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Personal Media Storage - Media Drive Missing in My Computer (Windows XP)


A number of systems have to work for the HP Personal Media Drive to be recognized by Windows. The instructions in this document help resolve detection failures of the HP Personal Media Drive in Windows XP.

Checking for the Personal Media Drive in Device Manager

The drive may not be available in My Computer, but may still be recognized by the computer. The steps below describe how to get to device manager and verify whether the computer and Windows have detected the presence of the Personal Media Drive.

  1. Initially disconnect the Personal Media Drive from the computer. Don't worry, the drive will be re-connected to the system in a few steps.

  2. Click Start, then right-click the My Computer icon and select Properties. This will open the System Properties window.

  3. Click the Hardware tab.

  4. Click the Device Manager button to open the Device Manager window.

  5. Double-click Disk drives to display the hard drives installed in the computer.

  6. Now connect the Personal Media Drive to the computer. Windows should automatically detect the presence of the drive and display the hard drive inside the Personal Media Drive.
    NOTE: The hard drive may not be the same as what is illustrated below. What is important is the hard drive being recognized. You'll be able to distinguish the hard drive in the Personal Media Drive by the association of the USB Device term with the hard drive.

    Figure 1: Before Drive Attached

    Figure 2: After Drive Attached

  7. If a new hard drive is not displayed, click the Action menu item and select Scan for hardware changes and then again check for the presence of a new hard drive listing under Disk drives.

  8. If still not present, the next section (HP Personal Media Drive Not Detected in Device Manager) has suggestions to get the Personal Media Drive recognized by Windows. If detected, skip the next section and go to the HP Personal Media Drive Detected in Device Manager section.

HP Personal Media Drive not Detected in Device Manager

Check the following to isolate the issue causing the drive not to be detected.

  • Ensure the HP Personal Media Drive has power.

    Looking at the front of the drive, the light on the right should be on constantly when power is connected (see the figure below).

    Figure 3: Front of HP Personal Media Drive

    1 - Hard drive activity LED indicator
    2 - Power on LED indicator
  • Connect the Personal Media Drive to a Different USB Port

    If available, connect the HP Personal Media drive to a different USB port on the computer. Also if available, check if other USB devices work connected to the computer via the USB ports.

    If the computer is an HP Media Center PC with a built in Personal Media Drive bay, remove the drive from the bay and attach to an available USB port on the computer.

HP Personal Media Drive Detected in Device Manager

If the HP Personal Media Drive is detected in Device Manager but not in My Computer, the issue may be the drive is un-partitioned. Partitioning the drive divides the hard drive into isolated sections that can be addressed by Windows. The following will set up the drive for use if this is the case.

  1. Click Start and Control Panel.

  2. Click the Performance and Maintenance icon.

  3. Click the Administrative Tools icon.

  4. Double-click the Computer Management icon.

  5. Click Disk Management to display the hard drives and CD drives attached to the computer. The main hard drive should be listed as Disk 0. Other hard drives installed will also be listed here.

  6. Check for the existence of a disk drive that is marked as Unallocated. An unallocated drive means the hard drive was not partitioned (divided into isolated sections for addressing) before being inserted into the Personal Media Drive.

    Figure 4: Personal Media Drive Un-partitioned

    The Personal Media Drive will have to partitioned and formatted for access with Windows. Use the steps below to partition and format the drive.

    1. Within Disk Management, right click the Unallocated drive and select New Partition to start the New Partition Wizard.

    2. Click the Next button on the wizard's welcome screen.

    3. Leave the radio button next to Primary partition selected and click Next.

    4. Accept the default maximum partition size by clicking Next.

    5. The next screen will assign the drive letter for the Personal Media Drive. HP recommends assigning drive letter Z: to the Personal Media drive. Click the drop down arrow next to the drive letter assignment and choose the letter Z at the bottom of the list, then click Next.

    6. The partition will need to be formatted. The file system will have to remain NTFS to access the entire drive as one drive letter. However the volume label can be changed to something more recognizable; like HP Drive. Click Next to continue.

    7. Click the Finish button to complete the partitioning and formatting of the drive. Be patient, the formatting process can take a while.

    Once the formatting is complete, the hard drive should be accessible via My Computer. Install the software included with the Personal Media Drive again and start using the HP Personal Media Drive normally.

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