Hard drive spins but not detected: [2023]How to Fix Hard drive Spinning But Not Detected?

[2023]How to Fix Hard drive Spinning But Not Detected?

Hard drives spinning but not being detected is a very common issue. Mostly, it is the HDD that causes the issue. Users report that their hard drives are spinning but not being detected. When we connect a hard drive to a computer, it usually displays a spinning icon or is spinning but is not detected by the computer.External hard drives are very useful, but these are the sorts of problems that you may face. The hard drive spinning but not being detected can have so many reasons. It can be the hard drive, the computer, or the cable that you use to connect the HDD. Fortunately, we now have some of the best solutions to the hard drive spinning but not being detected problem.Using these techniques, you can certainly solve these issues in no time.

  1. Part 1: What Cause Hard Drive Spinning But Not Detected?
  2. Part 2: How to Fix HDD Drive Spinning But Not Detected?

    • Fix 1: Check Your Hard Drive Adapter
    • Fix 2: Check The Hard Drive Connection
    • Fix 3: Run Boot Mode
    • Fix 4: Try Hard Drive Regenerator
    • Fix 5: Try Another USB Port
    • Fix 6: Plug-in the HDD in Another Computer
    • Fix 7: Make Sure the HDD File Format Is Supported by Computer
    • Fix 8: Update Your HDD
    • Fix 9: Run Virus Scan on Your Computer
    • Fix 10: Initialize HDD Device via Disk Management
    • Fix 11: Change HDD Drive Letter
    • Fix 12: Fix Firmware Problems
    • Fix 13: Check HDD Bad Sectors
    • Fix 14: Run Clean Command
    • Fix 15: Check Hardware Error
    • Fix 16: Run System Troubleshooter
    • Fix 17: Replace Hard Drive
  3. Bonus Tip: How to Recover Data from Hard Drive Spinning But Not Detected?HOT
  4. FAQs about Hard Disk Spinning But Not Detected:

Part 1: What Cause Hard Drive Spinning But Not Detected?

There can be a lot of reasons why a hard drive is spinning but not being detected. Either of them causes the same problem that we face. Although the following are some of the most common causes of a hard drive spinning but not being detected:

  • Sometimes the partitions are not defined within the drive itself. This can mostly happen with a brand new hard drive, although it can also happen with used or old hard drives.
  • Furthermore, if the partitions are there, there may be no letter associated with these partitions.
  • The hard drive isn’t associated with the two most common FAT32 or NTFS systems that most PCs recognize. Instead, it can show something called «raw.
  • There may be physical connections that cause problems with the links between the drive and the computer.
  • The drivers that run the external hard drives may be outdated or not present at all.

Part 2: How to Fix an HDD Drive That Is Spinning But Not Being Detected?

The methods listed below can be used to repair an HDD drive that is spinning but not being detected.

Fix 1: Check Your Hard Drive Adapter

Sometimes the problem is right in front of us, but we can’t recognise it. If the HDD drive is spinning but not being detected, the first thing to check is the adapter.The hard drive adapter can be the issue that causes the problem. You can remove any hard drive from the hard drive adapter. Or you can use the BIOS to reset the hard drive adapter and then turn it back to the default settings. Moreover, you can replace or install a new hard drive adapter.

Fix 2: Inspect the Hard Drive Connection

Hard drive connections are very crucial for the successful transfer of data. Check the hard drive connections first. If your computer ejects the hard drive tray when you press the next button, there is an issue with the connection. If the PC doesn’t start up and ejects the hard drive tray, then you should check for any visible cables between your hard drive and your motherboard. If neither of the above solutions work, you must open your computer and then rest all of the connections on both ends of the cord. It may be hard to repair it yourself, but some websites have step-by-step instructions on how to do it. If not, you can get it fixed by some professionals.

Fix 3: Run Boot Mode

To activate boost mode, you will need another hard drive that has the operating system files on it.

Step 1: Put your hard drive in the hard drive bay with the non-functioning hard drive. Turn your computer on and go to boot mode. Wait for the system to start up.

