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External Hard Drive error


Mar 7, 2010
Ok, I have a problem with installing my external hard drive into my computer. I have all of the cables needed, the power, the usb. I plugged the usb into my computer, and when I open computer, it does NOT show the hard drive. I then go to my computer management, disk management, and it has my current hard drive (named disk 0), and it also has my external hard drive (disk 1), however my external hard drive is labeled as Unknown - not initialized, and when I try to initialize it, it says The Device Is Not Ready. Also on the icons on the bottom right of my screen it says "Safely remove hardware".
I am currently using Windows Vista on a 32-bit operating system, 1.00 Memory RAM. Can anyone help me? Thanks alot - Anthony T.
You may need to Format the hard drive. Hook up the two cables to your computer. Do a FULL (not quick) format to read/write all locations.

If the hard drive can format but still won't work in the USB device then the problem is the USB device.
I'm intrigued by your use of the term "initialize it". Some systems use those workds to mean the two-step process of Creating a Partition on the HDD unit and then Formatting that new "drive". In vista, this is usually done and seen as one process within a Wizard.

So, how did you try to Initialize it? The normal process within Disk Management's LOWER RIGHT pane is to RIGHT-click on the big chunk of Unallocated Space on that Disk_1 unit and choose from the mini-menu to Initialize or Partition and Format. (I don't have Vista, so I can't recite the exact words there.) Is that what you did already? Or were you somewhere else when you got the Device Not Ready error?

By the way, it is normal and good to have the "Safely Remove Hardware icon at the bottom right. That is how you "disconnect" the new external drive logically before physically unplugging it.

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