Unable to See External Hard Drive


  • I'm using the WD My Book World Edition II (ethernet) for all the Windows 7 backups without any problem.

    When I click Network, it is recognized under "storage" but not "computer" (actually, none of the computers on the network is seen...). Mapping the network drive also fails to the point it locks up everything and not even a CTRL+ALT+DEL will help.

    How can I make server backups using the existing external hard drive?

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:54 PM

All replies

  • When you enable external HDs for backups on SBS2008 and SBS2011, they disappear from normal view in Explorer. You don't say which version of SBS you are using, although you do reference Windows 7?
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:04 PM
  • I'm using SBS 2011.

    When I try to configure the backups on SBS 2011, it tells me that there are no external drives available. I thought I could try to work around this by mapping a directory from the external network drive but it does not allow me to. Right now there is no way to back up the server with the external network drive.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5:48 PM
  • Jim is right about the drives disappearing from the normal view in Explorer.  The server takes the drive over for backups. 

    You can back up your server to an external share.  You can use Windows Server Backup to do a one-time backup to a network share or you can use wbadmin.exe to back up to the network share.  You cannot schedule a regular backup to a remote share using Windows Server Backup.  You must use wbadmin.exe to do this.  First, create a batch file that uses the wbadmin.exe command and back up to a network share.  Next, use the Scheduled Tasks administrative tool to run the batch file. 

    I would strongly consider purchasing two external hard drives for backing up your server.  The manual backups across the network take longer, use more storage space and use bandwidth.  You can back up your server multiple times during the day when you use an attached drive and Windows Server Backup.  The local backup using Windows Server Backup manages disk space, is easy to schedule and does not consume any network bandwidth.  Plus, your server will report the backup status within the console and even include the latest backup results in the report.  It also gives you better retention - I can recover data for clients that was backed up four months ago. 

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 7:25 PM
  • The drive is not disappearing - it is not even being found in the first place to be able to disappear. The main reason for using SBS 2011 is for the exchange server. Multiple backups during the day are not important and having a backup done outside of business hours is not an issue for bandwidth.

    With the amount of money spent on this operating system, one would expect it to actually operate properly after a clean install.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:33 PM
  • I'm not at all clear on how you're blaming SBS for this.  Have you read the instructions that came with the WD drive?  I'm not familiar with that model, but one thing that jumps out at me from the spec page at WD is that it doesn't appear to support server operating systems.  Another thing I noticed is that it apparently requires the installation of an app to facilitate discovery on the network.  You don't indicate anything about that?

    Dave Nickason - SBS MVP
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:26 PM
  • Hi,


    I’d like to confirm whether there is any update about this issue, please feel free to let us know.


    Best Regards,


    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:56 AM
  • James looks like he's trying to get a External Drive (Ethernet)
    To appear as a USB or eSATA Drive.

    When SBS2008 SBS2011 wants a eSATA or USB Drive type.
    Not Network...

    Which you can't do.
    (That I know of anyway.)

    I get people all the time wanting Microsoft to fix this, but there's no fix because that is not the way it was designed...


    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 2:50 AM
  • more importantly, SBSBackup requires a 'block' type device. I doubt the MyBook has iSCSI but will mention it just in case. An iSCSI target is a valid device for SBSBackup.

    It's a bit of a kludge, but you could actually put iSCSI target software on the SBS itself, then create a 'file as target' stored, as a file, on the MyBook network share, then attach to it. There's a lot of network overhead in doing so.

    A better alternative would be to use 3rd party backup and Backup Assist,, will modify the operation of SBSBackup in a manner I believe would work. (Sorry, haven't actually used the latest version)

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 8:12 AM
  • don't mean to intrude, but if you could help I would appreciate it. I kinda have the same problem. Have windows 7 64 bit server 2008 and bought a lacie external hard drive. Was unable to get the server to find the lacie. I need to do backup nightly after hours but all the drives I look at do not say for Windows server 2008 compatable. Do you know of one preferable at least 1TB. Thanks for your help.

    Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:29 PM
  • I suspect the recommendations in the blog below will be applicable...
    Windows Small Business Server 2003, 2008, 2011 - External Backup Drives Compatibility List

    Merv  Porter   [SBS-MVP]
    Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:51 PM
  • We had the same problem. All the sudden the hard drive was not accessible when clicking on the drive in explorer. Device manager of course listed it. Finally after not being able to access it tried going to disk management and reformated it.. lost all the data but it worked. HTH pointing someone in the right direction.
    Friday, August 28, 2015 4:46 PM