Have you ever experienced that frustrating moment when you hook up an external hard drive to your computer and the machine simply doesn’t recognize it?  This is a frustration that I experienced recently when I decided to stop using my 2 TB Green Drive on my DVR and decided to use it as an automatic backup drive instead.  I plugged it in, hooked it up to my computer’s eSATA port, turned it on and… nothing.  So I turned it off, thinking that maybe my eSATA port was bad, hooked it up via USB, turned it on and… nothing.  So I decided to check my device manager, and there it was.  Ran some diagnostics on it, and all looked cool.  So I attempted to contact Fantom (who made the drive) and received no response.

blue external

So I decided to ask my old friend Google.  I’ve had this drive for several years, so all of the original packaging and everything is long gone.  But what I found on Google was the instruction manual.  Now, I’m a pretty tech-savvy guy… I mean, that’s what I do here, right?  Tech support questions.  So I didn’t think that the instruction manual would tell me anything that I didn’t already know.  I mean, in all of my years of working on computers, I’ve never encountered a plug and play drive that doesn’t… well… play when plugged.  But, I was wrong.  There actually was a section on getting your computer to recognize the drive.  It turns out that, even though Windows was recognizing it, and recognizing it as a drive, but it hadn’t assigned a drive letter.

I turned the drive off again, plugged it back into my eSATA port (much faster transfer than USB), clicked on my START button and entered DISC MANAGEMENT into the search box.  I found CREATE AND FORMAT HARD DRIVE PARTITIONS.

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That opened my disc management window.

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You’ll notice in this image that my Green Drive already has a drive letter assigned.  That’s because I’ve already done it.  When I first opened it, there was no drive letter assigned.  So I right-clicked on the Green Drive and clicked CHANGE DRIVE LETTER AND PATHS.

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This opened a dialog box that allowed me to assign a drive letter.

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I assigned the drive letter E, rebooted my computer for good measure, and hey presto my drive has worked like a charm ever since.

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer