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Old 11-12-2019, 04:27 AM
three_dogs three_dogs is offline
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Default External Hard drive and jump drives not being recognized



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Anyone ever experience and fixed a problem with an external hard drive not being recognized by a desk top computer?

First off don't tell me I need a new computer because I don't need a new computer.

The computer is an old Dell Optiplex 780 tower (yes, large case model) from probably around 12 or 13 years ago. It has Windows XP with service pack 3.
It has 4MB RAM and a 360GB hard drive if any of that is important. Nothing at all wrong with it.

It will still access the internet through Firefox with no issues.

The hard drive I use is a Western Digital Passport model with 5 TB of capacity. I am only planning to use the computer to run old movies from the external hard drive and old music files and some video editing software nothing else. I have tried to set up for this unit twice and failed. I tried to access the software off of the WD site and it would not load. I tried copying the software to a 8mb jump drive and down load it that way and that too failed because the computer did not recognize it either. Apparently it only wants to download it from the onboard CD player on the computer only problem is I no longer have the WD CD and no way to make a copy because my other computer doesn't have a CD Drive.

So my question is there just a settings issue preventing me from using the external hard drive or am I stuck? I really don't want to buy another desktop for this purpose nor do I want to upgrade the computer to w10.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:56 AM
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Not sure if this will help any, but I bought a used HP Elitebook for 100 bucks that was loaded with Windows 7 from Amazon. Dropped a new $20 Amazon battery in it and spent a few hours removing all the malware from it. Between its CD drive and newer operating system, that should give you lots of options moving forward.
The laptop has tons of features and capabilities even though it is pretty old. It will hook up to external hard drives just fine.

They also had them with Windows 10 loaded, but I wanted to stay with 7.

The only other thing I could suggest is searching online for updated drivers for the old machine.

I'm not a computer guy though, so maybe one of the wizards here will have better advice. .
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
Anyone ever experience and fixed a problem with an external hard drive not being recognized by a desk top computer?

First off don't tell me I need a new computer because I don't need a new computer.

The computer is an old Dell Optiplex 780 tower (yes, large case model) from probably around 12 or 13 years ago. It has Windows XP with service pack 3.
It has 4MB RAM and a 360GB hard drive if any of that is important. Nothing at all wrong with it.

It will still access the internet through Firefox with no issues.

The hard drive I use is a Western Digital Passport model with 5 TB of capacity. I am only planning to use the computer to run old movies from the external hard drive and old music files and some video editing software nothing else. I have tried to set up for this unit twice and failed. I tried to access the software off of the WD site and it would not load. I tried copying the software to a 8mb jump drive and down load it that way and that too failed because the computer did not recognize it either. Apparently it only wants to download it from the onboard CD player on the computer only problem is I no longer have the WD CD and no way to make a copy because my other computer doesn't have a CD Drive.

So my question is there just a settings issue preventing me from using the external hard drive or am I stuck? I really don't want to buy another desktop for this purpose nor do I want to upgrade the computer to w10.
Video below explains how to remedy...

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Old 11-12-2019, 06:36 AM
three_dogs three_dogs is offline
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Okay thanks for that. Sounds like I am going to lose all the data on the unit if I try to do what this guy says. I am not taking the risk, if it were a new one with nothing on it I would take the risk, I have stuff on here going back more than 10 years that Is not replaceable. I guess I am screwed, I guess I am going to have to try another computer and see if it works with it.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
Okay thanks for that. Sounds like I am going to lose all the data on the unit if I try to do what this guy says. I am not taking the risk, if it were a new one with nothing on it I would take the risk, I have stuff on here going back more than 10 years that Is not replaceable. I guess I am screwed, I guess I am going to have to try another computer and see if it works with it.
If you have a router and it has a powered USB port connect it to that instead of your PC, that is how I have all of my external drives connected. It will show up under network on your PC instead of a lettered drive.

