How to Fix External Hard Disk not Detecting in Windows?

Portable Storage Devices like the USB Pendrives, Memory Cards, External Hard Drives etc… are pretty useful and an easy way to save your important documents or data for later use with just a click of a button.

However, you might face a few issues like your portable hard disk is not getting detected by Windows operating system.

Portable External HDD

This problem may occur when your PC’s USB port is unable to recognize the external USB drives.

In most situations, you get the error that says ‘USB Device Not Recognized‘, which can be easily solved using the below solutions.

How to Fix/Repair External Hard Drive Not Detected by Windows?

Below are a few possible solutions to fix the HDD detection error in Windows 7/10 OS.

A. Disconnect the USB Device (External Hard Disk)

  1. Simply, disconnect the external hard drive from your PC/Laptop.
  2. Restart your Computer.
  3. Now, Connect the USB device back in to the Port and See if it works.
  4. Additionally, try plugging into another USB port and see if it recognizes the device.

B. Update the USB Device Drivers

Sometimes, outdated drivers can create such issues. So, try to update the USB drivers to the latest version available via the Internet.

  1. Go to Run Command (Press Windows + R Keys together).
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the search box and click OK.
  3. Now, expand the ‘Disk Drivers‘ option and Right Click on the External USB drive.
  4. Choose ‘Properties‘ and Select the ‘Driver‘ tab.
  5. Click on ‘Update Driver Software‘ option and follow the on-screen instructions.

In most cases, updating the USB drivers can fix the problem automatically. If not, do try the other methods.

C. Change the USB Hard Drive Letter

In some cases, changing or renaming the external hard disk letter can fix the problem.

  1. Go to Desktop > This PC > Right Click & Choose ‘Manage‘.
  2. Next, Select ‘Disk Management‘ option under ‘Storage‘ Menu.
  3. Right Click on your External Hard Drive and Select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths‘ option.
  4. Click on ‘Add‘ and Select the option that says ‘Assign the following drive letter‘ and Choose the drive letter from the drop-down menu. Click ‘OK‘.
  5. Once done, restart the computer and see if it works.

D. Change USB Selective Suspend Settings

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound.
  2. Choose ‘Power Options‘.
  3. On the next screen, under ‘Preferred Plans‘ > Balanced, click on ‘Change Plan Settings‘.
  4. Again, click on ‘Change Advanced Power Settings‘ on the next screen.
  5. Under the USB Settings Menu, Click on ‘USB Selective Suspend Settings‘ and Choose ‘Disable‘ from the drop-down options.
  6. Click on ‘Apply‘ and then select ‘OK‘.

Conclusion:

The above solutions can most probably fix your hard disk not recognized error in Windows.

However, if they fail to provide a better solution for you, then your issue may be caused by the following problems –

  • PC is infected with Virus
  • Faulty, Damaged or Broken USB port
  • Wrong File System or Partition Issues on your External Hard Drive

In such cases, please contact your nearest service center to get the issue resolved by a professional so that you don’t lose your valuable data.

by Radha Krishna
Hello! I am a Tech Enthusiast who likes to explore different gadgets and software applications. Here on this blog, I will be sharing my experiences and all the findings (reviews & troubleshooting tips) that I personally encounter.

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