Step 2: Now select the hard drive that comprises the operating system when prompted. Before proceeding, ensure that both of these hard drives are active.Moreover, the hard drives should be initialized together at this prompt by default. If they are not, then initialize each hard drive individually to do so.

When the hard drives are initialized, you will be able to access them on my computer.

Fix 4: Try the Hard Drive Regenerator

Try to use the hard drive regenerator. This method is now very important. It can regenerate or attempt to regenerate data that has been corrupted on the hard drive. It also includes the Seagate hard drive that is not recognised by your computer. The hard drive regenerator can use its own hard drive controller drivers to regenerate the data on the hard drive.

Fix 5: Try A Different USB Port

If the hard drive is spinning but not working, try using a different USB port. Always use the one that comes with the hard drive. Moreover, you can use a high-quality USB port as well. Using another USB port can solve this issue.

Fix 6: Plug the HDD into Another Computer

Try using another computer for the HDD. Sometimes the computer itself creates problems. It can have a hardware issue, which can cause problems. So using another computer to get your work done is the best option.

Fix 7: Confirm that the Computer Supports the HDD File Format

If you are using your HDD hard drive for the first time and it doesn’t connect, then it may be in the wrong format. So to initiate the hard drive into the right format, do this:

Step 1: First, create a formatted hard disc partition in the Windows search box. Afterward, click on the first result.

Step 2: Now open the disc management programme and right-click on your hard drive. Afterwards, click on format.

Step 3: Now click on the volume label and select a name for your hard drive. The best way is to use the default settings recommended for Windows.

Step 4: Select the NTFS file system and use the default for allocation unit size. Now click on «Perform a quick format» and click «OK.»

Fix 8: Update Your Hard Drive

Most of the time, when Windows is new, it doesn’t have the drives that run the hard drives or connect the hard drives. So for that, check out the drivers on your PC. You can install all of the drives at once, either online or via a disk.

Fix 9: Run a Virus Scan on Your Computer

Viruses and malware can cause serious problems. If your system has a virus, it may not run or connect the HDD to your computer. Even some external hard drives have features that don’t allow the hard drive to be used with a computer that has viruses. So, run the best antivirus software you have on your computer and then reconnect.

Fix 10: Initialize HDD Device via Disk Management

Step 1: Open Disk Management and look for the name of your hard drive.

Step 2: After finding your hard disk, right-click on it and see if it’s offline or online. If it’s offline, make it online.

Step 3: You should also check if it’s formatted by looking for «allocated.» If not, you need to format it, but that will erase all the data you have on the hard drive.

Step 4: If you have valuable data on your drive, you may want to consider getting professional help to save your data. If you’re sure you can continue, right-click on the unallocated space and then on «New Simple Volume.»

Step 5: Click Next, and then assign the following drive letter. After selecting the drive letter, select the file format, and then proceed to the «Perform a quick format» option. Click Next, and then Finish.

Fix 11: Change HDD Drive Letter

Step 1: To change the HDD drive letter, right-click on the HDD drive. Then click the Change Drive Letter and Paths button.

Step 2: Click change, and then click assign the following drive letter. Afterwards, click the letter you want to use. Then enter OK.

Fix 12: Repair Firmware Issue

If you are hearing some sound from your hard drive then it must have firmware issues. Fixing the firmware issue requires professional technique so it will be hard for you to perform. You can take it to the professional to fix them.

Fix 13: Examine HDD Bad Sectors

Bad sectors are created when you accidentally or intentionally turn off the computer without shutting it down. There can be other reasons for the HDD having bad sectors too, but this is the most common one. You can check the bad sectors on the HDD. You can check it using the Chkdsk tool.Other than that, if you are using Windows 10, then you can use the Windows PowerShell.

Fix 14: Run the Clean Command

Step 1: Open the Windows search box and type «diskpart,» and then hit enter to run the command. Now type «list disk» in the prompt and hit enter.

Step 2: Now see the name allocated to your hard drive, and type select disc.

Step 3: Then type «clean» and hit enter to start erasing the disk.

Step 4: Then format it via Disk Management.

