Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Occasionally attaching a drive to a computer will appear to work, except the drive's nowhere to be found. I'll walk through one common solution.
Is there a LIMIT to the # of hardware units I can attach to my PC? Windows XP seems not to recognize ALL the "drives". How can I troubleshoot this problem? XP software tells me that the drive I want to attach using "Add Hardware" is "functioning properly" but when I "explore", the hardware is not listed as attached and therefore is not accessible. What gives?
There's probably a limit, but a) I have no idea what it is, and b) I'm fairly certain that that's not the problem here.
It's frustrating to have a "functioning properly" drive not be accessible - I mean what's the point of "functioning properly" if you can't use it?
I'm also not sure exactly why this happens, but it does and I'm sure there are several possible explanations.
I'll show you the first place I look.
Right click on "Computer" or "My Computer" on your desktop or in the start menu, and click on Manage. In the resulting Computer Management window, click on Disk Management:
This shows you all the connected disk drives, and as in my case, the connected memory card reader slots, some of which may or may not be occupied.
Let's look at the list of drives at the top more closely:
This is a list of the drives connected on my system. You'll see my primary drive C:, a drive D:, the drive to which I backup nightly, B:, and ...
That one drive - "SD1024-1" doesn't have a letter assigned. In fact, I can't see it in Windows Explorer at all.
That is what I believe may be happening in a large number of these "functioning properly" but still inaccessible drive situations: the drive has been successfully attached to the system, but for one reason or another a drive letter hasn't been assigned. If you find your attached drive there in this condition, then that's probably what's happened to you.
So we'll assign a letter.
Right click on the drive in question:
Click on Change Drive Letter and Paths...:
As you can see the drive can't be accessed because the list of the ways to access it is empty.
Click on Add...:
Ignore the "Mount" option, we're just going to assign a drive letter. As you can see Windows has defaulted to the first available drive letter, which on my system is "G:". That's a dropdown list, though, and if you'd like the drive letter to be something else you can select it here.
Lo and behold, the drive letter's been assigned to the drive.
And sure enough, we can now see the drive in Windows Explorer:
Naturally, this doesn't cover every case of a connected drive not appearing, but in my experience this is a common enough occurrence - particularly with the "functioning properly" notification - that it may well cover your situation.
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