How to Fix External Hard Disk not Detected 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 detecting 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, you see the following 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

How to fix External Hard Disk not Detected in Windows?

Disconnect the power supply

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.

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 drive then, try to connect it with another USB port. If it is recognized by other USB ports then, there could be a hardware problem with one of the USB ports. If no USB port recognizes the device then, try another solution. Don’t use any USB hub to connect the device to the computer.

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 shows the hard disk not detected 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 drivers and right-click on the connected external USB drive.
  • Click on properties and select the Driver tab.
  • Click on Update Driver Software and follow the further instruction to update the driver.
[NOTE]: if this method doesn’t work, then download and install the updated USB 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.

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.

hard disk not detected

2. Select Disk Management.

hard disk not detected

3. Right-click on the connected external 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

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.

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.

Contact Data Recovery Service Provider

If all the above-mentioned solutions don’t fix the external hard drive not detect the problem. And you are still getting the same error; then there are high chances that your 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 hard drive data; to avoid any data loss in the future.

Different situations of  Hard Disk have 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, damaged, or broken
    • Partition issues on your external USB device
    • The USB device is malfunctioned or damaged
    • The wrong file system in an external drive
    • Virus-infected PC

If the problem still persists after implementing the above steps then possibility that your hard drive is severely corrupted or damaged. In that case, you can approach a reliable data recovery service provider.

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