Fix 15: Look for Hardware Errors

Step 1: Open the settings on your computer. Click on Update and Security, and then open Troubleshooting.

Step 2: Choose the troubleshooting method that corresponds to the hardware and the problem. Then click to run the troubleshooter button.

This way, you’ll be aware if there’s a hardware problem.

Fix 16: Run the System Troubleshooter

Step 1: Open the settings on your computer.

Step 2: Click on Update and Security, and then open Troubleshooting.

Step 3: Choose the troubleshooting method that corresponds to the hardware and the problem. Then click to run the troubleshooter button.

This way, you’ll be aware if there’s a hardware problem.

Fix 17: Replace Hard Drive

Sometimes replacing your hard drive is the best option you have. If you have tried each of these above fixes and still your HDD is not connecting, then the issue is with your HDD. So try to replace or purchase another HDD or hard drive that you can use for your work.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Data from a Spinning Hard Drive That Isn’t Being Detected?

If your hard drive is spinning but not being detected, you can still recover your data from it. There is some great software that you can use to perform this work. Although the best one is 4DDiG Hard Drive Data Recovery tool, This is the software you need to safely recover your data from your hard drive.

Features of Tenorshare 4DDiG:
  • Data can be recovered from the internal or external drive of a laptop or PC, a USB flash disk, an SD card, and so on.
  • A person can recover 1000+ file types, including photos, videos, documents, and audio.
  • Recover files lost due to accidental deletion, formatting, lost partitions, corruption, a crashed system, a virus attack, and so on.

Check out the steps to recover data from your hard drive:


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  1. Connect and Select the External Hard Drive
  2. To begin, get Tenorshare 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery and install it. Start the application, connect your external hard drive to your PC where you lost data, and then select the external hard drive to begin scanning.

  3. Scan the External Hard Drive
  4. 4DDiG immediately examines the external hard drive all around for missing data, and you may pause or stop the searching at any time if you’ve identified the files you want to recover. There are categories like Deleted Files, Existing Files, Lost Location, RAW Files, and Tag Files under the Tree View. You can also switch to File View to check file types such as Photo, Video, Document, Audio, Email, and others. Besides, you can search for target files or use Filter to narrow down your search on the right side of the panel.

  5. Preview and Recover from the External Hard Drive
  6. After locating the target files, you can preview and recover them to a secure location. Please do not save to the same partition where you lost your data in the event of disc overwriting and permanent data loss.

Questions and Answers about Hard Disks Spinning But Not Being Detected:

Why Is My Hard Drive Running But Not Showing Up?

There are a lot of possible reasons for that. Your adapter may be malfunctioning, or there may be a hardware or software problem with your computer.So try solving your issue with Fololo and the above fixes.

How Do I Repair a Non-Detected Hard Drive?

There are diverse solutions to fix your hard drive if it is not detected. Try the different fixes that are mentioned above, and hopefully your issue will be resolved.

Why Can I Hear My Hard Drive Spinning?

The reason you are hearing it is because it shows that a hard drive is connected, but the computer still doesn’t detect it. It is very normal that you may hear the hard drive spinning, and it can have problems as well.

Final Viewpoints

Hard drives spinning but not being detected is one of the most common issues that users face. Although there are many possible solutions for it, Moreover, if your computer still doesn’t detect your hard drive, then it is better to recover your data using Tenorshare 4DDiG data recovery software.

Hard Drive Not Detected? Here’s what to do.

Is your hard drive not detected?

When a drive is not recognized due to defective areas on the unit, you should proceed with a data recovery software:

  • If it is the drive hosting the operating system concerned, cautiously disconnect it and plug it into another PC in order to proceed recovery in a secured manner.
  • If it is the memory card of a smartphone or a tablet concerned, the best option is to purchase an adapter and to plug it in a PC.

The different types of hard drive failure.

Sometimes our storage devices, hard drives or memory cards are not recognized by the operating system, making it impossible to access our professional or personal data. Here is some essential advice about what to do when a drive is not recognized.

For traditional electromagnetic hard drives, many types of failures can occur. First and foremost, the defective areas of the hard drive, linked to usage or shock, lead to the slowdown and errors, causing missing files/folders.

