Some cameras and other removable devices (External Hard Disk) appear as Hard Disk in Windows, but have a serial number that is a string of zeros. ACDSee does not identify this as a number so, although you can see the photos on the drive, ACDSee does not add their thumbnails to the database, nor will you be able to add metadata, comments or other database information to the photos. (Excluded drives in ACDSee have a small, red, No-entry icon.) For ACDSee to "see" the drive as Hard Disk, it has to have a serial number that contains numbers rather than zeros, and also displayed as Hard Disk in Windows.

First you need to establish if the drive has a serial number or only a zero string.

To determine if the removable device has a serial number:

  1. In ACDSee, or My Computer, note the drive letter assigned to the removable device, for example, E:.
  2. Click Start | Run and type CMD in the Open box to launch a Windows Command console.
  3. In the Windows Command console, type DIR drive_letter: to see the volume information for that drive. For example, to see the information about removable Drive E, type: DIR E:
  4. If the Volume Serial Number for the drive is 0000-0000, then you need to assign a real number to the drive.

    There are two options that you can use to assign a non-zero serial number to a drive:
    • There is a free utility by Sysinternals that allows you to change the serial number of a device from 0000-0000 to a non-zero serial number. Using this utility is a better solution as the contents of the removable device will not be lost.
    • You can reformat the device using the Windows operating system. Windows automatically assigns a serial number after re-formatting the device This may not be a good solution because all of the data on the device will be lost. Also, because it is an automatic process, you have no choice about what serial number is assigned. For instructions on using Windows to assign a serial number, please refer to the Windows Help file on formatting a device.

Once you have assigned a real serial number to the device, ACDSee will detect it and be able to manage its files just like any other hard disks on your system.