Windows 7 will not assign a drive letter to my external Hitachi hard drive.

I have a Dell Studio 1535 laptop computer, which originally had Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium installed on it.  I purchased a Hitachi external hard drive, 1TB, which worked great with the computer.  Then, my hard drive physically failed (due to age), so I purchased a new hard drive, installed a new legitimate copy of Windows 7 Home Premium on it, and plugged my Hitachi external hard drive into the USB port, and for some reason now my laptop will not assign a drive letter to the external drive so that I can access it.  How do I fix this problem?!?! I REALLY need to access my files and information on this external drive.  I have read forum after forum about making sure the external hard drive is not malfunctioning (works fine on other computers that have Windows XP or Vista on them), and my laptop is CLEAN as a whistle, fresh install of a new Windows version.  PLEASE HELP!!  When I look in "devices and printers", I can see my "Touro Desk Pro" hard drive listed there, but there's no way to access it.  Right clicking it only allows me to see that it's a Hitachi external drive, but there's no option to assign a drive letter to it, or etc.  PLEASE HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Thank you!
 

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Last updated October 26, 2019 Views 4,072 Applies to:

Having installed Win7 on your Dell, did you then visit Dell to update/install the drivers for your model?

And what is shown in Disk Management for this device when its connected?

Can you assign a drive letter there?

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here is the link to assign a  drive  letter manually

http://www.hgst.com/support/external-drives-faq/my-external-hard-drive-is-not-recognized-by-my-computer

 

and  below is the  troubleshooting link for  youe  model hard drive

http://www.hgst.com/support/external-drives-faq/my-external-hard-drive-is-not-recognized-by-my-computer

 

 try above links

good link

 

 

I am a regular CONTRIBUTOR on official website docs.micrsosoft.com

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Click Start->type"Computer MAnagement"->Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter

Computer Management window opens. Expand storage, present on the left pane. Click "Disk Management". Herr, on the right side bottom you can find the list of physical drives connected to your PC. If your hard drive is connected, it'll be displayed here, but without any drive letters. Select the hard drive and then partition, right click for pop-up menu, click "Change Drive letters and Paths". You will be seeing a dialog with
"Add" and "Cancel" buttons. Click "Add". The drive letters that are in use will not be displayed here, so you can select any letter you want. Click Ok. Now your hard drive partition will be assigned a drive letter and you can access files in it.

 

If you cannot see your hard drive listed here, verify that the hard drive is working properly.

Balaji Kundalam

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Thank you for your reply.  Yes, I immediately went to Dell's website and updated all the drivers for my model laptop.  In Disk Management, it shows my physical hard drive (C:\), and below it, it shows my "mass storage device", but when you right click it, the only options are to "initialize drive, properties, or help".  Unfortunately it won't allow me to assign a drive letter there.  And the problem is that this external drive has over 100 gig of information on it from my previous hard drive setup (when it had Windows Vista Home Premium installed).

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Thank you for your reply! I will try the link for the troubleshooting of my model hard drive. Thank you :)

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Thank you for your reply - first, I verified that indeed my external hard drive is functioning properly, as I have it hooked up right this minute as I type to another computer that has Windows XP installed on it, and I'm currently downloading all 120 gb of information from it, so I don't lose it.  So I know the drive works ok.  Once the info is downloaded, I will have to take the steps you mentioned to apparently repartition the drive and erase all the info on there.  I was hoping to find a solution that would allow me to keep all that info on that drive, cause that's a lot of info to have to copy to another computer, then copy back again, etc. Thank you for your reply :)

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Ok, wanted to update anybody who reads these posts - I brought my external hard drive home from work where I tested it on the computer at work, which has a Windows XP operating system on it to make sure that there was nothing wrong with my Hitachi external drive, which worked like a charm.  So when I got home, I plugged it back in to my Dell Studio 1535 laptop, plugged it into the wall outlet, started up my laptop, and.... bammo! Somehow amazingly it found it without any issues and is now working great!  So, I don't know why my laptop wouldn't install the drive to begin with! (Yes, I tried shutting down my laptop before, restarting it up and reinstalling the drive, etc. etc., but it didn't work before).   SO, I really don't know what to tell everybody else that's having the same problems, and I know there's a LOT of people that are.  I didn't do any assigning of a drive letter to the external drive, re-partitioning it, or anything.  It just magically started working. :)  So, good luck to all of you who are still fighting this issue.  If I come across a better answer, I will certainly post it here for yous. :)

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