Internal Drive in External Enclosure not recognized as USB device, OK via Firewire, but RRS feed

  • Question

  • I had a motherboard go bad in a desktop (actually two of the same kind) and extracted the WD hard drive for use in an Ultra enclosure which supports both USB and Firewire. Although I was able to get it working as an external (not main or "boot from") drive when I connected to my working laptop via Firewire, I was unable to get the laptop to connect via USB. The desktop ran under XP, and the laptop ran under XP before half its memory died. When I replaced the bad module, for an assortment of reasons I had to install Vista. Again, the hard drive in the Ultra enclosure was accessible via Firewire, but not through USB.

    I have upgraded my computing environment with a new desktop running Windows 7. Because my new system does not have a Firewire port and even Windows 7 does not recognize a USB connection from my Ultra box (Unknown device, code 43), I cannot move data between the WD hard drive and my new system without going through the laptop.

    Here's the question: Why would XP and Vista recognize my WD "now-external" hard drive as a simple storage device or even as a hard drive when connected through Firewire, while it is treated as an unknown device and ignored when connected via USB? As a related question, why would Windows 7 also fail to recognize the device through USB?


    In the interest of full disclosure, my two fried desktops and my laptop are Gateway models, while my new system is an HP desktop. Any and all suggestions gratefully appreciated.

    Friday, May 21, 2010 9:35 PM