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Hard drive won't mount? Answered

So, I've had a toshiba 2.5" SATA 250 GB internal HD for a while now. I got it from an old toshiba laptop. I finally got an enclosure for it, and I plugged it in. windows made the sound it makes when you plug something in, and in device manager the usb port said a usb mass storage device was plugged in, but it didn't show up in my computer, nor did it show up in disk management. I searched the net for hours trying to find the problem, reading about how you might need to assign it a letter in disk management, and other more "grim" outlooks on how it might be dead. I listened to it closely, and heard it making very VERY soft ticking noises at a regular rate. I immediately thought the worst, and came to the conclusion that it was dead.
The next day, I decided to take it into school with me, as my teacher was pretty smart when it came to computers, and maybe she could provide the tiniest shred of hope. She asked me to plug it into one of the school's desktops. I plugged it in and...it began running like normal. It showed up  on my computer, and showed the correct disk size, as well as a document I'd put on there long ago. I couldn't believe it! 
When I got home, I plugged it into my computer, but surprisingly encountered the same problem. I decided to do a bit of experimenting, and I started plugging it into various computers we had around the house, and lined up all the facts I had:

It didn't work on my laptop. (runs windows 7 home premium)
It DID work on my mom's laptop. (also runs windows 7 home premium)
It didn't work on my old desktop. (runs windows xp home edition, but I don't trust it. It's been acting very weird lately)
It DID work on my school's desktop. (runs windows 7 enterprise)
It DID work on my sister's laptop. (runs windows 7 home premium)

I was stumped, to say the least.
Can any of you tell me WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?!?!?!
The strongest lead I have is that it might not be working correctly on my computer because the usb ports can't provide enough power to mount it. But if my laptop can't mount it, why should my mom's or my sisters be able to?
Please provide any other theories you may think are plausible too! 



7 years ago

Sounds like a power issue to me. It depends on the computer how 'sturdy' this output is, that might explain the difference on multiple machines.
Like people before me said "use a seperate adapter cable (of your disk has an input) or the double usb cable if that's an option". Like bwrussel said checking BIOS settings for your motherboard might also help, the power to your usb might be turned off.


7 years ago

A power issue. Is the enclosure you have powered through USB? If that's the case then it's possible that the laptop ports aren't providing enough current to run the drive. I know that the front ports on my desktop won't run a USB powered HDD. Try checking all the ports on the laptop and then seeing if there is a setting that allows you to change the current provided to USB. (Things like having the laptop plugged in and checking the power management settings are a good place to start).


Answer 7 years ago

+1 It is a power problem. The USB you are plugging it into doesn't have enough power to run it. Often these older drives need more power and the enclosures for them used to come with cables that had 2 USB plugs. So you plug it into 2 USB ports and it draws power from both of them. Get a cable like that for it or get a powered USB external port.


7 years ago

If your machine isn't assigning a drive letter, then open command prompt and type in the following:

diskpart (click Enter)
automount enable (click Enter)
exit (click Enter to quit diskpart)
exit (click Enter to quit command prompt)

Then plug in your USB HDD and it should (hopefully) start working.

Let me know if that helps.


7 years ago

Reinstall the main board drivers for your laptop and see if that helps.