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Jul 1, 2013

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[SOLVED] My External Hard Drive is Recognized by My Computer but It Is NOT Accessible. Why?

Amazon I plugged my external hard drive into my computer and my computer seems to recognize it but I cannot see the corresponding drive in 'My Computers' and therefore cannot read or write to my external drive. Why can't I access my external hard drive even though it is being recognized by my PC?

This article assumes you are using Windows 7 and a Seagate external hard drive but it may still help you regardless of which operating system and external hard drive you are using.
If you have the same problem with an external flash drive or USB drive this solution may still solve your problem.
Solution #1
There are several possible causes. First cause is you used this hard drive before and have already assigned a drive letter to it. Later on you assigned the same drive letter to something else such as a partition within the C drive. Therefore when you plugged in the external hard drive again the computer does not know which disk letter it belongs to. Or perhaps you've never assigned a drive letter to your device.

In either case follow these steps to fix this issue.

1. Right click on My Computers and select Manage.

2. Go to Device Manager -> Disk Management or Drive Management

3. Select the external hard drive in question, right click on it, select Change Drive letter and Path.

If you see no drive in the white area click Add and select any unassigned drive letter.

If you see a drive letter then change it to some other unassigned drive letter.

You should now be able to access this external hard drive in My Computers by the drive letter you just assigned to it. Click this drive letter to manage your external hard drive by reading and writing to it.

Solution #2
Another possibility is that your external hard drive needs more power than provided by your computer. The power coming from your PC simply isn't enough to support the external hard drive's operation needs.

In this case you'll need a USB 2.0 dual power cable where one end goes into your device and the other end has two USB connectors each of which goes into a USB jack of your computer. Then you should have enough power to operate your external hard drive.

An alternative is you can try using USB 3.0 as it provides 50% more power is provided for unconfigured or suspended devices (150 mA up from 100 mA), and 80% more power is provided for configured devices (900 mA up from 500 mA). However your device needs to support USB 3.0 and your computer needs to have USB 3.0 jacks.
If you have any questions let me know and I will do my best to help you!
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