I recently bought a Western Digital 1 TB Black hard disk drive (HDD). Upon realizing that I didn't have that extra SATA cable lying around, I put it in my external USB case until I could buy a SATA cable.

The problem is that Windows XP does not always recognize the HDD. Sometimes it connects perfectly fine, sometimes it will only be recognized as a USB device which can't be used, and other times, it is recognized, but the read/write light on the case is constantly on, and it doesn't mount properly.

I haven't been able to notice any kind of pattern either, and have also tried multiple USB ports.

What could be going on here? What should I check?

1 Answer 1


Here is a comprehensive list of things you could try:

Troubleshoot: Windows Won't Recognize USB Hard Drive / Fix Unassigned Drive Letter

I personally had problems with some USB controllers on certain machines which didn't provide enough juice to power the disk. There a special cables with two USB connectors which work on such machines.

  • Its a 3.5" HD so it has its own power supply. Would the controllers not supplying enough power still affect this?
    – DeadHead
    Jul 19, 2009 at 18:08
  • Okay, if it has its own power supply then forget the paragraph.
    – splattne
    Jul 19, 2009 at 18:22
  • K, after reading that thread, it seems to be a hardware issue, which is what I suspected... I took my drive out of the case, and it was running really hot, so hopefully, it is just a heating problem, which will be fixed as soon as it is put into my computer. Thanks for the link.
    – DeadHead
    Jul 19, 2009 at 18:44

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