When the damaged areas are found in the hard drive’s file system, you will be prompted to format the partition, which you should not do in order to increase the chances of retrieving data.

If the hard drive is not at all recognized by the system nor the BIOS, be sure to check that the drive is also not making any noises. Click, whirring, or scratching sounds are a sure sign of physical failure which may be causing the drive not to be recognized by your system. Also, check also that the connectors are correctly plugged in. The intervention of a data recovery engineer will be necessary to solve the problem.

Regarding external hard drives…

Today’s external hard drives assume the functions of a USB drive, but with a larger dimension and more significant storage capacity.

The transportation of large data is therefore made easier,
but the consequence of this advantage is a reduced resistance to various hazards.

Internal hard drives are more susceptible to data loss, including recognition failure following physical shock, exposure to high heat, or simply a non-secured withdrawal. In all the cases, the procedure of data recovery for the external drive is the same
as for an internal drive or a USB stick.

My hard drive can’t be accessed but is recognized by BIOS 

If your hard drive is spinning without a problem but is not recognized by your computer’s BIOs this an be a sign of logical failure. This type of failure can be the result of defective media or data corruption from another source. In this case, first check the jumpers, which will vary
according to the configuration of the hard drive. You should also check that the connectors and power supply are properly connected. In severe cases, there may be a problem with the circuit board. In the majority of logical failures,
you should be able to recover the data via a data recovery software.

My hard drive is not recognized and appears dead 

A burnt circuit board (PCB) is one of the most common problems seen in hard drives. A power surge, overheating or an inadequate power supply can result in a hard drive frying its spindle driver chip leaving the data inaccessible. 

In some older models, you may be able to swap the PCB from another model. But most modern hard drives have logic boards that have been adapted to the head disk it was manufactured with. In those cases, a data recovery specialist will
need to rebuild the parameters or transfer them from the fried board to the donor PCB to make it fully compatible with the damaged hard drive. 

My hard drive is not being detected by Windows 

One of the most common questions we hear is, ‘Microsoft Windows on my PC is not recognising my hard drive. What should I do?’

Firstly, you should restart your computer, check the connections and plug your external hard drive into another PC. If the problem persists, there could be two reasons: 

The disk is still not recognized by Windows – If you have checked the connections and plugged your hard drive into another PC, but it is still not recognized, the hard drive could be defective.  

The hard drive does not appear in Windows Explorer 10, 7 or 8 but is detected by the computer – there could be a letter assignment problem in Disk Management – the hard drive doesn’t have a letter
by its name, so Windows File Explorer won’t be able to detect the disk partition. To assign a drive letter to it, follow these steps: 

  • Right-click on the workstation icon on your desktop 
  • Click on ‘Manage’ and then on ‘Disk Management’ in the Computer Management window
  • Select ‘change drive letter and paths’ 
  • In this window, click on ‘Add’ to assign a drive letter to hard drive partition or click ‘change’ to change the drive letter. 

My hard drive is not being detected on my Mac 

In this case, you should first check whether your external hard drive is recognized by another system. If you have access to a Windows or Linux PC, plug your external hard drive in; if it is recognized, perform a repair from the terminal,
you can do this with the commands’ diskutil list’ and ‘diskutil info disk’. Improper removal of the device can cause damage, so ensure you safely remove the drive before unplugging the external hard drive. 

If the external hard drive is not recognized when you plug it back into the Mac, first ensure your USB cable enables the USB port’s auto-power function. If the hard drive is still not recognized, verify that the ‘Finder’ settings allow
you to view newly connected devices. If your hard drive is NTFS formatted, non-native to the Mac, the Read Utility may need to be reset (Paragon NTFS us available in most versions of the Mac OS). If the external hard drive continues
not to be readable and is not visible on the BIOS of other systems (Windows or Linux), then a hardware failure should be considered.

SSD drives, USB sticks, and memory cards: what you need to know.

The differences between mechanical hard drives and SSD drives, USB sticks, and memory cards are based on flash memory.

