Windows 7 or Vista requests drivers for an external drive
Troubleshooting when external drives encounter driver and ʺUnknown Deviceʺ problems in Windows 7/Vista Device Manager.
Windows 7 or Vista sometimes encounters problems locating the drivers necessary for the proper function of external hard drives.
When that happens, it may alert you that drivers were not loaded correctly. These drivers are part of its own Windows registry.
First, update Windows Vista to Service Pack 1.
If this does not resolve the problem and the drivers do not now load automatically, you may simply point Windows 7 or Vista to its own drivers manually.
Right-click on Computer.
Choose Device Manager.
Here is the relevant graphic for Vista's Device Manager:
(Click to expand image.)
Here is the procedure to load the drivers manually:
Click the + box next to Other Devices.
Double-click the drive (usually listed as USB Mass Storage, but may be listed under another name).
A new window will open showing properties; click the Reinstall Driver button.
This will open the Update Driver software wizard, click "Locate and install driver software (recommended)".
Then click "Browse my computer for driver software".
Open the Windows folder on the C: drive (Computer > C: > Windows) and click OK.
Make sure the "Include subfolders" box is checked.
Click Next. This should load the drivers.