Why do my external USB hard drives show up as internal drives?

David P August 13, 2013
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I am having an issue with my USB External Hard Drives being recognized by Windows 7 64 bit as internal drives. Does anyone know how I can make the External Hard Drives show up as removable storage?

My machine is a XPS 430.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Christopher H
    August 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    My computers have always shown external hard drives as hard drives. The main reason being, they are in all sense, a hard drive. They may not be in your computer, but they sure are a HDD or SSD.

  2. FIDELIS
    August 14, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Hello, you have been given good answers already. First thing would be to unplug your external drives, then uninstall the usb drivers and restart your computer. Once computer restarts, it should reinstall drivers for USB. Once that is finished, plug your external drives and see it they are recognized as external.

  3. Hovsep A
    August 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    1) open command prompt with administrative rights
    2) suppose t your external drive is E:
    3) Type E: at the prompt and hit enter
    4) type: chkdsk E: /r/x hit enter

    How to Run Chkdsk on an External Hard Drive
    http://www.ehow.com/how_6795432_run-chkdsk-external-hard-drive.html

    Tips for solving problems with USB devices
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Tips-for-solving-problems-with-USB-devices

  4. Jan F
    August 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    What make and model are the drives?

    Basically the information of the drive being a removable media can either be hardware locked or changeable under certain circumstances e.g. repartitioning.

    The first step would be to unplug the device then head into the Device Manager (Control Panel > System and Security). In Device Manager click view > Show hidden devices.

    look into the "Disk drives" tree, right-click the name of your external drive and select uninstall
    look into the "Universal Serial Bus controllers" tree, look for a greyed/ghosting "USB Mass Storage device" and again, right-click uninstall it

    Then try reconnecting the USB drive, Windows should start installing the drivers and now hopefully detect it as a removable media.

  5. Ranjeet
    August 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Hello Dear,

    Please follow these Steps: -

    1
    Insert your pen-drive. Let your PC read it.(Minimum 2 GB)

    2
    Right click on My Computer.

    Click on Properties from context menu.

    3
    Click on Advanced tab.

    4
    Click on Settings under Performance.

    5
    Click on Advanced tab.

    6
    Click on Change button under Virtual memory.

    7
    Select your USB drive.

    8
    Click on custom size radio button and give the values as follows;

    Initial Size:1020
    Maximum size:1020
    The size depends upon your free memory capacity of your pen drive. So you can change this limit according to your pen drive size.

    9
    Click on Set button, then click on OK.

    10
    Now you have to restart the computer with pen-drive inserted. The speed of your computer will be increased.