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I have a brand new Dell with Windows 7. I have four external hard drives. Windows 7 recognized one of them but will not let me initialize the others.

One of them is a brand new Western Digital which I used for a few hours on my XP. The device manager recognizes the disc and says it is working properly, but when I go to disc management and try to initialize it, the message "device not working" comes up. I do not believe it is a problem with the discs because they were all working fine with my old computer, but now I am getting the same problem with all of them.

I have seen similar problems addressed here and elsewhere, but never in regard to Windows 7. I have seen this problem with Windows 7 mentioned before with no solution.

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I've had the same problem. Had to use an XP machine to format a USB hard drive for use on Win7. – kmarsh Nov 19 '09 at 17:00

I read that this is a Driver issue. Go to Dell Support and download all of the necessary drivers specific to your hardware

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This can be caused by the disk not being correctly attached to the caddy.

The caddy still has a fake disk that shows up fine as a USB device and in device manager, but it refuses to initialise with an error along the lines of "device not ready".

Try reconnecting the drive in the caddy.

  • Loose connection?
  • If IDE, jumpers set correctly?
  • Enough power to the drive? If it's a caddy that comes with multiple USB connections for power, make sure they are all inserted. If they are, perhaps try connecting them to different USB controllers, or different USB block.
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Have you tried plugging the external drives in internally? (a.k.a removing them from the enclosure and connecting them as you would a normal drive.

I had the same problem with Windows 7 and the the only way I could get one of my drives to detect was to plug it in internally. Its not a permanent fix but it may help you get some critical files on your Windows 7 installation from that particular drive.

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