I'm running Windows 7 on an Acer laptop. I have tried two known and working External hard divers on my laptop. I can see both on the Device manger and it states both drivers are working, however they are not appearing on my Computer. i have followed previous threads and have checked Disk Management. When the external hard drive is not plugged in, i see my C drive, however when i plug in via the USB,I cant open the disk management, I get a message stating "loading disk configuration information". if i remove the External Hard Drive, and reboot the PC, I can open the Disk management. If I now insert the External Hard Drive, i can see it in the lower part of the Disk managment screen, but i cant do anything with it.

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IS this a brand new disk or was it formatted in another system with another file system? Sometimes, Windows disk management will flake out with MAC journaled file system or ext4 and the like.

If the disk has nothing on it, you should be able to use any Linux Live CD to boot and format the usb disk or write all 0's to the disk using something like Darren's boot and nuke disk. Just be sure if you do, you are nuking the correct disk and not your local drive.

I now appear to have solved my problem, I started by accident the laptop in safemode and was able to immediately ableto see both the external drives on my computer and disk management. I rebooted the Laptop and low and behold both the hard drives were immediately picked up. problem solved, i dont know how?

Could it be that your laptop doesn't give enough power through USB to properly power the disks up?
Try an external powered USB hub - make sure it's powered or it's only gonna make it worse.

It's a rare quirk in Windows (ahem, feature) where if the drive(s) are allocated letters higher than the Optical Drive they won't show properly. It's typically fixed by giving the Optical Drive another letter, such as 'Z:' temporarily and then it should behave itself, if not then, then after a restart.

Maybe twiddling in Safe Mode does a similar job. :-)

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