How To Repair External Hard Disk Not Detected? Do This

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We’ll explain How To Repair External Hard Disk Not Detected? In this Windows 10 guide; to use an external drive on Windows 10, you normally just need to attach it to your computer and wait for it to appear in File Explorer. Even yet, it might not be an easy job.

Windows 10 will sometimes refuse to recognize the external drive for unknown reasons that can be connected to your network, driver, settings, or device difficulties, or it will detect the device but it will not appear in File Explorer.

Repair External Hard Disk Not Detected

If you’re attempting to set up a new external drive or wish to use a storage device that was previously attached to another machine, but it didn’t turn up, there are a few troubleshooting steps you may do. We’ll explain the process to fix most issues with your computer not Detecting An External Hard Drive in this Windows 10 guide.

How To Repair External Hard Disk Not Detected?

  • Ensure that the external drive is turned on.
  • The Drive should be checked in Disk Management.
  • Try using a different USB port and computer.
  • Identify and fix device driver problems.
  • New Drive Volume Created.
  • Clean up the external drive

How To Troubleshoot External Drive Issues With Windows 10?

If you want to link a typical spinning platter hard drive, a solid-state drive (SSD), or a flash drive to a USB interface, the procedures are given below should help you overcome most obstacles.

Repairing The Drive’s Connection

A broken physical connection is one of the most common causes of Windows 10 failing to recognize an external hard drive. Although most compact drives and almost every memory stick don’t require a separate power cord, if you’re connecting a big external hard disc, be sure it’s connected to a functioning power outlet.

The USB cable can be a problem on both small and large drives. It’s possible that the cable is damaged, or that you’re attempting to use the incorrect cable. Make sure you’re using a decent data cable if your PC isn’t recognizing the storage.

You’ll hear the hard disc spinning and see a light indicator if the USB and power cords are connected properly. The USB hub may be the source of the problem, as these devices can cause interoperability and power management problems.

If you’re using a hub to connect numerous devices, plug the Hard Drives into other ports on your computer. If you’re out of ports, remove the USB hub and insert the portable disc directly into the computer to test if Windows 10 identifies it.

It’s also possible that the issue is caused by a dead USB port on your PC. Disconnecting the drive while using a different device on the same or another computer will rapidly reveal if there is a port problem.

If you’ve tried all of the above suggestions and still can’t get the drive to work, you can please restart the connection by turning off your pc and disconnecting the external drive, then turning it back on and reconnecting the drive after one minute. You can also try connecting the drive to a new computer, but if it doesn’t work, the drive or controller is most likely dead.

Changing The Drive Letter

If you know the drive is fine but it didn’t turn up in File Explorer, it’s possible that it’s trying to use a letter that’s already taken by another device or that the drive letter is missing.

Letter Conflict Resolution

A drive letter conflict is a typical issue with removable devices that can be resolved by following these steps:

  • Press the Start button.
  • Do a web search for the words make and format hard disc partitions
  • To open Disk Management, click the top result.
  • Right-click the volume and choose Change Disk Letter and Paths if the drive is attempting to use an existing drive letter.
  • Select the Change option.
  • Choose to assign the next drive letter from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose any of the accessible letters from the drop-down menu on the right.
  • Select the OK option.
  • If a warning notice appears, select Yes

The external drive should display in File Explorer as soon as the new letter is assigned.

Fixing A Drive With A File System That Isn’t Supported

Only drives with a compatible file system are recognized by Windows 10. (NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, or ReFS) If you connect a disc with an unsupported file system that was formatted with a different OS (macOS or Linux) it will not appear on your computer. In this instance, formatting the drive with a supported file system is the best option.

This procedure will delete everything on the hard drive. If you want to keep any data, make sure you connect it to a compatible device, extract data, and then proceed with the procedures below. Follow these procedures to reformat a drive with a certified file system:

  • Press the Start button.
  • Look for the phrase create and format hard disc partitions in the search box.
  • To open Disk Management, click the top result.
  • Choose the Format option from the right-click menu for the drive with an unsupported file system
  • Give the drive a name under the Volume label
  • Use the default options, which include
  • NTFS is the first file system.
  • Default allocation unit size
  • Select the option to perform in a fast format

Fixing A Drive That Hasn’t Been Initialized

When you attach an external drive that has not been initialized and formatted, or when you use it on another pc, Windows 10 may not recognize it properly. It will also appear as Missing and Not Initialized in Disk Management.

