My computer does not see my external hard drive and asks me to format



Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have an external hard drive that only works occasionally, at the moment when I plug it into my computer a popup says 'cannot install the sofware for device' and also sometimes asks me if i want to format. I dont want to lose all the data and am in the middle of trying to recover data (I managed to get most but not all whenever it decides to work) but the last attempts to get it working have failed. I dont know if it's just a cable makes a whirring sound, sometimes bleeping..then stops. it sounds as though its on its last legs but I still think it might be possible to get it up and running again. OS is XP, was using Vista before but had same problem with both OS'S Thanks in advance!!


Jan 3, 2010
Hi:give the following links a whirl for some hints

External hard drive not recognized?

Windows XP Won't Recognize WD Ext Hard Drive?

I can see my external hard drive in device manager, but not in my computer?

Find Your Missing USB Drive on Windows XP?

Why won't my system recognize my USB device?

My external hard drive does not appear on my “My computer” window.?

my external hard drive is not recognized by my PC?

Good luck...