HELP!! Problems using external hard drive

I have moved my iTunes music library from my internal hard drive on my laptop to a new external hard drive in order to free up space on my laptop. The problem I now experience is that when my external hard drive is conected and turned on, my computer will not recognize my iPod. When I turn the external hard drive off, my computer will then recognize my iPod. I can use one or the other but I can't use both at the same time. Because of this problem I can't access my iTunes music library with my iPod in order to update my iPod with new music that has been added to the music library on the external hard drive.
Is it that I need a Firewire conection possibly? If so, is there any way around that? Any help would be appreciated!
MY COMPUTER (purchased new in 2006)
Gateway Laptop running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
70 gig hard drive
1.83GHz - 480 MB Ram
MY IPOD (purchased new in 2006)
80 gig - video enabled
MY EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE (purchased new in 2007)
Western Digital "My Book" Essential Edition (USB)
250 gig (NTFS)

Change the drive letter for the external drive.

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