USB External Hard Drive Problem (XP)

  • cyborggold1
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have an external HDD connected via USB to a new computer running XP SP3. The drive shows up in device manager and disk management, but not in windows explorer. Inside the disk manager the drive reports no letter assignment and shows up as an unallocated partition. Upon right clicking the drive the context menu is completely 'greyed out' and I can not assign a drive letter to it. Now the really interesting part. When I boot up into XBMC (linux) I can see the drive, and access the files inside it. I can also see and use the drive using my Vista PC.

Why can I not access the drive through XP SP3?
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is the drive formatted as NTFS? If it is formatted using a different file system Windows will not be able to use it.
  • cyborggold1
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
Is the drive formatted as NTFS? If it is formatted using a different file system Windows will not be able to use it.



Yes, it is NTFS. I am currently using it with my Vista notebook without any issues, only the XP system is failing to access it properly.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very odd then, I'll do some research and get back to you.
  • cyborggold1
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
Very odd then, I'll do some research and get back to you.



*Update*

I used the registry trick deleting the 'UpperLimit' entry and I can now see the drive in Windows Explorer... however... I can not see any of the data on the drive. I can still fully access the drive via my Vista Notebook. When I try to open the drive XP tells me I need to format the disk. I am incredibly confused now... before I just thought it was an issue of not seeing the drive... but now that it can see it but shows it as empty and unformatted, though it is formatted as NTFS... I am at a total loss.

At least I am narrowing down the issue. (BTW, I would just format the drive... but I dont have a backup drive with the data on it, can't afford a second 500GB drive right now to do the backup on it.) The drive contains my movie backups I ripped off of all of my DVD's... a rather lengthy process. The XP box is an Acer Revo 1600 I am using as a media center. I can transfer what will fit onto the Revo's HDD via network off my laptop... and just re-rip what won't fit, but I would really rather save myself those hours of ripping/converting if at all possible.

Thanks for all the help!
  • blogfreak02
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Windows SP3 often produces some bugs that were not seen with SP2 and if you are having formatted your USB external drive to NTFS format then it is supposed to work.

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