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Dustin
Dustin, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 13326
Experience:  I speak PC fluently, so you dont have to! Worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
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My windows vista computer does not recognize my Toshiba External

Customer Question

My windows vista computer does not recognize my Toshiba External Hard drive. How can I fix that?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.com, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to assist you. So I can assist you, I have a few questions I need to ask Was your Toshiba external drive previously recognized by this same Vista computer? Have you recently connected the hard drive to another computer, or a mac? Also, would you prefer that I assist you via a screen sharing session, where I can connect to your computer from here and try to resolve the issue on screen, if so I can send an offer for that additional service. Or do you want to continue via written communication for now? Thank you for your response, Dustin S.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It has been a while since I used the external hard drive. I believe it has been connected to this computer in the past. Additionally, think I connected the hard drive to my laptop to download files - that laptop was a windows 8 who had the screen broken and I wanted to download the files to my external hard drive to transfer to my windows vista desktop.

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Understood. Question, does the Hard drive have its own power supply cord, or does it only plug into the computer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It has a power cord.

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Ok.. When you plug it into power.. If you put your ear close to the drive, is it making any noises. Grinding noises, ticking noises.. Whirring?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

whirrling like it is winding up then in just seconds it winds down.

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Thats not altogether a bad sign. No grinding or ticking noises... Thats whats important. Ok, the USB cord for the hard drive, do you have any similar cords? You didnt say the exact model of Toshiba hard drive you had, but some use the same cords as printers. Others use the same cords as cell phones ( USB cords) Do you have any other cord we can test with?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have another cord that is a printer cord we can try.

My device is a Toshiba Deskto External Hard Drive. P/N PH3100U-1EXB WOTJ S/N 1A0007BE D/

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Understood. Lets try connecting the drive to the printer cord. And then try connecting it to a different usb port on your computer. And then lets try restarting your computer and then lets see if it can recognize the drive.. If it cant, we may have to run a few repairs to try and get windows to recognize the device. Keep me posted~ Dustin S.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so how do I connect back to you to continue?

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
You should just be able to come back to justanswer.om Janet, and it will sign you right back in.
Then you click on our question title and it will load this conversation.
For good measure, look at the top right of your screen. Click account, and make sure you added an email address.
Dustin S
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That didn't change things.

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Understood. It may be necessary for me to connect to your computer using our remote software , I can send that offer to you as an additional service. Within the screen sharing session, I can run through some advanced steps to try and get the drive recognized. Would you like to try a screen sharing session, or would you prefer to continue with written support only?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I prefer to continue with written support. Thank you

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Ok, lets try some advanced step next. Hold down the windows key on your keyboard, Press R Then type in diskmgmt.msc and hit enter.. On that page.. Tell me what volumes you see, and what size they are? Then , hold down windows and R , type in devmgmt.msc and hit enter. On this page, do you see any devices that have yellow warning marks, or anything that says unknown device?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My computer is now recognizing my external drive.

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Sometimes firing up the diskmgmt page is all it takes. Or removing an unknown device on the devmgmt.page so the hard drive can be seen.
That, or when we shut down, swapped usb cords, and reconnected.. That did the trick.
Glad to hear the issue is resolved, if you have any further questions or concerns, your welcome to reply Janet.
I strive to provide great service, and greatly appreciate a rating of excellent submitted below this answer when you are satisfied.. I always answer follow up questions.
Dustin S.
Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your help.

Expert:  Dustin replied 2 years ago.
Good morning Janet, just wanted to check back and see if your drive is still being recognized this morning. Also, This reply was waiting in my work inbox when I came in this morning. If you need further assistance on this issue, youre welcome to reply. If all is well, please remember to click and submit a rating on this page. Thank you, *****