The non-recognition could be due to poor state of the connectors. By cleaning it with the help of a cotton swab lightly dipped in alcohol, then letting it dry thoroughly, it may be possible to solve the problem.

Alternatively, it is possible that access becomes difficult, or even impossible. This is often linked to a failure in the storage unit clusters. If the SSD drive, the stick or the card is new, this could be an original defect covered by warranty. In other cases, it could be due to excessive usage and wear & tear. It is important to know that flash memory units have several writing/suppression cycles limited for each cluster, going from 1,000 to over 100,000 depending on the quality of the product. When this limit is reached, access is more difficult and it becomes a pressing matter to consider saving the data. If the drive becomes totally inaccessible,  professional data recovery is necessary.

My SSD / USB drive / memory card is unrecognized.

What should I do? 

Unlike mechanical hard drives, SSDs, USB drives and memory cards use flash memory. If your media device is unrecognized, it may be because of the condition of the connectors. You should start by cleaning the connectors with a cotton swab moistened with
alcohol to see if this solves the problem. If your device is still not recognized, it could be due to wear. Flash memory units have a limited number of write/delete cycles for each storage unit cluster, ranging from 1000 to 100,000 depending on the
quality of the product. Once the limit is reached, access to the device can be limited, and if a backup has not already been put in place, one should be. If the drives become inaccessible, recovery will be required. 

Below are some of the most frequent questions we are asked regarding unrecognized hard drives. 

Why is my external hard drive not recognized by my MAC?

It could be as simple as the USB cable being worn out or that the utility of the Mac is misconfigured and is not displaying any connected devices. If the hard drive is not partitioned in HFS+ format, the Mac OS X format, or ExFat format, verify that your
utility is correctly installed. 

If you have checked all of the above, there could be a hardware problem. In this case, you will need to contact a data recovery specialist. 

How to access an unrecognized hard drive?

It may seem simple but change the USB port and check that your USB cable is functioning properly. If the hard drive is appearing in the utility but is not accessible, you will need to repair it using the terminal commands. If
the hard drive continues not to be recognized, you may have to use a data recovery software to locate the files. 

Is updating drivers a solution?

When your hard drive is detected by your computer but is not displayed in Windows Explorer, you can try to update the driver. To do this, you should follow these instructions: 

  1. Open the «Device Manager».
  2. Right-click on the start button then click on «device manager». In this list, a coloured indicator may appear to indicate any errors.
  3. In the «Disk drive» section, you will find the reference of your disk. Right-click on it then click on «Update Driver». The update will automatically be taken over by Windows Update. 

Should I format my hard drive?

You should only format your drive if you have no data (or data you do not need) residing on it. You will need to choose the right format that suits your computer. Opt for NTFS or FAT32 if you are on Windows, and HFS +, ExFat or Mac OS Extended if on Mac. 

Remember that formatting a hard drive will erase all the stored data, so only choose this method if your hard drive is empty. 

Facing a non-recognizable hard drive: every challenge has a solution.

When a drive is not recognized due to defective areas on the unit, you can proceed with software recovery.

If it is the drive hosting the operating system concerned, cautiously disconnect it and plug it into another PC in order to proceed recovery in a secured manner. If it is the memory card of a smartphone or a tablet concerned, the best option is to purchase an adapter and to plug it in a PC.

Free tools like TestDisk  are very effective and offers many tools to recover your files in a non-recognized hard drive. It still requires IT expertise due to its challenging interface. To benefit from an interface that is more intuitive and having the expertise of specialists, our Ontrack EasyRecovery software is an excellent choice.

In the most serious cases, such as following strong physical shock, water immersion or high heat, or if it is a drive that cannot be recognized at all, a professional data recovery in a clean room, will be necessary to save all documents, images, etc.

In all cases, in cases of doubt, it is worth seeking professional advice by specialists to avoid risking losing your data indefinitely.


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what to do and how to fix the problem

Many users have probably experienced such a problem when the computer does not see the hard drive and does not want to work with it. Before we understand why this happens and try to find a solution, let’s find out what it is and what it is used for.

