You have an older version of SimpleTech external hard drive. It has recently stopped working. It turns on and you can hear it connect to your computer, however, you cannot use it to back up you files, nor can you access anything that's on it through windows explorer.
Is it dead, you ask? Or can it be revived? Your set up to do an automatic back up through Norton.
Every time you try to run back up, a screen says its "starting" for 15-30 minutes, then tells you it cannot find a disk. Meanwhile, both red and blue lights are on your simpletech. You haven't done anything other than try to run back up and now contacting for support.
If you haven't already try to hook up your external hard drive to a different USB port on your computer. In Windows, check if your drive shows in "Disk Management". To get to disk management, right click "My Computer" and choose "Manage".
Disk management is on the left under "Storage". On bottom half of a screen you will see listings like Disk 0. An external drive would show as a disk other than 0.
Generally, disk 1 or 2, but that can change depending on what else is installed on your system. If your drive is listed and has a drive letter assigned, minimize this window and check in "My Computer" for that letter. If it is there, that is your external drive.
If a letter is not there or is assigned to another drive, like a network drive, you will need to manually set a drive letter. Bring disk management back up and right click on a capacity of your drive. Choose "Change Drive Letter and Path".
Choose "Change" and select an available letter from a drop box. Once assigned a drive should be in "My Computer" with a letter you have selected. If that drive is listed as "Unknown" or "Unallocated" then that drive is not properly formatted for use with this computer.
If your drive was used with a Mac or another non Windows device it may be using an incompatible format. This can be changed, but a process will erase all data on that drive. If a drive shows "Unknown", right click on a word "Unknown" and choose "Initialize".
Click through accepting some defaults. Your drive should now be labeled "Unallocated". If that drive shows as "Unallocated", right click on a word "Unallocated" and choose "New Simple Volume".
Keep clicking next, accepting default settings, until you get to finish. Clicking finish will begin a format process. A format will generally take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on drive size.
When a format is complete your drive will be under "My Computer" labeled "New Volume". You can right click on that drive and choose rename if you would like a different label.
About Author Aaron J. Berg
Aaron J. Berg is the owner of Anet Computers, host of the Reality PC podcast, and blogger at AnetComputers.com. For over thirteen years, he worked for fortune 500 companies and the United States Federal government supporting computers. Now he helps you solve your most common computer problems.