How To Fix External Hard Disk Drive Not Recognized In Windows?

Summary: USB devices like Hard Drives, Pen drives, Memory cards, etc. are an easy way to store and transfer data from one computer to another. These USB drives are portable and easy to handle, but sometimes you might face the Hard disk not detected a problem with Windows PC. This happen when the USB port did not recognize the external USB drives.

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When you try to access the data from the hard drive or USB device or any operating system, you see the following Hard Drive is not Showing or USB Device Not Recognized error message:

One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it for assistance in solving this problem, click this message.”

hard disk not detected

इस पोस्ट को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें।

Table of Content

Symptoms of Hard Disk Recognition Issues

You might notice signs like access denial, file system errors, outdated device drivers, ‘device not formatted’ alerts, unsupported file system messages, or errors indicating fatal hardware issues. These symptoms suggest the hard drive might not be detected properly.

Reasons for External Hard Disk Not Recognized

  1. Connection Issues: Ensure the hard drive’s power and data cables are securely connected.
  2. File System Compatibility: Check if the hard drive’s file system is compatible with your operating system.
  3. Drive Letter Conflicts: Make sure the hard drive’s assigned letter doesn’t conflict with other drives.
  4. Driver Updates: Keep your hard drive’s drivers up to date through Device Manager.
  5. Drive Initialization: Ensure the hard drive is initialized and not showing as unallocated in Disk Management.
  6. Physical Damage: Be aware that physical damage or corruption can prevent a hard drive from being detected.

Additional Reading: Hard Disk Not Showing In Disk Management

How to Fix External Hard Disk not Recognized (Detected) in Windows?

1. Disconnect the Power Supply of Hard Disk not Detected

Sometimes, a very simple trick can fix an external hard disk not detecting a problem. Follow the below steps to apply this trick.

  • Shut Down your computer
  • Disconnect the power cable from your computer and wait for a few minutes
  • Reconnect the power cable and Start your computer.

2. Disconnect USB Device

  • Disconnect the USB devices from your computer
  • Restart your computer
  • Reconnect USB devices to your computer
[NOTE]: If the current USB port doesn’t detect the hard disk drives then, try to connect external hard drive with another USB port. If it is recognized by another USB cable or SATA cable then, there could be a hardware problem with one of the USB ports. And if no USB cable recognizes the device then, try another solution. Don’t use any USB hub to connect the device to the computer.

3. Update USB Device Drivers

If all USB ports are working fine then you need to check for the latest USB driver installed on the computer. Because sometimes old drivers can prevent the drive to connect to the PC and show the HDD not detecting an error. To check driver status follow the below steps.

  • Press Windows + R key together and then, type devmgmt.msc in the run dialogue box and click on OK.
  • Expand disk drives and right-click on the connected external USB drive.
  • Click on properties and select the Driver tab.
  • Click on Update Driver Software and follow further instructions to update the driver.
[NOTE]: if this method doesn’t work, then download and install the updated USB HDD not detected drivers from the computer manufacturer’s website. This is useful in case if you are trying to install a driver for a printer, scanner, and other input/output USB device.

4. Change Drive Letter

Check whether you can see your external USB Drive in Disk Management, then rename or change the drive letter. To do this follow the below steps.

1. Right-click on This PC or My Computer and click on Manage and open Device Manager.

hard disk not detected

2. Select Disk Management.

hard disk not detected

3. Right-click on the connect external hard drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.

hard disk not detected

4. Click Add, and then assign a new drive letter from the drop-down list and click OK.

hard disk not detected

5. Fix USB Root Hub

  • Press Windows + R key together and then type devmgmt.msc and click on OK.
  • Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  • Right-click on USB Root Hub and click Properties.
  • Select Power Management and uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save the power checkbox. Click ok and save changes.
[NOTE]: Repeat this process for all available USB Root Hubs. Save changes for each process and then restart your PC. If still you see a USB device not recognized problem then go back to the power management tab for each one and check the box again.

Also Check : Seagate External Hard Disk Light Not Blinking Not Detected [2024]

6. Change USB Selective Suspend Settings

1. Go to Control Panel and click on Hardware and Sound.

Control Pannel

2. Click on Power Options.

Control Panel Power Option

3. Select Change Plan Settings under preferred plans. Balanced (recommended).

Power Plan Setting

4. Click on Change advanced power settings.

advanced power settings

5. Expand USB settings and USB selective suspend settings.

hard disk not detected

6. Select Disable from the drop-down menu.

7. Click “Apply” and “OK” to save the settings.

[NOTE]: If you use the laptop, then you’ll see two options: On Battery and Plugged in. So, select disable for both settings respectively.

