I have an external hard drive (Simpletech simpledrive) I have been able to use it for some time now, but my Dell Laptop only recognizes the drive when I plug it into the back of my docking port when my laptop is docked. When I plug it into my laptop directly it doesn't work. Nothing shows up in device manager, it just says unknown drive. It also isn't sharing any other directory name. Any help would be appreciated.
Sounds like a power issue. My WD External USB drive refuses to run most systems without a certain USB cable thats obviously allowing the power feed it needs to run....... otherwise it just sits there ticking over, WIndows knows something is there but cant identify it.
Try swapping with another USB cable - or if the unit has its own power adaptor, maybe thats having issues.