External HD enclosure problem! help!



Hey guys,

I just bought a 3.5” external hd enclosure. I placed the hd and the case together and plug it into my computer. On the right hand side, it saids that the new usb hd is ready to go so I clicked on my computer but I do not see the new hard drive icon :a . Can anyone help me resolve this problem? Thankz for you time.


A few details could help: What operating system are you using? Is the hard drive brand new (is it formatted/partitioned)? Is the drive (letter) listed in “my computer”?

Which enclosure did you purchase? Is the drive connected directly to the computer, or through a USB hub?

The more details provided, the better the chance for finding a solution!


I am using a xp sp2, The hard drive is brand new, there is not a letter listed in “my computer”

I bought the one made by compusa “cheap with coupon of $5 off, 24.99”. It is connected through a usb hub.

I also have one more question is that if i get it formatted and partitioned. Can transfer my new external hd (with info) to another computer without formatting it but and transfer the data.


Try connecting the drive directly to the computer, hubs can sometimes be problematic.
Be sure all connections are secure. If the drive still fails to be recognised, try installing it in the computer (unless it is a laptop) and formatting it from there, then remove it and install it back in the enclosure.

You also might want to watch the temperature of the drive/case, as extended or heavy use may cause problems due to heat. Simply touching the case is a good test.

Once the drive is formatted and partitioned, it should be readable by any other computer, provided that the file system is supported. Windows 2000 and Windows XP support NTFS, while Windows 98 and earlier does not. If you need support in earlier operating systems, you should format the drive with FAT32.

Personally, I don’t trust USB, and prefer firewire (IEEE 1394) as the connection of choice for external drives. Granted not everyone has firewire connection on their computer, or knows how to install a PCI card, and many people use USB without problems. Mabey I am just biased against USB, but that is my opinion.


Thankz skith, I finally figured out how to get it working. Now that you have mentioned of the overheat that may cause external hd to go bye-bye. Can you tell me how i can protected it form being over heat even if its used for heavy duty? Thankz again


Now i have a new problem. I gathered all of the info that is inportant and stored it in my ned external hd. Then i plug it into my other computer and the same thing happed again. Last time i have to formatted it and parition it. Do have to do the same thing inorder for it to work?

I just wanta add that the info gathering took me a few hours so i would like to keep it there and not format it if it is not nesccerry.



I also have one more question is that if i get it formatted and partitioned. Can transfer my new external hd (with info) to another computer without formatting it but and transfer the data.

If by the above you are refering to data only, yes. If you are talking about everything (the OS/user profiles, programs, and data files) then it is more complicated, but I think you are just refering to data file (word documents and other user created data).

Concerning heat:
depending on the type of case material and design, you might be able to mod/add a small 40mm fan. If the case is metal/aluminum, you might be able to just get a small portable fan to blow on it. If your enviroment is relatively dust free, might be able to remove the front panel on the enclosure and have a fan blow on it. Heck, any kind of air flow would likely help reduce temp.

One of those cheepy 4" fans that can run on AA batteries would do the job. I have a 5.25" Macally aluminum enclosure that does not have a fan. Extended use of the WD 160GB drive has causes some problems for me, so I leave the case partly open with a 80mm fan blowing on it (mabey I am just a bit paranoid.) I once opened the enclosure and touched the drive, it was almost painfully hot.

it in my ned external hd.

not sure what “ned” is.

A ventilated 3.5" enclosure might dissipate heat better (larger enclosure might trap more hot air).

So you did get the computer to recognize it once? You should not have to reformat if connecting to another computer. Something else must be going on. Which filesystem did you use? (NTFS, FAT32). If you used NTFS, only WindowsXP & Windows 2000 would be able to read the drive, If FAT32 windows 98 and onwords should be able to read the drive. Formatting/partitioning should only need to be performed once.

You might have some kind of conflict/incompatibility between your computer and the chipset of the enclosure. If that is the case, flashing the case’s firmware might solve the problem (if there is an update for it).

One way to find out what chip is used in your enclosure is to actually open it and look. There should be info printed right on a black square shaped chip on the small pcb. Beyond that, I am stumped.