Expansion Portable Guided Troubleshooter

Expansion Portable Guided Troubleshooter


Troubleshoot a wide variety of issues, most notably non-detection problems, with your Expansion Portable drive.

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This troubleshooter will deal with 2.5-inch Seagate external USB drives.

Seagate external drives are ordinarily accessible as a drive letter within (My) Computer and/or Windows/File Explorer. When you connect the drive to your Windows 8/7/Vista/XP computer, here is what to expect:

  1. The drive will appear as a drive letter in (My) Computer or Windows/File Explorer (ie: Drive E:, F:, or some other letter) within approximately 30 seconds of connecting and turning on the drive.
  2. Often the AutoPlay window will appear within 30 seconds. A small notification will appear in the system tray, informing you that your drive is ready to use. Also the Safely Remove icon will appear in the system tray.
  3. You can click on Open Folder to View Files to open the drive letter, or on the drive letter in (My) Computer or Windows/File Explorer.
    Then you can simply drag-and-drop data, or copy-and-paste data, into the drive for starters. See Document ID: 206419 for more instructions.
  4. The drive is now functioning normally.
  1. The device once functioned properly but is no longer detected.
  2. This is the first attempt to use the device and it is not detected.

Previously Detected, Check Cabling

Seagate portable external drives are powered by the port to which they are connected. If you are using the USB interface, some USB ports do not provide enough power to power up the drive (the drive will sometimes blink or make a beep sound if it does not have enough power).

  1. If you are connecting the drive via a USB port on a PC Express or PCMCIA card, these may not be able to provide enough power.
    • Please try connecting the drive to a USB port on the computer itself, for troubleshooting purposes.
    • Please also check for updates for the card's drivers. If an update exists, apply it and then reconnect the drive to test detection.
  2. Be sure to use a USB port on the back of the computer (if you have a desktop computer).
  3. Please do not connect the drive to a USB port on your keyboard or computer monitor.
  4. Please try a different USB cable that you know functions correctly with another device, preferably another external hard drive.
  5. Please remove any extraneous peripherals such as USB hubs, extension cables, etc. so that the external drive is connected directly to the computer.

If the drive is beeping, it may be that your computer does not supply enough power. Please connect the drive via a powered USB hub.

Please click here if the drive is still not detected.

Check Cabling (continued)

Please continue troubleshooting:

  1. If your drive is connected via USB, sometimes other USB devices can stand in the way of detecting the external hard drive. Any variety of device could cause this, whether a printer, a camera, a scanner, a modem, a VoIP device, etc.
    To troubleshoot, follow these steps:
    1. Disconnect all USB devices from your computer, except for a keyboard and mouse.
    2. Disconnect the external drive also.
    3. Power down the computer and then power it up again (ie, reboot the computer).
    4. Once Windows has completed the boot and is up and running, connect the external drive to a USB port on the rear of the computer, and see if it is detected.
    5. If the drive is detected, the source of the problem is a conflict with other USB devices. Connect them one by one to discover which one(s) is/are causing the conflict.

Please click here if the drive is still not detected.

Two or More External Drives

If two or more external hard drives are connected, sometimes only one will display in Computer or Windows/File Explorer.

Please follow this procedure to attempt to resolve this problem:

  1. Windows 8: Press the Windows key (a) + X and select Computer Management.
    Windows 7/Vista/XP: Right-click on (My) Computer and choose Manage.
  2. Select Disk Management.
  3. Locate your external drives in the lower window. Disk 0 is usually the boot drive. Disk 1 and Disk 2 may be your external drives. This example shows Disk 1, a Wireless Plus, with a Healthy partition. Once you have located the drive, it may display as Offline.
  4. Right-click on the box containing the Disk number, such as Disk 1. Select Online.
    Both drives should now appear in (My) Computer and Windows/File Explorer.

Please click here if they do not or if this procedure does not describe your situation.

Check Whether the Drive is Hidden

Seagate external portable drives come from the factory pre-formatted with an NTFS MBR partition. At this point, we must confirm that the drive is not hidden behind another device.

  1. Check the upper window to find whether the drive letter is present.
  2. Check the lower window to find whether the drive is detected (such as, Disk 1, Disk 2, etc).
  3. If it is detected as with a drive letter, verify no other device is already using that drive letter. If it is, change the drive letter of the external drive to some unused letter.

    Windows 8/7: Change, add, or remove a drive letter. Applies to all editions of Windows 8/7
    Windows Vista: Change, add, or remove a drive letter. Applies to all editions of Windows Vista

If the drive does appear in the lower window (for example, as Disk 1 or Disk 2), the drive's partition may be corrupted.
If, in the box to the right of Disk 1, 2, etc, you do not see Healthy or something similar, and if the colored stripe is black, the drive is Unallocated.
Or, the stripe may be blue or green indicating a partition is present, but there may be no assigned drive letter, which means the partition may be corrupt or may be a type not supported by Windows. Or it may indicate a formatting labeled as RAW.