...or it could be a faulty USB cable
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:17 AM
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I know you may not want to hear this but the problem could be the age of the Dell. Is Windows XP running on FAT32?? A limitation of FAT32 is a 4Gb file limitation. I know copying movies a long time ago for me was always a chore until Windows 7 & NTFS broke the 4Gb limitation. Your external HDD is possibly way too big for a FAT32 Windows XP system to see & comprehend.

You told me you had a different computer in PM. Can this other system see the external HDD??

Let me know what you find??

Mark
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Kalashnikov47 View Post
If you have a router and it has a powered USB port connect it to that instead of your PC, that is how I have all of my external drives connected. It will show up under network on your PC instead of a lettered drive.

...or it would be a faulty USB cable
I will give that a try. The TP Link AC 1200 router I have does have a USB port on it, not sure whether it is powered or not, I will have to look into that. I am certain it is not a faulty USB cable because the external hard drive works perfect on my Lenovo. I did try a couple of different USB ports on the Dell and they seem to work with a mouse and keyboard but when I tried my external nothing. I will give it a try and report back later. Thanks for your help and ideas.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:26 AM
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I know you may not want to hear this but the problem could be the age of the Dell. Is Windows XP running on FAT32?? A limitation of FAT32 is a 4Gb file limitation. I know copying movies a long time ago for me was always a chore until Windows 7 & NTFS broke the 4Gb limitation. Your external HDD is possibly way too big for a FAT32 Windows XP system to see & comprehend.

You told me you had a different computer in PM. Can this other system see the external HDD??

Let me know what you find??

Mark
I am not sure about FAT32 but your probably right. I did think this computer had 8mb of ram also but I only see 4mb on the system hardware, maybe one stick is loose or ? Where do i find the info on the FAT32? I forget. This computer were talking about has the 32bit version of windows also.

No doubt the age is the part of the problem,
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
Anyone ever experience and fixed a problem with an external hard drive not being recognized by a desk top computer?

First off don't tell me I need a new computer because I don't need a new computer.

The computer is an old Dell Optiplex 780 tower (yes, large case model) from probably around 12 or 13 years ago. It has Windows XP with service pack 3.
It has 4MB RAM and a 360GB hard drive if any of that is important. Nothing at all wrong with it.

...
Actually there is something wrong with it. It is outdated running a outdated OS. That it still works does not mean it meets the standards of today.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:35 AM
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Under the "Start" button go to "Computer" then right click on the "C" drive and chose properties. It will list the file system type. I would bet it is Fat32. It can be changed to NTFS but I'm pretty sure you will have to reload Windows.

Here is your other problem......32bit Windows has an additional limitation. It will only recognize up to 3Gb of Ram no matter how much you install. When you asked through a PM what the hardware would support, I never thought to ask you if the Operating System was 32bit or 64bit. Windows XP can be reloaded as 64bit but at this point you are looking at a bunch of time to reconfigure & reload everything. Sorry!

Mark
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:59 AM
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Under the "Start" button go to "Computer" then right click on the "C" drive and chose properties. It will list the file system type. I would bet it is Fat32. It can be changed to NTFS but I'm pretty sure you will have to reload Windows.

Here is your other problem......32bit Windows has an additional limitation. It will only recognize up to 3Gb of Ram no matter how much you install. When you asked through a PM what the hardware would support, I never thought to ask you if the Operating System was 32bit or 64bit. Windows XP can be reloaded as 64bit but at this point you are looking at a bunch of time to reconfigure & reload everything. Sorry!

