Here is what I did. Go into Disk Management and UNINSTALL the drivers for the HDD your trying to Initialize. then unplug the USB and wait a couple seconds and plug it back in. It recognized the device after that and is working smoothly now. Hope this helps!
This last post helped greatly! Thank You!
I have a Western Digital Internal SATA laptop drive that I'm using for a backup/external drive. (WD3200BEVT) I'm running it through one of those USB to SATA/IDE cables. I couldn't see it in the "my computer" window but when i right clicked on my computer, selected "manage," clicked on "disk management" under storage, it would show up. But i kept getting the error "Device is not ready" when i went to initialize it. So i slipped into my desktop computer and got it partitioned and running. When I attached it back to my laptop through the USB to SATA/IDE cable it still wouldn't "see" the drive. I read the helpful post above and unplugged the drive. Uninstalled the drive by right clicking on the drive in the "management" window, selecting properties, clicking on the "drivers" tab, and pressing the "Uninstall" button. I removed the plug, separated the drive from the USB to SATA/IDE adapter, and plugged the adapter back into the laptop all on its own. The computer recognized the adapter. I then removed the adapter, plugged it back into the drive along with the power cord for the drive. Then plugged it back into the laptop. It worked perfectly. Thanks!
For anyone else with a WD3200BEVT - you must have the additional power cord, to power the drive, if you don't have the jumpers set correctly. This drive does have the "Reduced power spinup" feature but the jumper must be on the right prongs. I fooled around forever until I figured this out. My OEM version didn't come with a jumper plug. But I suppose it won't be hard to find one somewhere. Its unfortunate that something like that would be left out, especially when it is so essential to the product functioning.
Thanks for a great website, its nice that I could find this information without having the forum answers hidden unless I pay.