How to Fix an Undetected External Hard Drive

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Jan 5, 2024 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

An external hard drive is a great choice to save important files, make backups, and take the files anywhere you go. However, it’s terrible if you find that your hard drive is undetected by your computer. It means you’re facing the possibility that all files might be trapped there. Actually, you should calm down in the first place and try to fix a hard drive not detected issue. Here 4 ways are covered to fix an undetected external hard drive.

It is a great option to have an external device. Backing up data on the cloud has become famous but having an external hard drive is still a top priority. Using an external device is extremely easy, just plug it in and start using it. But sometimes it can malfunction and may not appear on your PC. You may think "how to fix a hard drive not detected?" Well, there are plenty of options to solve the issue. You can use one of the following methods if the drive is not detected in Windows. These methods are the perfect answer to how to repair undetected external hard drives?

Method #1: Try a Different USB port to Fix the Undetected Problem

The easiest way to check the working of the external is by trying a different USB port. It is possible that the current port is failing. If it is plugged in the USB 3.0 port then use the 2.0 port. If you used a USB hub then plug it directly into the pc or laptop. If it does not work then proceed to the second method.

Method #2: Try to Connect the External Hard Drive to Another Computer

The above method does not assure that whether the computer is malfunctioning or the hard drive is not working properly. To confirm the issue plug it in another device. If the drive is not detected on other devices then it is the drive that is causing the problem.

Method #3: Run CHKDSK CMD to Check and Fix Undetected External Hard Drive

CHKDSK stands for Check Disk. It is a DOS command. It can verify file system integrity. You can also use this command to repair drives. Let’s learn how you can use this command to repair the external hard drive.

  1. Go to the start menu. Type cmd and open the command prompt window.
  2. Type: chkdsk f:/h (you should change "f" with your drive’s name) press enter.
  3. Now, type sfc/scannow and enter.

After the process is done the windows will automatically fix the issue. If this method also fails, don’t worry we have got your back. Here is another method you can use to detect the external hard drive.

Method #4: Show Hidden devices from Device Manager

If methods were not successful you can go for the device manager. It can happen if Windows is having a driver problem. Go to the start menu and type "disk manager" or you can enter "devmgmt.msc" into the run dialog.

Click on the Disk drives category. Now, look for the devices with a yellow exclamation sign next to their name. If you find such a symbol then your device is having a driver problem.

Now you have found the device with a problem, right-click on it. Reading this error message can help you to solve the issue. Copy and paste the message on google and you will find a solution.

To save some time and effort, try to update the driver.

Also, you can right-click and uninstall the device from your system. Reboot the windows hopefully the driver will reinstall and the problem will solve automatically.

To conclude the article, last but not least, there are many ways to fix an undetected external hard drive but we have mentioned the best ways for you here. If you don’t know how to fix an undetected external hard drive then these methods will definitely solve the problem for you. Most importantly, if you lose data during the process then you can recover all your data using the iBeesoft Data Recovery tool.