Why can I not see my 1TB Seagate external hard drive under My Computer in Windows Vista?

douglas asabre May 24, 2011
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My external hard drive is recognized anytime I connect to my laptop, but I can’t access it because I don’t see the connected hard drive icon in “My Computer”. I use Windows Vista. Thank you.

  1. megan
    May 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Hi i have simliar problem, when i connect my harddrive it goes into devices and printers not 'my computer'. anyone can help? :)

    • Susendeep DUtta
      May 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Go to Device management and locate your external HDD and see whether it's formatted or not.Other solutions might be trying to reinstall the drivers

      May 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Hello, can you provide a little bit more information? Is this a new harddrive? If it is not, has it shown in my computer before? Is your computer using an AMD processor?

      When your computer is using an AMD CPU, your drive shows in devices and printers and it gives you the option to eject drive from there. If it is a new harddrive, it might be that for some reason there is no letter attached to it and/or might need a letter assigned or formatting. Does the drive show in device management? If you provide your operating system, more precise instruction can be given on how to check. You might also want to check in disk management.

  2. Susendeep Dutta
    April 24, 2012 at 7:41 am

    @Car88win @prasad : Your external HDD might be making noise because it was working much harder to work.Have you shaked the drive?Since external HDD's contains disk platters,they are prone to fail due to this.

    Did you tried updating the drivers?

  3. Himanshu
    March 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

     Hi All, Mine worked as follows:
    1) Right-click on My Computer and select Manage.
    2) Click on Disk Management
    3) select your USB drive block
    4) right click on the selected block and click Mark as active
    5) Assign a drive letter by right clicking on the drive and select a unique drive letter
    Now your drive must show up in My Computer

    • Michael
      April 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Hi I have almost the exact same problem as Tom does, maybe please you can help me, Once again I do see my device in Device Manager, and when I go to Disk Management I see it as a block but it is marked as Unallocated, when I right click on it I dont see anything like Mark as Active, I do see Offline, and convert to such and such. I also dont see select a unique drive letter. Please help. It was working just fine before and I bought it less then a week ago.

  4. lynyn
    March 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    i have a iomega external HDD. of 512 GB . my memory is rarely full. i hav so many important files in it. but my ex-HDD is not show in any pc.i though that it was due to cable but it wasnt and it make some sound.... when i insert it in my pc gave a sound but not show in my computer and any others.please tell me what should i do to figure what is that problem ... tell how can i fix it ? please help me out coz all the files and document of my life are inside it... i ll be doom if i can have it......

    • Susendeep Dutta
      April 24, 2012 at 7:33 am

      There was similar problem faced by one user -


      ukohara suggested that -

      "well go to device manager and choose USB option. try to see how many ports are active pr showing devices connected to them, then try to recognize in which port ur HDD is connected. then right click on the usb link and choose update driver follow on screen option and browse for the driver software for usb media. then restart and re connect the HDD see id it recognize it or not. if this does nt work then contact the disk manufcturer and take their help. usually it is a driver issue. dont worry try to download it from manufacturer’s website. it will solve ur problem."

  5. prasad
    March 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

    I have a Seagate external hard drive (500 GB) bought 2 years ago. 
    A few months back, when the disk was full,  it was making a noise, and for fear of losing the data, I backed up my pictures and some other videos. 
    When the disk was upto 450 GB, the noise stopped. I assumed it was making a noise, because it was full. 
    When I plugged it in, yesterday, I find that My Computer does not recognize it. 
    I cannot find it in Device Manager either. It is no where on my computer. It's just as if it has vanished. But, the light still blinks showing, it is connected to the system. I am confused. I still have some data, around 350 GB, which I do not want to lose. Is there nay way this can be corrected?
    Please let me know, what I should do .
    I tried plugging it into another laptop, and it does not detect their either. 
    In both cases, the light still is on, when connected. 
    I have drives C,D,E,F in my laptop. (Dell Inspiron 1525)
    My external hard drive is named H. 
    So, it should not have a name clash. I have read a lot of forums, but could not find a solution to this problem.  

    • Car88win
      March 29, 2012 at 11:36 am

       Same thing just happened to me. Was fine the other day. Came home from work and it wasn't recognized. Went looking for it, it's not there - unplugged it - it made a weird grinding noise and still nothing.

  6. Atozcomputerstrichy
    November 28, 2011 at 6:07 am

    seagate 1tb external hdd not opeing the complint: ihave open the hdd thr error messege come do you want FORMAT THE DISK?what can i do?reply quick From Balaji..

    • Susendeep Dutta
      April 24, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Go to device manager and locate your external HDD device and uninstall the driver.Restart your PC.Connect your external HDD and let the windows install the driver.If it doesn't works then download and install the drivers from manufacturer's site,still doesn't works then contact them for this issue.

  7. Tomhankschris
    November 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    mine shows up in device manager but not in disk manager whatsoever. ill my disk manager shows is my cpu harddrive and disk drives

  8. Tomhankschris
    November 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    help please?

    • Tina
      November 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm


      if you have not found a solution in the meantime, please do feel free to ask a new question. It will be featured on the MakeUseOf Answers front page and you will receive a response within hours.