If it is seen as Unallocated, does not display as a Healthy Partition, or indicates a different format type such as RAW or Unknown, the drive's partition has been corrupted or lost, which could be the result of any number of causes.

Please click here if the drive appears in Disk Management's lower window.

Please click here if the drive does not appear in Disk Management's lower window.

Corrupted Partition

Here we must be careful.

If the external drive's partition is corrupted, the easiest way to recover its usability is to reformat it, which involves erasing all the data.

If this is not an option for you, if your data is not backed up on some other storage media, then the next step is to resort to data recovery. In this situation, it is probable that the data can be recovered by use of Seagate's Data Recovery Software Solution.
Click here for a full list of options.

Complete any and all data recovery activities before continuing your troubleshooting of the drive, because the next step will erase the data.

Click here to continue once the data is recovered, or if you do not need to recover the data.

Reformat the Drive

Once the data is recovered, or if your data is backed up elsewhere, we can erase and reformat the external drive.

Formatting the drive, as we are about to do, will erase any data on the drive!

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Right-click in the box to the right of the Disk 1, 2, 3, etc, and choose Delete Logical Drive (this may not be necessary).
  3. Right-click there and choose Delete Partition.
  4. Select OK to confirm it.
  5. At this point, the drive should become Unallocated and the black stripe should appear where a blue or green stripe appeared beforehand.



    If these actions fail to return the drive to an Unallocated state, use DiscWizard to zero-fill the drive, with a Normal zero-fill (not a Quick). See Document ID: 205971 for instructions.

  6. To format the drive:
    Instructions in Windows 8/7/Vista
    Instructions in Windows XP

Once the drive format is complete, it should work normally again.

Click here to return to the main page for links to instructions on loading data on the drive.

Device Manager

Please examine the drive's status in Device Manager. With the drive connected via USB 2.0 (if available):

  1. Windows 8: Press the Windows key (a) + X.
    Windows 7/Vista/XP: Right-click on (My) Computer and choose Manage.
  2. Windows 8: Select Device Manager.
    Windows 7/Vista/XP: In Computer Management, select Device Manager, which is found on the left side of the window under Tools.
  3. Click on the plus sign ( + ) next to the Disk Drives item to expand that branch of the tree. If the external drive is detected by the system, an entry showing its information displays.
    If it is not there, check under Other Devices (a category under Device Manager).
  4. Double-click on the external drive.
    If under Other devices an Unknown Device appears, double-click on it.

Please click here if Code 10 appears.

Please click here if Code 28 appears.

Please click here if the window says the device is working properly.

Please click here if the drive is not detected at all in Device Manager.

Code 10

If Code 10 appears:

  1. Please power down your computer.
  2. Disconnect your drive.
  3. Boot your computer and wait until Windows is fully started.
  4. Reconnect your drive and see if the error is still there.

If the drive is still not detected, please connect it another computer if possible.
If connecting it to another computer resolves the problems, the source of the problem is your computer. Please proceed with troubleshooting for your computer.

If the drive behaves the same when connected on a second computer, please proceed with a warranty replacement online or, if the drive is fairly new, you can usually exchange the faulty unit for a replacement at your place of purchase (please contact the place of purchase for a full explanation of their policy regarding returns).
If you need data recovery, you may contact Seagate Recovery Services.

Code 28

If Code 28 appears, please note first that though the message may say The drivers for this device are not installed, the drivers do not come from Seagate, they must come from Windows. This is an indication that troubleshooting is necessary.

  1. Please test the drive using a different USB cable if you have one.
  2. Please test the drive on another computer. If the drive works fine on another computer, the original computer may need to be upgraded to the latest Windows Service Pack.
  3. Within the Device Manager, find the drive.
  4. Right-click on it and choose Uninstall.
  5. Wait a few seconds for the icon to disappear, then disconnect the device from the computer (unplug the USB cable).
  6. Reboot your computer and wait until Windows is fully started.
  7. Reconnect your drive and see if the error is still there.
  8. If it is, please follow the troubleshooting steps in Document ID: 201235.

If it is detected on the other computer, it appears the Windows installation on your first computer has been corrupted.
You will possibly need to reload your USB controller drivers.
This requires inserting your Windows 7 or Vista install CD and booting to it in order to launch the Windows Repair.
This can be dangerous to the data on your C: drive and other internal drives, so attempt this at your own risk. Seagate recommends you back up your data before attempting it.
Disconnect all external storage devices such as external USB, Firewire, and eSATA drives, jump/thumb/flash drives, cameras, and printers before proceeding with a Windows repair or recovery. Failure to disconnect such devices could result in serious data corruption.

