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How to Fix External Hard Disk Not Recognized in Windows 11, 10?

Published By Deepa Pandey
Raj Kumar
Approved By Raj Kumar
Published On June 10th, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading
Category Hard Drive

External hard disk drives probably might be the simplest of all ways for transferring any of the stored information from one particular device to another. Mostly, such USB external HDDs are very easy to handle. However, there is a time when you are likely to face connection issues with your MS Windows OS machine or even any other devices where USB ports are not able to detect these connected external drives. Sometimes, you face an issue where this external hard disk not recognized.

External Hard Disk Not Recognized in Windows 10

Table of ContentsHide

Reasons why an External Hard Drive Not Detected

  • Connection Issues: Make sure the hard drive power and data cables are properly connected.
  • File System Compatibility: Check if the file system on your hard drive is compatible with your operating system.
  • Drive Letter Conflict: Make sure the drive letter assigned to the hard drive does not conflict with another drive letter.
  • Update Drivers: Always update your hard drive drivers through Device Manager.
  • Initialize the Disk: Make sure the hard drive is initialized and does not appear as unallocated in Disk Management.
  • Physical Damage: Please note that physical damage or corruption may render the hard drive invisible.

Methods to Fix External Hard Disk Not Recognized or Initialized in Windows

If your system does not recognize an external HDD, then it is quite likely that your computer might have a faulty USB port or maybe an outdated driver, or worst of all, your HDD might be dead.

1: Disconnect Power Failure of Hard Drive not Detected

Sometimes a very easy trick can fix the issue of an external hard drive not showing up Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7. Follow the instructions below to apply this trick.

  1. Turn off your computer.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the computer and wait a few minutes.
  3. connector attached the power cable and opened the computer.

2: Disconnect USB Devices

  1. Disconnect USB devices from your computer
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Reconnect the USB device to your computer.

3: Update USB Device Drivers

If all USB ports are working correctly, you should check if your computer has the latest USB drivers. Because sometimes old drivers do not allow the drive to connect to the PC and show the “HDD not detected” error. To check the driver’s status, follow these steps:

  • Choose the Windows + R button together, then write or type “devmgmt.msc” in the Run dialog box and then press OK.

External Hard Disk Not Recognized

  • Expand Drives and right-click on your connected external USB drive.
  • Click Properties and select the Driver tab.

external hard drive not showing up windows 10, 11

  • Click “Update Driver Software” and follow further instructions to update the driver.

external hard drive not showing up

[Note]: If this method does not work, download and install the updated USB HDD Undetected driver from the computer manufacturer’s website. This is useful if you are trying to install a driver for a printer, scanner, or other USB I/O device.

4: Change the Drive Letter

Check if you can see your external USB drive in Disk Management and change the name or drive letter. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Right-click This PC or My Computer, select Manage, and open Device Manager.external hard drive not detected
  • Select Disk Management.

hard drive not detected

  • Right-click on the connected external hard drive and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.

external hard disk drive not initialized

  • Press Add, assign a new drive letter from the drop-down list, and click OK.

external hard drive not initialized

5: Fix USB Root Hub

  1. Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously, type devmgmt.msc, and click OK.
  2. Expand universal serial bus controllers.
  3. Right-click “USB Root Hub” and select “Properties.”
  4. Select Power Management and uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. Choose the OK tab and save your changes.

[Note]: Again, this procedure all available USB root hubs. Save changes for each process and restart your computer. If you still see the problem with USB devices not being recognized, go back to the Power Management tab for each device and check the box again.

6: Change the USB Selective Suspend settings

  • Select the Control Panel and select Power Options.

external hard disk not detected

  •  Under your desired plan, select Change plan settings. Recommended balance).

external hard drive not working

  •  Click Change Advanced Power Settings.

external hard disk not detected in windows 10

7: Apply USB and USB selective Suspend Settings

  1. Select Disable from the drop-down menu.
  2. Select Apply and then click the OK button to save the settings.
[Note]: If you are using a laptop, you will see two options: On Battery and Connected. Therefore, select “Disable” for both settings.

8: Format External Hard Drive to NTFS

To make your external hard drive compatible with other systems, you may need to format it to NTFS.

  1. Open Disk Management by right-clicking This PC, selecting Manage, then Disk Management.
  2. Find or search your external drive, right-click it and choose Format.
  3. Choose NTFS as the file system and then follow the instructions to complete the format.
  4. Remember that formatting will erase all data on the drive, so make a backup first.

Important Tips: If, while performing the manual method, you lost your data , then use a professional HDD Recovery Tool to recover deleted files from an external hard drive. This hard drive recovery software can recover unlimited-size partitions (c:/d:/e:/f:/k:, etc.) from formatted or reformatted hard drives. The wizard will automatically detect all available partitions when you launch the software on your computer.

You can download this utility on Windows OS. To recover deleted files from Seagate External hard drive, the program performs a quick scan of the storage device and views the recovered data with the following attributes: file name, size, type, creation date, and modification date.

Final Verdict

There can be multiple causes when your external hard disk not recognized.  In this post, we have provided you with a reliable solution to fix this issue. By doing this, if you lose your data, you can use the automated tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How do I fix external hard drive not showing up window 11, 10, 8, 7?

Let’s say Windows doesn’t recognize your external hard drive. In this case, there are several methods that will help solve the problem. Some of them:

  • Make sure you have connected your device to the USB port correctly.
  • Use disk management to power the disk.
  • Generate a partition or assign a new drive letter.
  • Troubleshoot hardware and equipment problems.
  • Format your hard drive.

Q2: Why isn’t my external hard drive showing up?

There could be several reasons why your external hard drive is not showing up on your computer. Some of them:

  1. Your drive has damaged hardware components; its performance may be affected.
  2. If you have outdated or corrupted drivers installed on your hard drive, you will encounter compatibility issues.
  3. If the hard drive is not receiving enough power or is not connected to the appropriate USB port, it will not appear.

Q3. How to fix external Hard disk not detected?

To fix the “external hard disk drive not initialized or detected ” error, check the drive connection, update the drivers, and then test the drive on another computer.

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