July 14, 2006
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday, folks! For this week's topic, we have a situation
concerning CNET member San's external hard drive that's not
being recognized by his computer. As with all hardware
problems, there are numerous possible causes that could
result in this issue, ranging from a physically bad
drive to a missing driver. So for starters, here's this week's
winning answer by Dana, but if that solution doesn't lead you to
any success, please check out the other possibilities in the
honorable mentions and other advice from our members. My
sneaking suspicion is that your unrecognized external hard drive
is similar to a topic that we covered a few weeks back when a
member's USB flash drive went MIA when plugged in--so here is
that newsletter edition to go on for more info. Anyway, I wish
you the best of luck San, and I have my fingers crossed that your
hard drive really isn't just toast. If any of you have
experienced a similar situation with your external hard drive
and solved the issue, please join us in this week's discussion
thread. Have a great weekend!
(Just a friendly reminder to new subscribers to this newsletter:
We have an archive of our past Community newsletters, which
cover many technical topics. So give it a try, because I see a
lot of questions that have previously been covered by our
Member Question of the Week
I have a Dell Dimension XPS running at 750MHz, with 512MB of
RAM and a 37GB SATA hard drive. I have Windows XP and use a
LaCie 80GB external hard drive for storage. I have antivirus
and antispyware apps and a firewall that I update regularly.
The computer became very sluggish, and I decided to reformat
the hard drive. I was advised to pull the USB 2.0 cable of the
external hard drive from the computer before reformatting,
which I did. After the reformatting process, the computer runs
fine. However, it does not recognize the LaCie external hard
drive, yet the button indicating power is on and lighted, and
I can feel the drive spinning. I tried the external hard
drive on different computers, and again it is not recognized.
My questions are:
1. What went so wrong?
2. Can this be
avoided in the future?
3. How can I retrieve the data on that
I hope somebody can help. Thank you.
Hi, San, I am not really sure where to start here because I am a
little confused about your setup here. It seems you made a great
choice to keep Windows and your data on separate drives. Your
primary hard drive is a really fast SATA Raptor drive, which is
great, but I would never use an external hard drive for general
everyday data storage. Many will probably disagree with what I
have to say, but external hard drives should really be used only
for temporary backup. I would never suggest using an external
hard drive as your only copy of your data or for regular
everyday use. There are several reasons for this:
1. External hard drives are generally slower than internal
2. Many of them come preformatted with Fat32, so you are limited
to files no larger then 4GB.
3. They are more likely to fail because they are normally
subjected to a greater likelihood of accidental bumping or
4. Many external drive enclosures are not properly cooled for
continuous usage and this leads to premature failure.
5. You often have no idea what brand of hard drive is actually
inside the enclosure.
Dana H. of Wayland, Massachusetts
efforts, we're sending him his choice of any
Help.com Learning CD.
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Advice for a buying a new PC
Best regards and enjoy!
CNET member luckylady_63 is looking to purchase a new computer.
Well, as she soon found out, it can be a task and a half to
comprehend, especially if you have no clue as to what to
get--from brands to hardware. In these discussions, people have
taken the first step to share their experiences in buying a
computer. So before you hit the stores, read on. If you have
some recommendations for our member, drop on in and share it with
More from Desktops forum
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Many of our forum users use imageshack.com (a free image hosting
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share with the rest of community. However, one CNET member,
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this company which may be spewing out Trojans when others click
a link to an image from them. If you use imageshack.com and have
directly experienced this, please inform us about it in this
discussion. It would great to find out if this is true or not.
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Making an old PC run faster
CNET member ADESTRO has an old workhorse computer, and he would
like to get some advice on how to speed it up without having to
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Check out next week's question:
Hi, I wonder if someone can suggest a solution. My computer (CUP
P4, 2.39GHz speed, OS Win XP Home + Service Pack 2, aystem RAM
1GB) makes a, relatively speaking, loud noise, which can only be
compared to the muffled noise one hears sitting in an
aeroplane getting ready to take off. It goes on for a good
15 minutes' duration though not at a consistent pitch. Then it
dies down and eventually becomes normal. I only noticed it
recently since I installed a home network with a router
connected to it by Ethernet connection. Although it will be a
rash judgment to consider it the proven reason for the trouble.
My network works great I have two computers connected to this
computer wirelessly (i.e., three computers on the network, only
this one hardwire connected). Any suggestions and help will be
Shafiq K. of the United Kingdom
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