I upgraded my laptop to Windows 8.1 a few weeks ago. Since doing so, the usb3 external hard drive I use between my desktop and laptop stopped being recognised by the laptop. Definitely not a fault with the drive: still recognised by the desktop which is running Windows 7. I googled various help sites, read lots of Microsoft stuff about usb power states and outdated drive firmware etc. I assumed it was a problem caused by buying a cheap HDD drive box from Maplins that needed a firmware update.
I also spent hours and hours trawling the Samsung website for any updated BIOS or usb3 drivers for my laptop - it’s now coming up three years old and was originally a Windows 7 machine, so I was worried there may be a software/firmware laptop problem.
So: I go out this weekend and buy a little 2.5" usb3 external drive by Seagate. Connect it up - same problem. Not recognised by my laptop, but recognised by my Windows 7 desktop. I’m completely baffled and completely fed up. I’m contemplating reinstalling Windows 7 on the laptop.
But then, out of the blue - solved! After several fruitless and depressing hours, from sadness to joy in an instant.
The solution: I HAD TO MANUALLY ASCRIBE A DRIVE LETTER TO THE EXTERNAL DRIVES!
I have no idea if this is a common feature of upgrading from Win8 to 8.1, or if it is a quirk of my particular laptop, but my laptop will no longer recognise hard drives until I go into Disk Management and ascribe the drive a drive letter. Once this is done, it’s fine. This worked with my old Maplins drive case as well, so I’m a happy camper again, albeit with an extra 2.5" external drive that I could have done without.
Have I missed something obvious? I’ve seen absolutely nothing about this on the web. Just thought I’d post it here in case somebody else is going slowly mad with invisible drives.