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New Simpletech External 120gb Drive Not Being Recognized


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#1 FuchsiaIce

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 05:52 AM

I recently plugged in a SimpleTech SimpleDrive PS into my Dell Inspiron 1150 running Windows XP Service Pack 2. Transferred all the music and vids taking up the bulk of my HD space on the laptop and everything was going along swimmingly except for I did feel the machine was slower, especially when accessing the new drive (I'm only running 256MB RAM and I thought that may have something to do with it being slower).

Today I made a small change I figured I could undo if it didn't help the speed and apparently I was wrong because everything went awry.

Here's what I did and the subsequent problems thereafter:

I went into Windows Explorer and pulled up the properties on the hard drive (C: drive on my computer). Under the "Hardware" tab on the properties window I highlighted the external drive (E: drive) and clicked properties there. Under the "Policies" tab on that window there are two radio buttons, the one that was checked states "Optimize for quick removal - This setting disables write caching on the disk and in Windows, so you can disconnect this device without using the Safe Removal icon." The icon for Safe Removal was in the taskbar, though, and the one time before this I had disconnected the drive I used the Safe Removal.

The second radio button states "Optimize for performance - This setting enables the write caching in Windows to improve disk performance. To disconnect this device from the computer, click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the taskbar notification area." I wanted to improve the drive's performance and decided to check this button in hopes that might help. As I said, I figured I could change back if it didn't do anything.

When I applied the change a small window popped up with the flashlight going back and forth and the top of the window said "Auto play" and it appeared to be reading the external drive, the blue light was also on on the drive. Then, it automatically opened Windows Media player. It tried to play the first song in a long play list it had made and a window had come up at the same time the player started trying to play the song that just said "working". The cursor just kept cycling and the song wasn't really playing just starting and stopping. The "working" window didn't go away and I kept trying to stop the application.

This went on for a bit and I finally cntrl/alt/deleted but even End Task wouldn't shut it down. Eventually I did a restart from the Windows Task Manager.

When the computer logged out of Windows and the boot screen came up, the screen then went black. I waited for 20 minutes, I guess, and nothing, so I hit the power button and shut the computer down that way. When I started it again I got the screen asking how I wanted to start and since I didn't think anything was wrong I had it start Windows normally.

When I pulled up Windows Explorer to change the radio buttons back the external drive was no longer listed even though it was still connected and I swear I saw the blue light come on when the computer was rebooting. I checked the Device Manager and under Disk Drives and Universal Serial Bus controllers the drive was still listed. Using the Safe Removal I unplugged and replugged it in the same USB port, restarted and got the blank screen again for a long time (though possibly not as long as before when I did the hard shut down) before Windows finally started up. Still no external drive in Explorer, but still listed in Device Manager.

I Safe Removed again and changed USB port, restarted, same blank screen and long reboot time, still no external drive in Explorer but still listed in Device Manager. Several times I uninstalled the drivers by right clicking the drive in both the Disk Drive category and the Universal Serial Bus controllers category. Each time I checked the Device Status box and every time it said the device was working properly. Each time I restarted after checking to see if the changes made showed it listed in Explorer and if I could access it and when I couldn't I'd restart.

I gave up trying to figure it out on my own and unplugged using Safe Removal. When I restarted the computer no more blank screen and long reboot time. I plugged it back in to see and it gave me the blank screen and long, long reboot time. I've left it unplugged for now.

The people of this forum have helped me greatly in the past, I am hoping you can help me now. Any words are happily appreciated, thank you.

Edited by FuchsiaIce, 16 October 2007 - 05:54 AM.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 10:17 AM

There are two things you can try, uninstall it in the device manager and see if it is recognized as "found new hardware" and let the installation wizard install it. The other thing to try would be to use the Last known good configuration.

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#3 FuchsiaIce

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 10:39 PM

There are two things you can try, uninstall it in the device manager and see if it is recognized as "found new hardware" and let the installation wizard install it. The other thing to try would be to use the Last known good configuration.


When I said above that I uninstalled and installed several times I should have clarified that I meant in the Device Manager is where I did this. Each time it was recognized in the Device Manager as "found new hardware" and the installation wizard did, indeed, install it each time. However, that never seemed to make a difference. In the Device Manager the drive showed, but I could still not find it in Explorer nor access it by browsing. :huh:

Today I also did a System Restore to a point before the problems occurred and still no luck. The drive shows in the Device Manager, it shows when right clicking on the C: drive in Windows Explorer and choosing the Hardware tab on the Properties window, but it will not show in Explorer and I cannot access it by browsing. :thumbsup:

I also wondered about changing the letter of the drive in hopes that it would then show up, but it does not show in the Disk Management section so that isn't an option right now. I'm about to lose my mind!! Does anyone have any clue??

Edited by FuchsiaIce, 16 October 2007 - 10:41 PM.

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#4 FuchsiaIce

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:37 PM

I am still desperate for help with this problem, any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated as I cannot access the drive and it is still not showing in Windows Explorer.
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#5 usasma

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:57 AM

If it shows in Device Manager, then the device itself is being recognized.
If it doesn't show in Disk Management, then the drive isn't being recognized as a drive.

A brief look at the SimpleTech website states that the drive has to be plugged into 2 powered USB outlets. Have you tried using another set of USB outlets (maybe in the back of the system) to see if it's the USB plug that went bad?
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#6 FuchsiaIce

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 04:20 PM

If it shows in Device Manager, then the device itself is being recognized.
If it doesn't show in Disk Management, then the drive isn't being recognized as a drive.

A brief look at the SimpleTech website states that the drive has to be plugged into 2 powered USB outlets. Have you tried using another set of USB outlets (maybe in the back of the system) to see if it's the USB plug that went bad?


I didn't think about the plug being bad, though I'm not exactly sure what you mean... I have two USB ports on the back of the laptop and I have tried both of them with the same results. I guess I should try a new plug to check if the one that came with the drive is bad. :thumbsup: Thank you for the suggestion!
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#7 hamluis

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:34 PM

My guess: Either it is not formatted (most drives are when shipped) or it's assigned a letter which is already assigned to another device on your system.

This is probably true if:

a. The drive is properly recognized in Computer Management.

b. Drive not reflected in My Computer or Explorer.

c. Drive jumper is set as manufacturer of ex drive states. This is a variable which I have encountered on external drives, with there seeming to be no clear rule that the drive must be set as C/S or Master.

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