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Troubleshooting External Storage Problems on Windows XP

April 27th, 2011 No comments

Thanks to the proliferation of high-speed broadband internet access and the boom in file sizes brought about by more complex programs and high-definition media files, the need for external file storage is now greater than ever, and primed to go even higher. Having your files on an external drive not only helps free up space on your hard drive, it also makes sharing large files a lot easier and more convenient. However, if you’re one of the millions of users still running Windows XP, there’s a chance that your experience with external storage devices could be less than convenient.

Running New Devices on an Old OS

External hard drives and flash disks, simple as they might seem, still require drivers in order to work with your computer, just like any other device. The problem with plugging a new external storage device in a computer running an old OS like Windows XP is that it is unlikely to have any of the necessary drivers pre-installed in the system in the same way that Windows Vista and Windows 7 might have. When devices are advertised as ‘Plug and Play”, all it means is that the manufacturer assumes that your OS already has the necessary drivers to run it. If you’re still running Windows XP, this won’t always apply, but there are a few steps you can take so that you can use your external storage device without hassle

Verify Compatibility

This is a simple step that few buyers take before purchasing a gadget, and many have paid the price for it. Microsoft regularly updates this list of Windows XP compatible devices regularly. Newer devices might be supported but might not yet be on the list, so buying the latest model isn’t always advisable. Try waiting a few weeks or a month after its release to see if it will be added to the list. Otherwise, it’s not a risk worth taking.

Update Windows XP

Since it’s still used by over 40% of all computers logging on the internet, Microsoft still provides support for Windows XP in the form of updates. These updates usually contain generic drivers for the newest devices to help maintain the operating system’s compatibility, as well as security upgrades and improvements to system performance and functionality. You can check for the latest updates at this website.

Download the Drivers

To get the latest version of the drivers for your external storage device, you can visit the manufacturer’s website, go to their download or support page, and then find the appropriate driver for your operating system. You then download the driver installer and then run it in order to install it onto your system. You might need to restart your PC after installation before you can finally use your external storage device.

Why Do Things the Hard Way?

If these tasks seem a bit too time consuming or downright difficult for you, there is a much faster and easier alternative that you can try. Download our Driver Scan Tool and let it automatically detect what drivers are out of date and what you need to download. Try it today and experience what hassle free computing is all about.