    • Rowena Hyett
      February 21, 2012 at 1:56 am

       Tom are you still having problems?

  9. Tomhankschris
    November 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    mine shows up in device manager but not in disk manager whatsoever. ill my disk manager shows is my cpu harddrive and disk drives

  10. douglas
    May 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    hi Bruce i followed ur instructions and did see Disc 0 - Disc 2. then i went back to check My Computer to see whether i will see the shortcut icon in there but did not. what do i do next.

  11. Bruce Epper
    May 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I'm going to assume that this is a USB drive.  If the drive shows up under Device Manager, but does not show up under My Compuiter, right-click on My Computer and select Manage.  Click on Disk Management.  In the center column, bottom pane, you will see a list of all storage devices (labeled as Disk 0, Disk 1, etc).  Look for any disks that are listed as Offline (probably a Basic disk, but could be Dynamic).  If you find one, right-click on that disk's block and select Online.  Wait a few seconds for the drive to be brought online and check its availability under My Computer again.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Hello, have you tried connecting the drive to another computer?  If the drive does not work on a different computer your drive might be bad.  Have you checked under disk management if your external drive shows there?  Have you checked if the drive has a drive letter assigned to it?  Go into disk management and check if your drive shows there.  If it shows but it does not show a drive letter, make sure you give it one.  Have you tried connecting the drive to a usb port on the back of the case? Sometimes if you connect your drive to the front usb ports, it can give you trouble.  Have you checked under device manager to see if it shows there?  Check under device manager to see if it shows there.  Also make sure you check if there is problems with your usb ports on device manager.

    Sometimes you can try uninstalling the usb driver and once you restart the computer, the drivers will be reinstalled by the the operating system.  Try to do this and then connect your drive.  Also make sure that you check your cable.  Are you using the original cable that came with the drive?  If it is the original cable, maybe you have another cable handy, try it on and see if it works

    • douglas
      May 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      FIDELIS i have checked under Device Manager and i see it there. i see two Hard Discs the laptop hard drive and the external hard drive. STATUS reads Healthy and under the bottom column i see Disk 0, Disk 1, Disk 2 but the 1 & 2 reads 513MB Unallocated and 913.51GB Unallocated.what do i do next

      • FIDELIS
        May 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

        Hello, I am assuming that the Disk 2 is your external hard drive.  Whenever a drive shows space unallocated, it means that it is free space not being used anywhere or it is not formatted.  Usually a drive with complete unallocated space needs formatting or if it is formatted there is problems with the formatting being recognized. 

        Is this a new drive or a used one where you have different files saved?  If it is a new drive, I would say you can try and reformat it.  What kind of file system does it show for the drive?  if it is a file with information on it, you can use a linux cd like Knoppix to recover the information and then reformat the drive.  Maybe that, will fix your problem.  Have you checked the usb cables and power supply cables?  Make sure that they are connected  right.  Sometimes the usb and power supply cables appear to be connected right....but they are not.  I would also try playing with different cables.  Do you have a spare usb cable?

        Have you tried the hard drive tools provided by Seagate?  Here is the link:

        Try some of the different posibilities mentioned on the comments and if they do not work, come back and we'll try other options.

        This is another link with troubleshooting steps specifically for seagate:

    • Melissa
      April 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      You seem to be the man with the answers and I'm wondering if you can help me!!

      I had my external hard drive attached to my pc downloaded all music and photos.  I bought a mac and connected the external hard drive and started to download my music.  however when I went back to complete the job the mac nor the pc can see the external hard drive.

      Can you help?  I'm totally new to macs so am REALLY lost. 
      Thanks x

      • Oron
        April 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm

        It sounds to me like something happened to the filing system (the way the data is organised on the drive) while you were copying data onto it. The best way forward is to use file-recovery software. There are packages for the Mac, but more are available (and for free) for the PC, so I suggest you do this on a PC. One good free package is ADRC. Another is Pandora, and you can search on the net for others if necessary.

        At any rate, the important thing is *not to write anything* onto the drive until you have recovered your data (or given up...). Any write operation can erase critical information which will make it impossible to recover what is there. So, don't format, don't partition, and of course don't try to copy files onto the drive until this is sorted. Good luck!

      • FIDELIS
        April 26, 2012 at 12:52 am

        Hello, do you still have the original files in both PC and mac? If you do, I would try reformatting the drive. If you are planning to use it in both PC and mac, make sure to format it in fat32. If you do not have the original files anymore, the only thing I can think of, is to do as Oron suggested.

      • sunrise2009
        May 4, 2012 at 3:00 am

        Hello everybody!
        I have found a solution already. My problem is the same as yours, all I have to do is :
        Right click My Computer
        Click on manage
        Look at the left list, click on Device Management

        Go to your External hardrive section, right-click on it then do 2 steps:

        1/ Choose Mark partition as Active.

        2/ Change the drive name, this is the must thing we have to do, you follow the next instruction and your HDD shows up again.

        Good luck!

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