This problem is more likely to occur when replacing an internal hard disc that came from another computer, although it can also occur with portable hard drives. If that’s the case, follow these procedures to immediately initialize the drive:

  • Press the Start button
  • Look for the phrase create and format hard disc partitions in the search box
  • To open Disk Management, click the top result.
  • Right-click the disc and pick the Initialize Disk option if it displays Unknown and Not Initialized.
  • If it isn’t already selected, pick the drive.
  • 2. Select MBR (Master Boot Record) as the boot option.
  • Select the OK option

If the disc has been initialized but still shows unallocated space, follow these methods to produce a volume, format it, and assign a drive to it: Right-click the unallocated area and choose New Simple Volume from the drop-down menu. Select the Next option. Press the Next button once more. Select the option to give the following drive letter.

Choose any of the accessible letters from the drop-down menu on the right. Select the Next option. Choose the option to Format this volume using the following settings. Use the default options, which include:

NTFS Is The First File System

  • Default allocation unit size
  • Give the drive a suitable name under the Volume label
  • Select the option to perform a fast format.
  • Select next from the drop-down menu.
  • Finally, press the Finish button.

After you’ve completed these steps, File Explorer should be able to access the drive.

Fixing The Drive’s Unreadable Status

You’re encountering read and write problems, damage, or hardware failure if Windows 10 will not detect the disc correctly and it shows in Disk Utility with the Indecipherable state.

If you’ve done everything to fix the connection, startup, and formatting problems, it could be a sign of equipment failures, in which case you must consider buying a new hard drive.

Troubleshooting Driver Problems

It could potentially be a driver issue if the drive isn’t accessible on your computer. There are at least two approaches to troubleshoot and repair this issue. You can either install the most recent driver or reinstall the very same driver to see if it lets the computer recognize the drive.

Can External Hard Disk Can Be Repaired?

In general, CMD can be used to fix external hard disk errors. You should be aware that when using “chkdsk f: /f,” the drive letter of the external hard disk should be substituted for the first f.

How Do I Get My External Hard Drive To Recognize?

  • Connect to a different port
  • Initialize the Drive.
  • Run a troubleshooter
  • Add or Modify the Drive Letter
  • Update or reinstall your drivers
  • Disable USB Selective Suspend


Here we conclude all the guidelines and information about How To Repair External Hard Disk Not Detected? Although many circumstances can stop external storage from becoming identified, these methods should help you resolve the most typical issues. If the drive still works after following these instructions, that’s great, but keep in mind that drives fail frequently.

As a result, this should serve as a warning to keep a current backup of your files. (You can always use One Drive or Document History to create a backup of your data) If the external drive still doesn’t appear on your computer, it’s likely broken, and you should consider replacing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to repair an external hard disc?

CMD, in general, can be used to correct external hard disc errors. It’s worth noting that the initial f in chkdsk f: /f should be substituted with the device driver of the external hard disc.

Why isn’t my external hard drive working?

Unplug the drive and try a different USB port if it still doesn’t work. It’s possible that the port in issue is failing, or that your drive is being picky. Try a USB 2.0 port if it’s plugged into the USB 3.0 port. If it’s connected to a USB hub, try connecting it straight to the PC.

Why isn’t my hard drive being recognized?

It could be due to a driver issue, a connectivity issue, or erroneous BIOS settings if your new hard disk is not identified by Disk Manager. This is something that can be fixed. A malfunctioning USB port or a broken cable can cause connection problems. The new hard drive may be deactivated if the BIOS settings are incorrect.

What happens if the hard disc fails?

Hard disc failure is difficult to identify since its symptoms are similar to those of other technical glitches such as viruses and malware. The most common symptoms are file destruction and a slowing of the computer.

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