The hard disk is a data storage device. Any information available on a computer is stored on it. In addition, the operating system and all related data are written to the hard drive.

Accordingly, if the system cannot detect this device, then all recorded data immediately becomes inaccessible. Below we have collected the most common and common causes of problems when the computer does not see the hard drive, and effective ways to fix them. This article will help you take important steps to solve the problem and protect you from unnecessary and thoughtless actions. The following problems also apply to external drives.

Article contents

  1. Diagnostic measures
  2. Outgoing contacts
  3. Motherboard
  4. Incorrect BIOS settings
  5. System date
  6. Boot error
  7. Power failure or PSU failure
  8. Device conflict 9001 2
  9. Letter assignment
  10. Wrong file system format
  11. Formatting
  12. Third party programs
  13. Removable media not visible
  14. Physical or logical failure
  15. More detailed instructions
  16. User comments

Diagnostic measures

If the hard drive is not detected by the computer, the first step is to find the cause of the problem. First you need to determine what the problem lies in the system or the device itself. To do this, let’s try to connect the disk to any other device.

If the hard drive is recognized, then the problem is with our Windows OS, if not, then this device is faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced. In this case, further work should be entrusted to specialists.

However, if only the system part of the hard drive is faulty, then there are several ways in which you can independently restore its performance.

Outgoing contacts

Perhaps the problem that the hard drive is no longer detected lies in the absence of contact. To fix this, you need to open the side cover of the PC case or the back cover of the laptop, find it and reconnect it.

If this does not work, try replacing the SATA cable with a new one. It is likely that the contacts on the signal cable have oxidized or it does not sit well in the power connectors that the motherboard is equipped with.


If the motherboard does not see the hard drive, then the problem may be in itself. You can check it in the following way:

  1. First of all, connect it to another SATA connector on the motherboard. If the case is in a failed connector, the HDD will start to be recognized.
  2. Try connecting the HDD to another laptop or PC. If the connected screw starts working in normal mode, it’s most likely the southbridge of the motherboard. It is he who is responsible for the correct operation of IDE / SATA interfaces. Perhaps it began to fail, in which case it is recommended to take it in for repair.

Incorrect BIOS settings

The next factor that deserves our attention is BIOS settings. Incorrect settings disrupt the operation of the OS as a whole.

System date

If the hard drive is no longer detected, then you need to look at the system date, the incorrectness of which indicates a settings failure. In this case, to correct the situation, you need:

  1. Enter the BIOS settings.
  2. Set the current date and time in the «Date» and «Time» lines.
  3. Save changes (in most cases, use the F10 key) and exit the BIOS.

After restarting the computer, it should start showing up, but if it’s still not visible, move on to the next method.

Error booting

The problem may also be in the order of the boot devices. Perhaps in the first row of the list is a non-existent floppy disk or flash drive from which the PC is trying to boot. And in case of failure, the error «Disk boot failure» occurs, or other similar errors associated with «Hard drive», «Hard disk» or «Boot».

How to fix it:

  1. You need to enter the BIOS and go to the «Boot» section.
  2. Specify a hard drive that is not recognized by the system as the primary boot device (1st Boot Priority).
  3. Save the changes and restart the computer.

Depending on the BIOS version, the appearance of the interface may vary. In this case, you need to look for similar options with the name «Boot Device», «Boot Option».

If your hard drive is still detected, but periodically disappears and appears, then you should pay attention to the sounds it makes. Buzzing sounds, indicating a change in work cycles, indicate malnutrition. That is, the hard drive does not have enough electricity to fully function.

Do not exclude the moment of PSU failure when sufficient voltage is not supplied to the connected equipment.

There are three ways out of the situation:

  • Purchase a more powerful power supply (for an average PC, 550-650W will be enough).
  • Turn off a less important or unnecessary device.
  • Take it to a service center for further diagnosis and repair.

Since all devices and components must work for the normal functioning of the computer, it is best to purchase a new power supply.

Device conflict

The next reason that a laptop or PC does not see the hard drive is a conflict of connected devices. As you know, two hard drives of the same or different brands can cause malfunctions and conflicts in the system.

