I have recntly been having problems with my laptop recognizing my external hard drive, When the hard drive is switched on, the usb input sound happens but the device displays the 'busy' light and is not displayed in 'My Computer' and is therefore unaccessable. I have tried using it on a mates laptop and it works with no problems.

Also, I have recently purchased a new harddrive, partly because i needed an upgrade and partly hoping that it would solve the problem, but after plugging it in and switching it on, windows had installed the drive but the same problem occours, the 'busy' light is displayed on the drive and no device is displayed in 'My Computer'.

If anybody could help me fix this i would be really greatful.


you might try removing the device and then letting Windows automatically install it...should happen when you reboot...

You could also try "Control Panel" "Add Hardware" and let windows find it there. Also try,

Verify Window’s Files

1. Go “START”, “RUN” type “CMD” Press “OK” or Boot PC into “safe mode with command prompt”
2. Type sfc /scannow (note:- space after sfc)
3. Windows file protection will check your files. Follow any prompts; you may be required to use your XP CD.
4. Re-boot your PC

How would i go about removing the device to let windows re-install it?

Also tried the Windows file protection but everything seems to be in order there.

"You could also try "Control Panel" "Add Hardware" and let windows find it there."

Go "Control Panel" "System" "Hardware" "Device Manager" and check to see if there is a problem there with your external drive.

'Device Manager' claims that both HDs are working properly.

I do not think that the problem is with the actual hard drive itself, as when i turn it on when it is not connected to my laptop it appears to work without any troubles, its only when i connect it to my laptop that the light colour on the device changes to busy. When i tried the exact same thing on my friends laptop the device worked without any problems.

Ok, so you connect your external HD and it shows it as working without any problems in your "Device Manager" yet under the listings in "My Computer" there is no external hard drive shown. When you connect your external HD to the computer, the LED that indicates the HD situation changes from a normal color to a color that indicates that it is in use.

My only suggestion would be to do a windows repair. If you have installed SP3 you will have to reinstall again later but you should not lose any of your information.

To Repair Windows XP from your XP CD…..

1. Re-start PC with XP CD in drive (Have your serial number handy)
2. As your PC starts press “F12” for boot menu (Or what your PC may ask for)
3. Scroll to and select “boot from CD.”
4. At prompt “Press any key to boot from CD” Press “Any key”
5. In the Windows XP Setup window, Press “Enter” to set up windows XP, (Don’t worry, this is a repair only, not a fresh install.)
6. At next window, Press “F8” to accept license agreement
7. Wait until windows displays your current version of XP and asks “To repair the selected windows XP installation press R”
8. Press “R”
9. Enter serial number when prompted.
10. Wait for files to be copied (PC will indicate 39 mins, it will take a lot less.)
11. When asked to adjust Regional language options, click “Next” as it is still set.
12. PC will re-boot.
13. If you have AVG Free, copy serial number to a file as you will lose it on repair. After repair a window will pop up asking how you want to treat AVG, Click repair and when prompted enter serial number.
14. Check to see if problem still exists.

How would i go about removing the device to let windows re-install it?

make sure you download the latest driver for your external drive somewhere on your computer BUT DON'T INSTALL IT YET. Then unplug your external HD from the computer.

Open Windows Explorer and Find Local Disk (C:) - find your external drive and right click on it, choose properties. Now click the Hardware tab, make sure your external drive is highlighted. Click Properties and click on the Driver tab. There you will see the Uninstall button and you can go through the sequence to remove your driver.

Reboot the machine and when everything stabilizes connect the external hard drive. Your machine should recognize new hardware and load the driver automatically or it will ask you for the driver (which you downloaded earlier just in case).

I can't guarantee this will work to fix your problem...but that's how to do it.

Thats what I was about to say,there must be a problem with the driver of the External Hard drive or the jumpers.

How would i go about removing the device to let windows re-install it?

Also tried the Windows file protection but everything seems to be in order there.

He actually means to "uninstall" the device from the Device Manager.
Just right click on the Hard Drive and click on uninstall.

If the Hard Drive doesnot get detected than right click on it again in the Device Manager
and click on "scan for hardware changes"

Hey, i uninstalled the new hard drive and restarted, when it came back on and re-installed both hard drives seem to be working. So problem solved, thanks for all your help.

Good to hear, Please mark this thread as solved.