Also Check : Seagate Hard Disk Data Recovery – ST1000LM035 SATA Laptop Drive

7. Run Troubleshooter for Hard Drives

Windows comes with a tool that can check and fix hard drive issues. Here’s how to use it:

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator by searching for it and right-clicking to select ‘Run as administrator‘.
  • Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press Enter. This starts the troubleshooter.
  • Choose ‘Advanced‘ and make sure ‘Apply repairs automatically‘ is selected.
  • Follow the prompts to run the scan and fix issues.

If issues persist, consider contacting the hard drive’s manufacturer for further help.

8. Formatting an External Hard Drive to NTFS

To make your external hard drive compatible with more systems, you might need to format it to NTFS:

  • Open Disk Management by right-clicking ‘This PC‘ and selecting ‘Manage‘, then ‘Disk Management‘.
  • Find your external drive, right-click it, and select ‘Format‘.
  • Choose NTFS as the file system and follow the prompts to complete the format. Remember, formatting will erase all data on the drive, so back up first.

Also Read: Recover Data from Undetected Seagate External Hard Drive [2024]

What if your External Hard Drive still can’t be detected after these remedies?

If none of the remedies work, it’s likely due to physical issues with the drive, such as damaged platters, heads, or scratches. Data recovery is possible but requires a detailed diagnosis in a Class 100 clean room to prevent further damage. Replacement parts might be needed, followed by cloning and logical analysis with specialised tools to recover the data.

At Stellar Data Recovery Service, we have the infrastructure, technical expertise, and tools required to recover your data from an external hard drive that won’t be detected.

Additional Reading: Fix WD My Passport Hard Drive Not Detected, But LED is Blinking

Case Study – Data Recovery From External Hard Drive Not Recognizing

Client Name: Individual

Goal: To recover data from External Hard Disk not Detected

Approach: Stellar Data Recovery successfully recovered data from the External Hard Disk which is not detecting and also Broken.

The challenges faced by the Client:

  • The external hard drive was broken, not detecting, and not usable on the client end.
  • The client has personal data on a 1 TB external hard disk, but he is unable to access it.

Stellar Data Recovery Process:

  • During the initial analysis, we detected that the external hard drive was in a working condition. However, the external hard drive was found with few Bad Sectors.
  • After an examination of the external hard disk, it was determined that the client’s required data could be recovered. Stellar Data Recovery got the requirement from the client and the data was successfully recovered from the external hard drive which was not detecting.

Client Feedback:

The client was extremely happy with the services provided by Stellar Data Recovery and fully satisfied with the data recovery process and with the cooperative staff.

Contact Data Recovery Service Provider

If all the above-mentioned solutions don’t fix the external HDD not detected the problem. If you are still getting the same error; then there is a high chance that your Seagate external hard drive has become dead. In this situation, you need to take the help of a Professional Hard Drive Recovery service provider.

If your problem is resolved, then it is advised that you should take a backup of your Seagate hard drive not working– data; to avoid any data loss in the future.

Different situations of  Hard Drive not detected errors

Hard drive not detected error/issue can be caused by the following situations:

  • The USB driver has become unstable, outdated, or corrupt
  • USB ports become faulty, physically damaged, or broken
  • Partition issues on your external USB device
  • The USB device is malfunctioning or damaged
  • The wrong file system in a connected external hard drive
  • Virus-infected PC

If the problem still persists after implementing the above steps then possibility that your internal hard drive is severely corrupted or physically damaged. In that case, you can approach a reliable data recovery service provider such as Stellar Data Recovery service. They have a total of 14 Branches within India, which provides data recovery service in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi, Coimbatore, Vashi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Pune, Noida, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh.

FAQs – Different Situations of Hard Drive not Recognized Errors:

Q1. What should I do if my computer says "USB device not recognized" when I connect my external hard drive?

Try disconnecting and reconnecting your external hard drive. If the issue persists, use a different USB port or cable.

Q2. How can I fix a USB device not recognized error and access my external hard drive?

Update your USB and hard drive drivers through Device Manager, and ensure the drive is properly connected to your PC.

Q3. What steps should I follow to connect an external hard drive that my computer doesn't detect?

Check the drive’s connection, try a different USB port, and ensure the drive is powered on. If unsuccessful, the drive may need troubleshooting.

Q4. How do I recover an undetected external hard drive?

For how to recover data from an external hard disk which is not detecting, use data recovery software or consult a professional service.

Q5. How do I fix an undetected hard drive?

To fix a USB device not recognized error, check your drive’s connections, update drivers, and try the drive on another computer.

Q6. How do I fix my external hard drive not detected by Windows?

Ensure your external hard disk not detecting is properly connected, try different USB ports, and check Disk Management to see if the drive appears.

Q7. How do I get Windows 10 to recognize my external hard drive?

If no hard drive detected or hard drive not showing up in My Computer, connect the drive to another port and check the Device Manager for issues.

Additional Reading: Troubleshooting “Seagate External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 11”

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