If the problem repeats, if the drive is still not detected in Disk Management, you can begin a replacement order online, or, if the drive is fairly new, you can usually exchange the faulty unit for a replacement at your place of purchase (please contact the place of purchase for a full explanation of their policy regarding returns).

Connect to Another Computer

If the drive is still not detected, please connect it another computer if possible.
If connecting it to another computer resolves the problems, the source of the problem is your computer. Please proceed with troubleshooting for your computer.

If the drive behaves the same when connected on a second computer, please proceed with a warranty replacement online.
If you need data recovery, you may contact Seagate Recovery Services.

New Installation, Check Cabling

Seagate external portable drives are powered by the port to which they are connected. Some USB ports do not provide enough power to power up the drive (the drive will usually blink or make a beep sound if it does not have enough power).

  1. If you are connecting the drive via a USB port on a PC Express or PCMCIA card, these may not be able to provide enough power.
    • Please try connecting the drive to a USB port on the computer itself, for troubleshooting purposes.
    • Please also check for updates for the card's drivers. If an update exists, apply it and then reconnect the drive to test detection.
  2. Be sure to use a USB port on the back of the computer (if you have a desktop computer).
  3. Please do not connect the drive to a USB port on your keyboard or computer monitor.
  4. Please try a different USB cable that you know functions correctly with another device, preferably another external hard drive.
  5. Please remove any extraneous peripherals such as USB hubs, extension cables, etc. so that the external drive is connected directly to the computer.

If the drive is beeping, it may be that your computer does not supply enough power. Please connect the drive via a powered USB hub.

Please click here if the drive is still not detected.

Check Cabling (continued)

Please continue troubleshooting:

  1. If your drive is connected via USB, sometimes other USB devices can stand in the way of detecting the external hard drive. Any variety of device could cause this, whether a printer, a camera, a scanner, a modem, a VoIP device, etc.
    To troubleshoot, follow these steps:
    1. Disconnect all USB devices from your computer, except for a keyboard and mouse.
    2. Disconnect the Seagate external drive also.
    3. Power down the computer and then power it up again (ie, reboot the computer).
    4. Once Windows has completed the boot and is up and running, connect the external drive to a USB port on the rear of the computer, and see if it is detected.
    5. If the drive is detected, the source of the problem is a conflict with other USB devices. Connect them one by one to discover which one(s) is/are causing the conflict.

Please click here if the drive is still not detected.

Two or More External Drives

If two or more external hard drives are connected, sometimes only one will display in (My) Computer or Windows/File Explorer.

Please follow this procedure to attempt to resolve this problem:

  1. Windows 8: Press the Windows key (a) + X and select Computer Management.
    Windows 7/Vista/XP: Right-click on (My) Computer and choose Manage.
  2. Select Disk Management.
  3. Locate your external drives in the lower window. Disk 0 is usually the boot drive. Disk 1 or Disk 2 may be your external drive. This example shows Disk 1, a Wireless Plus, with a Healthy partition. Once you have located the drive, it may display as Offline.
  4. Right-click on the box containing the Disk number, such as Disk 1. Select Online.
    Both drives should now appear in (My) Computer and Windows/File Explorer.

Please click here if they do not or if this procedure does not describe your situation.

Check Whether the Drive is Hidden

Seagate external portable drives come from the factory pre-formatted with an NTFS MBR partition. At this point, we must confirm that the drive is not hidden behind another device.

  1. Check the upper window to find whether the drive letter is present.
  2. Check the lower window to find whether the drive is detected (such as, Disk 1, Disk 2, etc).
  3. If it is detected as with a drive letter, verify no other device is already using that drive letter. If it is, change the drive letter of the external drive to some unused letter.

    Windows 8/7: Change, add, or remove a drive letter. Applies to all editions of Windows 8/7
    Windows Vista: Change, add, or remove a drive letter. Applies to all editions of Windows Vista

If the drive does appear in the lower window (for example, as Disk 1 or Disk 2), the drive's partition may be corrupted.
If, in the box to the right of Disk 1, 2, etc, you do not see Healthy or something similar, and if the colored stripe is black, the drive is Unallocated.
Or, the stripe may be blue or green indicating a partition is present, but there may be no assigned drive letter, which means the partition may be corrupt or may be a type not supported by Windows. Or it may indicate a formatting labeled as RAW.

If it is seen as Unallocated, does not display as a Healthy Partition, or indicates a different format type such as RAW or Unknown, the drive's partition has been corrupted or lost, which could be the result of any number of causes.