To solve this problem, you need to connect and configure each one separately. Thus, they will not conflict and will be able to work simultaneously.

Assignment of the letter

Let’s say the hard drive is spinning, visible in the BIOS, but not detected by the operating system. That is, the OS cannot work with it. In this case, it is necessary to carry out manual configuration using the tools available in Windows.

To do this:

  1. Click on «Start» and enter «Computer Management» in the search box.
  2. Go to the Disk Management section.
  3. All currently connected disk devices will be displayed in the main window. One of them will not have a volume label (letters C, D). We right-click on it so that the menu drops out, and we find the line «Change letter or path …».
  4. In the next window, click Add.
  5. Then we set a new label for the volume and save the changes. When saving, you may see a notification that some programs may stop working, we agree by clicking «YES».
  6. It remains only to restart the PC so that the screw is recognized by the system.

The method is analyzed on the example of Windows 7 and is suitable for computers and laptops of any company, including hp, samsung, packard bell, acer and asus. Only the operating system you have installed may have slight differences.

Wrong file system format

If the laptop or computer stopped seeing the hard drive, and none of the above methods solved the problem, then it may be due to the wrong file system format. As a result, the OS and the disk «speak» different languages. This is especially common when a PC is moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8.

You can correct the situation in the following ways.


The HDD needs to be formatted to NTFS. But this should only be done if the data stored on the drive is not important to you, as it will be deleted. The new version of Windows in this case will independently set the necessary HDD parameters.

  1. Follow steps 1-2 from the previous point.
  2. Right click on the drive and select Format.
  3. In the window that opens, specify «NTFS», leave all other parameters as default and click «OK».

After the process is finished, the disc should be displayed.

Third-party programs

The second option for what to do if the computer does not find the hard drive is to change the file system using special programs. Among the huge number of them, we can distinguish the Partition Manager and Acronis utilities. They are the most convenient to use, and you can download them absolutely free from the office. sites.

They are recommended if you have important files or documents on your netbook’s hard drive and you don’t want to lose them. Several ways to restore partitions using Acronis have already been discussed in a similar article.

If removable media is not visible

Quite often it happens that an external drive is simply not visible due to a banal discrepancy between the USB protocol (1.1 / 2.0) or a poorly fitting connector. Therefore, this factor also requires attention and careful verification.

As for other reasons, you can find them in this article dedicated specifically to external drives.

Physical or logical failure

One of the main reasons why a hard drive is not detected by the system is its failure. It can be of two types, let’s stop and analyze each in more detail.

  1. Physical failure — occurs as a result of a shock, drop, shock, power surge or overheating. In this case, the internal mechanics completely or partially fails. Usually, at the same time, he begins to make third-party sounds, knock, click or squeak. If this happens, we recommend that you seek help from specialists, since it can completely fail at any time, and you will lose all the information on it.
  2. Logical failure — its appearance is based on: incorrect shutdown of Windows, file system errors, errors when reading / writing to the HDD (the so-called logical bads). There are many professional utilities with which you can check the HDD for errors and fix them. And they are suitable for all manufacturers, including Seagate, WD (Western Digital), Toshiba, 3Q. In addition, some of the manufacturers provide their proprietary utilities, which increases the chance of recovery.

Some users without the appropriate knowledge and experience in servicing hard drives try to disassemble and revive it on their own. What they don’t know, however, is that it is assembled under the most sterile conditions possible and does not allow for fingerprints and dust, which leads to physical damage and, consequently, malfunction. This is due to the fact that there is such a small gap between the head and the disk that even a small speck of dust can scratch it and thereby disable it.

If none of the methods discussed above helped to solve this problem, then in this situation it will not be possible to do without the help of qualified specialists. It remains only to take it to a service center and wait for the diagnostic results.

More detailed instructions

The external hard drive is not recognized — what should I do?



Author: Alexey Ivanov

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External hard drive not recognized — what should I do?





Let’s figure out what to do if Windows no longer recognizes your external hard drive. We have prepared 6 tips to help solve the problem.

