How to recover data when hard drive is not recognized

External hard drives are commonly used to back up data. However, just like other drives, these hard drives are prone to problems. One of the problems that often occurs with external hard drives is that the external hard drive is not recognized. When you connect your external hard drive to your system, it will not be recognized. If this problem is not solved quickly, you risk losing the data saved on the external hard drive.

What to do when external hard drive is not recognized by Windows

Does Disk Management show the hard drive?

Connect your external removable disk to the system and make sure the power switch is on. Next, open a tool called Disk Management. You can do that by typing diskmgmt.msc in the dialog box that appears when you press the R key and the Windows key at the same time.

recover data

Disk Management will find your external drive even if it doesn’t show up anywhere else. If you find your external hard drive here, format it to make it accessible to Windows. If you can’t find the hard drive here either, try to figure out why Windows doesn’t see it.

disk management

How to make Windows recognize the drive

A dead drive, a Windows driver issue, or a bad USB port can be the reasons why your external drive is not recognized by Windows. Try plugging the external drive into a different USB port on the system. A USB port hardware issue may be behind the external drive working on a different USB port. Also, if you are using a USB hub to connect your external drive to the computer, you should try to unplug the drive from the USB hub and connect it directly to the system.

There may be a driver problem or your drive may be faulty if you cannot find your external drive in Disk Management after changing the USB port and removing the USB hub. To be sure, connect your external hard drive to another computer system. If it doesn’t show up there in Disk Management either, then your drive is probably faulty.

If your external drive is recognized by other computers, there is a high probability of a driver problem. You can check this with the device manager. Open Device Manager by pressing the R key and the Windows key at the same time and typing ‘devmgmt.msc’ in the command line.

You can recognize driver problems by the fact that yellow exclamation marks are displayed in front of the affected devices in the device manager. View the error message by right-clicking on the devices with the yellow exclamation mark. Enter the error message in the Google search mask to find out how to fix the problem.

device manager removable drives

Running System Restore is an option if the problem is recent. Other options available are reinstalling the driver after uninstalling it, reverting changes using the Rollback Driver option, or updating the driver using the Update Driver option.

usb device properties

If the external hard drive is not recognized, the above methods can fix the problem. However, there is a risk that the data on the external hard drive will be lost in the process. Hence, data recovery is a good option before trying these methods. The possible causes of this problem can be physical damage, outdated Windows drivers, bad sectors, etc. If the problem also occurs when connecting the hard drive to another computer, we strongly recommend that you send the drive to a repair service. Before you recover data from an external hard drive not recognized, you need to fix this problem.

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