Why does my computer not recognize this hard drive, when it is connected externally through USB?

alok May 7, 2010
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I have a Compaq laptop n1020v. Recently, I have procured a ATA hard disk of 40 GB, which is recognized when inserted in the internal hard disk slot.

However, when the same disk is connected through USB cable, the disk is not recognized by the system and no message or otherwise is generated by the system. The disk is connected via USB cable through conversion from ATA to USB.

Moreover, the disk is recognized by other systems, be a PC or a laptop, maybe because they are of current version with latest software for external hardware.

Now my question is, how do I get the external HD recognized by the system through USB connected via ATA Adapter?

  1. vinesh
    May 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Thank u Jessica Cam .W for helping me by such a great information

  2. Outlawlorenzo
    December 8, 2010 at 3:29 am

    I have an ATA bright usb connect to my computer with 120gb hd and it shows in device manager usb device and i put in 220 volts and it was suppose to be in 110 volts but i working it in 110 volts and it shows usb device and it is spin and everything.How do i get to work please?

  3. Isaac Girard
    September 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Is the ATA to USB adapter powered by an external source? If not, it's possible that the drive isn't getting enough power over USB.

  4. Mick Idgaf
    July 3, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for this info, you never stop learning new things in Windows


  5. Jessica Cam W.
    July 2, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Have you tried going to the Start Menu, right-clicking on My Computer > Manage, then in the window that appears, heading to the Disk Management part under the Storage section to see if your USB drive shows up?

    One of my external hard drives that I connected via USB wouldn't show up in My Computer, but it did show up in the Disk Management section because the drive was extracted from computer with a Linux system so it was formatted in a way that Windows couldn't recognize it, but when inserted in the hard disk slot, the make and model would be recognized.

    Have you figured it out yet?

  6. Aibek
    May 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Alok,

    Did you try reinstalling USB drivers?


  7. Steve Campbell
    May 8, 2010 at 7:08 am

    To me it sounds like your method of connecting the hard drive via usb is not sound. If the hard drive works correctly in the computer and not externally there must either be a problem with the setup or your usb connections in the computer. Try connecting the hard drive via usb to a different computer and see if you have the same problems.

    • Anonymous
      May 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

      Hi Steve

      The said usb is recognized by other PC's and laptop's by the method I am trying on my laptop.

      The disk is very much recognized and work well with other PC and Laptop. In my unit I have tried UBS flash drive upto 16 GB and they are working well. but this ATA Hard Drive Connected through USB Via ATA to USB Converter, is not working on my Laptop

      • Steve Campbell
        May 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm

        USB devices can be tricky sometimes. I have an older external drive that connects to my laptop fine but I have problems getting my desktop to recognize it. I don't know if it's just old hardware or improper drivers or what, but for some reason the system doesn't want to recognize it, which is what I think is happening here.

        There's not really much you can do aside from trying to connect it a different way or going into your device manager and trying to update drivers on your laptop. I'm not sure it would really be worth it.

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