Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unable to detect external usb hard drive on Windows Server 2003

I have been facing this issue with my external hard disk for quite some time.
Even though I manage to fix it in one way or the other every time, I just wanted to write it down this time so that it will be useful for some one else with the same problem (or may be me the next time).

I have a Maxtor Basics Portable USB External Drive (320 GB).
By default, no external drives are supported (nor very compatible in practice) in server operating systems such as Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003 Server, or Windows 2008 Server.

So when a new USB Hard drive is connected, even though the hardware is recognized, I am not able to see the drive in the list of drives My Computer.

Open up "Computer Management" screen in Windows 2003 and go to "Disk Management" found under "Storage".

So its evident that the hard disk is recognized but Windows 2003 has not given it a drive letter. In order to get one, right click on the disk, click on "Change drive letters and paths". In the next screen, click on "Add" and give a drive letter as desired.

I am now able to see the new drive :)


  1. Thanks for sharing your solution with your readers. Lots of people work out solutions for this problem but they don't feel confident enough or have some other reason why they don't share. Anyway, you did and made it fairly easy to follow what you did. These issues can be frustrating so it helps when someone else gives a hand.

  2. thanks a lot this solved my problem