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Thinkpad with XP: external hard drive not showing in My Computer SOLVED!

T4x series specific matters only
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onespeedbiker
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Thinkpad with XP: external hard drive not showing in My Computer SOLVED!

#1 Post by onespeedbiker » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:59 pm

This is a problem that has plagued numerous users of XP Thinkpads. If you want to go straight to the fix, drop down to the second paragraph. After installing the OS (XP) in my T41 using the recovery discs, I found my laptop was not properly connecting to my external hard drive. First, I plugged in the external hard drive and the led would light up but it did not show up in My Computer (XP version of file explorer). I checked the disk manager and the USB hdd was not present. I checked the Device manager and saw the USB2 driver had a yellow question mark. I clicked to find the driver, which it did and loaded it. I re checked the disk manager and the USB hdd was now identified, but it had no letter designation. I assigned it a letter with no problem. I went back to My Computer and the drive was still not present. I went back to the device manger and saw the yellow question mark had returned. I then went to the driver section of this site, and downloaded the chip set driver, thinking it might be a newer version. After installing the new chipset driver, and reinstalling the USB2 driver in Device manager, I rebooted windows with the usb hdd still attached. I went to the device manager and saw no question mark and then went to the Disk Manager and saw the USB hdd was present, but again needed to be assigned a letter. I did so and checked My Computer, but the USB hdd was still not there. The new chipset driver seemed to have solved the device manager USB2 driver issue, but the drive was still not showing up in My Computer. Further, every time I unplugged and reinserted the USB hdd plug, the USB hdd needed to be assigned a letter again.

Now here is the real fix. With my USB hdd not showing up in My Computer, I went to the device manager and clicked show hidden devices, and sure enough an unknown device showed up with a yellow question mark. I clicked on find a driver, and Device manager found the driver for the "Generic drive" chip. Now, the USB hdd drive is immediately recognized and shows up in My Computer with a letter designation. If you have not experienced this issue, than it's no big deal, but if you have (or are) experiencing this issue, the prior fix was to reinstall XP. I actually did a fist pump and mouthed "YES" when I found this fix :)

w0qj
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Re: Thinkpad with XP: external hard drive not showing in My Computer SOLVED!

#2 Post by w0qj » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:18 pm

Wow, thank you for your sharing!

1. USB 2.0 connected external hard drive: presume you are sharing your experience with this one, that USB 2.0 connection works!

2. USB 3.0 connected external hard drive: presume that this would not work, as Win'XP does not support USB 3.0

3. USB-C (aka USB 3.1 Gen 1): presume that this would not work, as Win'XP does not support USB-C
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dr_st
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Re: Thinkpad with XP: external hard drive not showing in My Computer SOLVED!

#3 Post by dr_st » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:09 am

w0qj wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:18 pm
2. USB 3.0 connected external hard drive: presume that this would not work, as Win'XP does not support USB 3.0
XP supports USB 3.0 controllers just fine if there are drivers for them, and in any case any USB 3.0 peripheral is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
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MikalE
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Re: Thinkpad with XP: external hard drive not showing in My Computer SOLVED!

#4 Post by MikalE » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:58 am

I didn't have that trouble when I installed XP64 in a dual boot-dual drive configuration on my T520. It recognized the external USB Seagate drive straight away.
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onespeedbiker
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Re: Thinkpad with XP: external hard drive not showing in My Computer SOLVED!

#5 Post by onespeedbiker » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:31 am

It's not an issue everyone experiences; I have two other Thinkpads and it didn't occur with them, but when it does occur it is a PITA. I read one post were an IT guy had to reinstall the OS in 20 Thinkpads to solve this issue.

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