If Windows does not recognize the external hard drive, there can be many reasons for this. In most cases, they are easy to find and fix in order to use the drive without problems. However, defects in the hardware itself can also prevent you from accessing an external drive. Here we talked about how to understand that the hard drive will break soon.

We advise you to check all possible causes of problems by going through each step of this manual step by step.

1 Check hard drive connectors

If your computer does not display an external hard drive at all, check that it is properly connected to the correct USB port and that it is receiving sufficient power. Most external hard drives have a USB 3.0 interface. This means that they must be connected to the appropriate port on the computer. It is usually colored blue and, accordingly, is clearly visible.

However, you cannot seriously harm the equipment by connecting it to the wrong port, because USB 1. 0, 2.0 and 3.0 standards are compatible with each other. This means that your hard drive will be recognized when connected to an older standard port, but will be much slower. If the drive doesn’t work at all, the port may be bad.

Often a simple switch to a different USB slot helps to locate the hard drive. Restarting your computer may also fix the error. If possible, try connecting a different wire. There are USB cables that are for charging only and do not allow data transfer.

Disconnecting USB devices that you are not currently using can also help to free up necessary USB resources on the system. This is because each USB controller can only handle a limited number of devices.

Depending on the hard drive used, it may need to be connected not only to the computer via USB, but also via the power adapter. In this case, make sure you are using the correct power supply and that the hard drive is powered by it.

If the ports and wires are OK, you need to continue troubleshooting to get the computer to display the hard drive again.

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2 Viewing your hard drive in Disk Management

If your external hard drive is no longer recognized, it’s worth checking if Windows sees your external drive in Disk Management.

  1. Open Windows Disk Management, for example by searching for «Disk Management» and click on the search result «Create and format hard disk partitions».
  2. After you open this menu, you will see an overview of all connected drives and corresponding partitions on your computer. If Windows successfully recognized your external hard drive, it should show up in the list. It is usually listed as removable media.
  3. Try to identify the drive you are looking for using the size information displayed at the bottom of the screen. With the help of the status indicator (above) you can see if there is any problem with it.

3. Assigning the letter

If Windows recognizes your external hard drive in Disk Management, you can at least rule out a possible defect in the USB cable, and you will know that your external drive itself works without problems. So now check if a letter has been assigned to your external hard drive at all. Such an appointment is mandatory.

If the external drive was recognized by the system, it will be listed in Disk Management. Now you can see the disk designation there, but it may not have a letter, for example — (E). To assign it, do the following:

  1. Right-click the primary hard drive partition (blue bar).
  2. Select «Change Drive Letters and Paths». You will see that the drive letter is not displayed.
  3. Go to «Add» and select a free letter. Employed will not be available for selection.
  4. Your external hard drive will now be assigned a drive letter and will be available again.
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4 Disk initialization and volume creation

In addition, the hard disk may need to be initialized before first use. Again, you can do this using Disk Management.

  1. Locate your external hard drive in Disk Management. It must be submitted marked «Unallocated».
  2. Right-click on the gray rectangle to the left of it. Here you will see the disk number, for example «Disk 4».
  3. Select Disk Initialization from the context menu.
  4. A new window will prompt you to define the section style. Here, for disks from 2 terabytes, we recommend choosing «GPT». Often you can just leave what is offered by default.
  5. Confirm the operation.

Steps 2 and 3 can be skipped if a suitable partition style is already set.
At the end, click on the unallocated area in Disk Management and select New Simple Volume. Follow the instructions to set up your hard drive.

5 Formatting an external hard drive

If the previous step does not give the desired result, then the hard drive may not be formatted correctly for your operating system, and the formatting process must be repeated. Please note that this will delete all data on the drive.

  1. Go back to Disk Management and click the Format command.
  2. Enter a hard disk name and select the appropriate file system. In most cases, you can leave the «Perform a quick format» option enabled.
  3. Please wait until the process is completed. After that, you will have access to the external hard drive again.

6 Last resort: buy a new external hard drive

If all this fails, your hard drive is most likely defective. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new model: check out our list of inexpensive external drives.