External Hard Drive not Showing up or Detected - How to Fix It

Date of publication of the material 28.10.2019 Article views 193 Number of likes to article 0 Number of Comments

External hard drives, as well as drives that have been converted in a certain way from conventional HDD/SSD to portable-this is certainly a very convenient device that allows you to store a large amount of data in a mobile form.

But, as well as "stationary" disks they are also subject to external influence-strong shaking, blows, finding with sources of electromagnetic interference, influence of high temperature and other.

Unfortunately, problems that are the main elements of the cause-and-effect relationship considered the hardware in this article.

What actions can be taken to restore the health of the external hard drive? What other possible causes of the problem?

The answers to these and other questions you will find in this article.


If you do not visit our site for the first time, you are already familiar with the statement that any problem is necessarily accompanied by certain actions, the totality of which leads to disastrous results.

This should be taken into account throughout the search for solutions to the situation in question.

It is worth separating the problems that appear in the work of new disks and disks that previously worked with the target computer.

Computer does not Showing the New Disk

It is logical that the "new disk" means a device that has just been purchased and connected to the computer for the first time.

If in this case the computer does not see the connected device-this does not mean that there are errors.

The first thing you need to check is whether the disk is formatted and whether a letter is assigned to it, for this:

  • Press the key combination "WIN+R" and run the command "diskmgmt.msc"; 

    Open Disk Manegement with diskmgmt.msc command

  • The new disk (if it works) will be accompanied by the status "Unallocated", and this is what you need to fix by clicking on the non-distributed area with the right mouse button and select "New Simple volume"; 

    New Unallocated disk in Disk Management, select New Simple Volume

  • A window "Welcome to the New Simple Volume Wizard" will appear, in which you should click on the "Next" button; 

    Wizard to Create the New Simple Volume click Next to Start

  • In the next step, select the desired volume of the disk partition, if you plan to "split" it into several parts or leave it full, and again click on the "Next" button; 

    Create New Simple Volume Wizard Set Simple Volume size in MB and click Next button

  • Assign a drive letter, given that the letter should not match the already connected devices; 

    Assign a drive letter, given that the letter should not match the already connected devices

  • Activate the option "Format this volume with the following settings" and set the name, finally click "Next"; 

    Activate the option: (Format this volume with the following settings) and set the name

  • It remains to click on the "Finish" button and check the health of the created volume. 

    Click on the Finish button and check the health of the created volume

Computer does not Showing a Previously Working (Old) Disk

If the problem was not solved by the above option or there is no connected device in disk management:

  • If possible, check that the disc is working on another device (computer, TV, etc.);
  • Check if the drive is receiving enough power. Especially often this problem is faced by owners of external drives that were previously installed on computers, and later it was planned to use them as portable with the help of an appropriate adapter. And that's where most of the problems lie. For example, if the adapter is designed for 2.5-inch drives, the power it offers will not be enough for 3.5-inch drives.
  • Check if there is a conflict between the labels of the attached disk and the available volumes. The letters must not match. If so, go back to "Disk Management", select the desired volume by right clicking and select "Change drive letter or drive path" and assign a new value. 

select the desired volume by right clicking and select: (Change drive letter or drive path) and assign a new value

  • The operating system may not have been able to install the necessary drivers when the device was connected for some reason.
  • Check if this is the case in the "Device Manager" and if necessary, re-install the driver.
  • Change the port (usb) to which the disc is connected;
  • Update the drivers for partitions:
    • "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers";
    • "USB Controllers";
    • "Storage Controllers".


Unfortunately, the problem in question is more related to the hardware problems of the device, which negates all attempts to restore its functionality programmatically.

Of course, you can try to use the specialized software of the disk manufacturer, but do not feed false hopes.

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