Obinna is writing us from Nigeria about an issue with her external drive. “I have a 500GB external hard drive, when I plug it in my computer it does not show on the computer but it do show on the devices and printer. What do I do to make the external drive show on my computer?

Good question, Obinna and thanks for sending it in! If you recently bought a hard drive or flash drive and plugged it into your computer and found that it doesn’t appear, don’t worry: this is a common problem. It can be frustrating, but there might be a simple fix.

You might notice that when you’re in Windows Explorer and want to save something to your flash drive, there is a little letter and a colon right beside it. This is basically the computer naming it so it can recognize it later.

However, if you plug in an external hard drive and you don’t see it, this can be because the card reader has given it the same letter or name as your internal one. The computer only displays the internal one because to the computer the external and internal are the same thing hence the same letter and colon.

So, to fix the issue, all you have to do is change the name of your new hard drive and you’re ready to go.

Note: Before you begin, make sure that your hard drive is securely plugged in properly and you have tried plugging it into all of your USB ports. Your card reader might not be the problem. It’s possible the drive wasn’t plugged in securly in the first place.

1. Once you have ensured your hard drive is securely plugged in and still isn’t showing up, keep reading on. Click the Start menu and right-click on Computer. Now click Manage.

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2. Once you have successfully opened up the Computer Management Window, click on Disk Management and then on the storage device that you’re having problems with.

If you are having some trouble finding your device, just scroll the bar beneath the list to the right or go full screen and you will see the column capacity and free space. Capacity will be however many gigabytes your storage device has and Capacity will be 0 as long as you haven’t saved anything on it anywhere else.

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3. Once you have your device file highlighted, right click it and click Change Drive Letter and Paths.

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4. A small menu will appear, all you have to do here is click the Change button.

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5. Another small window will appear. Just click on the letter button, to open a drop-down menu of the available letters to change your device to. You can really pick any one of them. Make sure it’s a little further down to prevent this problem happening again later on. Click OK and you are done. Close the windows and your hard drive should be working as normal.

 

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Hopefully, this will solve the issue.

~ Silvia