PCI adapter card, make sure that its drivers have been installed prior to connecting the Western Digital USB 2.0 external hard drive. The drive will not be correctly recognized if the USB 2.0 root hub and host controller drivers are not initially installed. Contact the hardware manufacturer for installation procedures.

I want to partition and reformat the drive.

FAT32 partitions created by the utilities included in Windows 2000/XP have a partition size limitation of up to 32 GB. To create partitions greater than 32 GB, you will need to reformat the drive using the NTFS file system.

The data transfer rate is slow.

Your system may be operating at USB 1.1 speeds. This may be due to an incorrect driver installation of your USB 2.0 adapter card or your system does not support USB 2.0.

Note: This USB container has one 80 GB HDD with three FAT32 partitions so you’ll see 3 hard drives in Windows Explorer.

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