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Old 01-24-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,331,217 times
Reputation: 1945

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My Western Digital 3 TB My Book Essential used to auto recognize to drive P:. Then it stopped auto recognizing and I had to use Drive Management to assign it to a B: drive letter. Within two weeks it failed, and I lost data.

Now I just bought a Western Digital 2TB My Passport and it’s brand new from Newegg. I paid a premium price of $200 total with a 3year Drive Savers Data Recovery Plan. But plugging in this new drive, it didn’t auto recognize to a drive letter D to Z. I had to use Drive Management to assign it a drive letter B:, - I wonder if this is a sign that its already going bad? Should I exchange it?

What happened to you when your external drives wouldn’t auto recognize to a drive letter D to Z? Did your drive go bad?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,255 posts, read 3,030,837 times
Reputation: 1085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
My Western Digital 3 TB My Book Essential used to auto recognize to drive P:. Then it stopped auto recognizing and I had to use Drive Management to assign it to a B: drive letter. Within two weeks it failed, and I lost data.

Now I just bought a Western Digital 2TB My Passport and it’s brand new from Newegg. I paid a premium price of $200 total with a 3year Drive Savers Data Recovery Plan. But plugging in this new drive, it didn’t auto recognize to a drive letter D to Z. I had to use Drive Management to assign it a drive letter B:, - I wonder if this is a sign that its already going bad? Should I exchange it?

What happened to you when your external drives wouldn’t auto recognize to a drive letter D to Z? Did your drive go bad?
Hard to say, though it seems to be a problem with the operating system, as opposed to the drives. What happens when you plug the drive into the computer? Does it mount in the "My Computer" window? Do you get an error message?

In my experience, it is not at all uncommon for Windows to "re-assign" a drive letter when a external drive is disconnected (or powered down,) then re-connected. Using Drive Manager does not seem to be a permanent fix. The only way I know of to permanently assign a drive letter is to Map the drive letter to a shared network drive or a shared network folder. I don't know of any way to do this with a drive that is connected directly to your computer, though.

Back in ancient times, drive letters "A" and "B" were intended for floppy disk drives. This is why the primary hard drive is always "C" and all other drives are "D" to "Z." Most floppy drives are living in a retirement home, along with the parallel, SCSI, IDE, and serial devices. However, I think Windows still "reserves" A and B for floppy drives (for nostalgic purposes, perhaps?) I am guessing that the problem was caused because you assigned "B" to a device that was not a floppy drive. I have no idea how you might go about fixing the error, though (short of completely re-installing your OS.)

If you have not already done so, I would try your new and old external drives on a separate computer, or perhaps a different USB port on your current computer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:22 AM
 
3,451 posts, read 3,724,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
My Western Digital 3 TB My Book Essential used to auto recognize to drive P:. Then it stopped auto recognizing and I had to use Drive Management to assign it to a B: drive letter. Within two weeks it failed, and I lost data.

Now I just bought a Western Digital 2TB My Passport and it’s brand new from Newegg. I paid a premium price of $200 total with a 3year Drive Savers Data Recovery Plan. But plugging in this new drive, it didn’t auto recognize to a drive letter D to Z. I had to use Drive Management to assign it a drive letter B:, - I wonder if this is a sign that its already going bad? Should I exchange it?

What happened to you when your external drives wouldn’t auto recognize to a drive letter D to Z? Did your drive go bad?
What version of Windows are you using?
What happens if you leave the drive plugged in and reboot? Does it assign it a letter or is it still not recognized?
Does the drive have it's own power supply or is it powered via the USB cord?
Have you tried a smaller USB drive, say a 4GB?
Have you plugged your drive into another computer?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:02 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,847,586 times
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This might be an indication of issues with the drive but normally, when I set the drive letter of a USB Flash drive/external drive via Disk Management console (START > RUN > diskmgmt.msc > OK), it stays that way. So, let's say I manually assigned the drive letter X to my external USB3 drive using Disk Management console then disconnect the drive and later on connect it again, it will show up as X drive just as long as the drive letter was not in use already by another drive (physical or network).

For auto detection, make sure the following Windows services are running and not disabled:
- Shell Hardware Detection
- Plug and Play

Here is a pretty nifty tool to enable/disable "autorun" functionality of drives in Windows: http://www.askvg.com/autorun-manager...ty-in-windows/

Last edited by TurcoLoco; 01-25-2013 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,331,217 times
Reputation: 1945
On my main desktop [Win 7 Pro] when I remount it it installs as a B: drive, even on bootup. On my laptop [Win XP] it booted up plugged and recognized as an F: drive. But one laptop hd had to have it assigned B: drive too.

The My Passport is powered only by USB cable.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,847,586 times
Reputation: 5589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
On my main desktop [Win 7 Pro] when I remount it it installs as a B: drive, even on bootup. On my laptop [Win XP] it booted up plugged and recognized as an F: drive. But one laptop hd had to have it assigned B: drive too.

The My Passport is powered only by USB cable.
Have you tried/checked any of the things I mentioned?

PS. I normally do not plug any USB external drives or docking units until after Windows fully loaded.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,331,217 times
Reputation: 1945
I think I tried your stuff. Disk Management only assigns the My Passport an A: or B: drive which I don't like.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:16 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,749 posts, read 11,315,152 times
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Why are you using Disk Management? Doesn't it get a drive letter? Has anything else been plugged in that forced a particular drive letter? Why would you assign it a drive letter B?

The history of things previously used on the computer is stored in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CoontrolSet001\Enum\USBS TOR

When I hit a similar snag once, and Asheville Native helped me find it. I deleted all the registry keys below that USBSTOR heading, rebooted and let the drive find a new drive letter.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,331,217 times
Reputation: 1945
At first plugin the My Passport wouldn't recognize and I had to use Disk Management to assign it a Drive Letter B: It won't recognize as drives D: to Z: which would be better.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:29 PM
 
3,451 posts, read 3,724,572 times
Reputation: 4365
I've been digging through forum posts regarding this problem. Many people have said SP1 fixed this. The posts were dated from when Win7 first came out and nothing from the last year or so, I'm assuming it did (yeah, yeah, I know about assuming anything, lol.)

Do you have Service Pack 1 installed?
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