Please click here if the external drive appears in Disk Management's lower window.

Please click here if the external drive does not appear in Disk Management's lower window.

Reformat the Drive

At this point, a clean format is the best option to try to restore the drive to proper function.

a Formatting the drive, as we are about to do, will erase any data on the drive!

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Right-click in the box to the right of the Disk 1, 2, 3, etc, and choose Delete Partition.
  3. Select OK to confirm it.
  4. At this point, the drive should become Unallocated and the black stripe should appear where a blue or green stripe appeared beforehand.



    If these actions fail to return the drive to an Unallocated state, use DiscWizard to zero-fill the drive, with a Normal zero-fill (not a Quick). See Document ID: 205971 for instructions.

  5. To format the drive:
    Instructions in Windows 8/7/Vista
    Instructions in Windows XP

Once the drive format is complete, it should appear in (My) Computer or Windows/File Explorer.

Click here to return to the main page for links to instructions on loading data on the drive.

Device Manager

Please examine the drive's status in Device Manager. With the drive connected via USB 2.0 (if available):

  1. Windows 8: Press the Windows key (a) + X.
    Windows 7/Vista/XP: Right-click on (My) Computer and choose Manage.
  2. Windows 8: Select Device Manager.
    Windows 7/Vista/XP: In Computer Management, select Device Manager, which is found on the left side of the window under Tools.
  3. Click on the plus sign ( + ) next to the Disk Drives item to expand that branch of the tree. If the Seagate external drive is detected by the system, an entry showing its information displays.
    If it is not there, check under Other Devices (a category under Device Manager).
  4. Double-click on the Seagate external drive.
    If under Other devices an Unknown Device appears, double-click on it.

Under the General tab, "This device is not working properly" and either (Code 28) or (Code 10) may display.

Please click here if Code 10 appears.

Please click here if Code 28 appears.

Please click here if the window says the device is working properly.

Please click here if the drive is not detected at all in Device Manager.

Code 10

If Code 10 appears:

  1. Please power down your computer.
  2. Disconnect your drive.
  3. Boot your computer and wait until Windows is fully started.
  4. Reconnect your drive and see if the error is still there.

If the drive is still not detected, please connect it another computer if possible.
If connecting it to another computer resolves the problems, the source of the problem is your computer. Please proceed with troubleshooting for your computer.

If the drive behaves the same when connected on a second computer, please proceed with a warranty replacement online or, if the drive is fairly new, you can usually exchange the faulty unit for a replacement at your place of purchase (please contact the place of purchase for a full explanation of their policy regarding returns).

Code 28

If Code 28 appears, please note first that though the message may say The drivers for this device are not installed, the drivers do not come from Seagate, they must come from Windows. This is an indication that troubleshooting is necessary.

  1. Please test the drive using a different USB cable if you have one.
  2. Please test the drive on another computer. If the drive works fine on another computer, the original computer may need to be upgraded to the latest Windows Service Pack.
  3. Within the Device Manager, find the drive.
  4. Right-click on it and choose Uninstall.
  5. Wait a few seconds for the icon to disappear, then disconnect the device from the computer (unplug the USB cable).
  6. Reboot your computer and wait until Windows is fully started.
  7. Reconnect your drive and see if the error is still there.
  8. If it is, please follow the troubleshooting steps in Document ID: 201235.

If it is detected on the other computer, it appears the Windows installation on your first computer has been corrupted.
You will possibly need to reload your USB controller drivers.
This requires inserting your Windows 7 or Vista install CD and booting to it in order to launch the Windows Repair.
d This can be dangerous to the data on your C: drive and other internal drives, so attempt this at your own risk. Seagate recommends you back up your data before attempting it.
Disconnect all external storage devices such as external USB, Firewire, and eSATA drives, jump/thumb/flash drives, cameras, and printers before proceeding with a Windows repair or recovery. Failure to disconnect such devices could result in serious data corruption.

However, if the drive is not detected on the other computer either and if the drive is still not detected in Disk Management, you can begin a replacement order online, or, if the drive is fairly new, you can usually exchange the faulty unit for a replacement at your place of purchase (please contact the place of purchase for a full explanation of their policy regarding returns).

Connect to Another Computer

If the drive is still not detected, please connect it another computer if possible.
If connecting it to another computer resolves the problems, the source of the problem is your computer. Please proceed with troubleshooting for your computer.

If the drive behaves the same when connected on a second computer, please proceed with a warranty replacement online, or, if the drive is fairly new, you can usually exchange the faulty unit for a replacement at your place of purchase (please contact the place of purchase for a full explanation of their policy regarding returns).





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