Mark
Just looked, it is fat32, no worries, I will just get another desktop with W7 at 64 bits. For the difficulty of redoing this one to W7 at 64 bits probably not worth the effort. It works fine and does go online okay but if it doesn't recognize the external HD not going to be able to use it for what I had planned. But it was worth a try. Thanks everyone that replied.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:31 AM
Major Mjolnir Major Mjolnir is online now
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Originally Posted by three_dogs View Post
Just looked, it is fat32, no worries, I will just get another desktop with W7 at 64 bits. For the difficulty of redoing this one to W7 at 64 bits probably not worth the effort. It works fine and does go online okay but if it doesn't recognize the external HD not going to be able to use it for what I had planned. But it was worth a try. Thanks everyone that replied.
It's been a long time since I've done it, but doesn't "C:\> CONVERT C: /fs:ntfs" do the conversion from fat32 to ntfs for you?
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:51 AM
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It's been a long time since I've done it, but doesn't "C:\> CONVERT C: /fs:ntfs" do the conversion from fat32 to ntfs for you?
That is way above my paygrade (skill wise) but I am pretty certain HarleyRider 86 is right about not being able to use my external HD to its fullest even if I could get it to work due to only having the 32 bit version of XP. My external 5 TB HD is more than 3/4 full and I need to get a better machine, I did not want to spend the cash but looks like I am going to spend some whether I like to or not.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:57 AM
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Not sure if this will help any, but I bought a used HP Elitebook for 100 bucks that was loaded with Windows 7 from Amazon. Dropped a new $20 Amazon battery in it and spent a few hours removing all the malware from it. Between its CD drive and newer operating system, that should give you lots of options moving forward.
The laptop has tons of features and capabilities even though it is pretty old. It will hook up to external hard drives just fine.

They also had them with Windows 10 loaded, but I wanted to stay with 7.

The only other thing I could suggest is searching online for updated drivers for the old machine.

I'm not a computer guy though, so maybe one of the wizards here will have better advice. .
Thanks for your suggestions. I will stick to W7 next used computer I buy W10 sux due to its inability to turn off updates except for enterprise users. As of late those automatic updates can cause machines to be bricked and nothing you can do about it.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:59 AM
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HarleyRider86, would this old Dell with XP be a good candidate to install some version of Linux on ? Maybe upgrade the RAM also or should I just keep it as is for an emergency?
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:25 AM
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Sounds to me like it'd be a great PC for learning about Linux. Once you've found something to replace it, it'll be fine for installing different linux flavors to your hearts content. You'll learn all about ISO files and different install media such as USB and CD/DVD if you wind up with a burner on your newish PC.

It's a deep rabbit hole, but well worth the time.

In time, you may become a convert!

If all this doesn't turn you off to the Linux OS experience, you might even want to look into virtualization. That'll require some more modern hardware though so best to wait awhile to delve into that.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:25 AM
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It's also possible that your Dell Optiplex 780 may be 64 bit compatible: "Supported Operating Systems​
Your OptiPlex 780 supports these operating systems:
Change Product
BIOS
MS Windows Vista, 64-разрядная версия
Windows 7, 32-bit
Windows 7, 64-bit
Windows Vista, 32-bit
Windows XP"
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...s/optiplex-780
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:28 AM
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XP has a 2TB hard drive limit.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com...orum=itproxpsp

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/pre...removablemedia
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Mjolnir View Post
It's also possible that your Dell Optiplex 780 may be 64 bit compatible: "Supported Operating Systems​
Your OptiPlex 780 supports these operating systems:
Change Product
BIOS
MS Windows Vista, 64-разрядная версия
Windows 7, 32-bit
Windows 7, 64-bit
Windows Vista, 32-bit
Windows XP"
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...s/optiplex-780
I know these same units can and have been upgraded to W10 and with enough RAM seem to function just fine. I don't have the skills to do a major upgrade to another operating version of Windows or make major changes, I have added RAM to other computers in the past and replaced a failed power supply and that was fairly easy but getting in and installing an operating system and drivers I have never done. I always paid a tech to do that.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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I just did a quick glance at the other posts but I don’t think that anyone suggested that the external hard drive may be the problem. I’ve had a Western Digital hard drive go bad. I tried it on 3 different computers and it was not recognized by two of them. The third said that the drive could not be read. According to the WD site they do fail. Luckily I (being pretty anal about backups) back up my back up so I had a second drive with the same photos, music and info so I didn’t lose it all.
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