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How to Recover Data from HDD Which Is Not Detecting

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips Updated by Nancy on June 7, 2024 | Approved by William

Losing access to your data because your computer isn't recognizing your Hard Disk Drive (HDD/SSD) can be incredibly frustrating. Important documents, precious photos, and other critical files can seem trapped within an unreachable digital vault. But don't panic—data loss isn't inevitable. Here's a guide on how to recover HDD not detected. We hope it helps you regain access to your valuable files.

Why Is My Hard Drive Not Being Detected?

A variety of factors may cause this. Here are some common causes of HDD which is not detecting:

Quick Troubleshooting Before Pre-Recovery

Before diving into data recovery strategies for an undetected hard drive, follow these steps to determine the source of the problem so you can find the right solution faster.

  1. Check Power Supply and Connections

    First, ensure your disk is properly connected. For external drives, try a different USB port. If it's an internal drive, use a different SATA cable. Look for indications of power—your HDD should vibrate slightly or emit a low humming noise.

  2. Review Disk Management

    Windows users can access Disk Management by right-clicking on "This PC," selecting "Manage," and then "Disk Management." If the hard drive shows up here but not in File Explorer, this may be caused by a logic error.

  3. Inspect the BIOS Settings

    Restart the computer and access the BIOS (usually by pressing F2, F10, or Delete during boot). If your HDD isn't listed, it may be a hardware issue.

Tip: The above steps are also helpful for solving USB not showing up in Windows 11 and 10.

How to Recover Data from HDD Which Is Not Detecting

After basic troubleshooting, you should know that the computer is not detecting the hard drive because of logical error or physical damage. Next, you can choose the corresponding solution based on your situation.

1. Use Data Recovery Software

  • 📋 Requirement:
  • Your HDD appears in "Disk Management" but not "File Explorer."
  • Applicable situations:
  • Any logical errors such as "Drive Not Accessible," "Location Is Not Available," "You need to format the disk before you can use it," "Disk unknown not initialized," "Access denied," "The file system shows not RAW," "Capacity is 0," and more.
  • ⚜️ Advantage:
  • DIY to save your time.

For this, trust iBeesoft Data Recovery. Here's why it's the best tool for the job:

Best Hard Drive Recovery Software

(Trust Score 4.7 by 1695 Users)
  • With its powerful algorithm, the best disk recovery software can swiftly scan and retrieve data, even from inaccessible drives.
  • The user-friendly interface simplifies the data recovery process, making it easy for all users, regardless of technical expertise.
  • iBeesoft supports the recovery of diverse file types, including documents, photos, videos, audio files, and emails, offering a complete solution for all your data recovery needs.
Download for Windows Download for macOS

A Step-by-Step to recover data from hard drive not detected:

  1. Download iBeesoft Data Recovery.
  2. Install it on your computer and open it.
  3. Select the HDD/SSD which is not detecting and click "Scan."

  4. After waiting for the progress to complete, select the recoverable files and click "Preview" to check the contents.
  5. After determining the target files, select them and click "Recover."

2. Consider Professional Services

If the above solutions don't yield results, a professional data recovery service could be your best bet, especially if you suspect physical damage. These experts can easily help you recover data from hard drive that won't boot.

  • ☑️ Applicable situations:
  • Your drive has significant physical damage, or you're uncomfortable using recovery software for Mac or Windows.
  • ⚜️ Advantage:
  • Almost all SSD or HDD failures can be treated but are time-consuming and costly.

How to Choose the Right One

  1. Choose a data recovery service known for its solid reputation and extensive experience with various storage devices. Check reviews, testimonials, and the company's success rate to ensure reliability.
  2. Verify that the service provider meets industry standards and holds certifications like ISO to ensure your data's security and confidentiality during recovery.
  3. Select a service that thoroughly evaluates before recovery begins, providing cost estimates, timelines, and success probabilities. Transparent pricing and procedures are key to trustworthy service.

How to Fix a Hard Disk That Is Not Being Detected

When faced with an HDD which is not detecting by your computer, you can troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue by following these guides:

1. Assign Drive Letter

  1. In Disk Management, right-click on the HDD and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths."

  2. Assign a new letter to the hard drive to make it accessible in File Explorer.

2. Update Disk Drivers

  1. Press "Windows + X" and select "Device Manager."
  2. Find the HDD that is not detecting, right-click it, and select "Update Driver."

  3. Follow the instructions for this process.

3. Run Disk Management Tools

For Windows:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Run the command: "chkdsk *: /f /r" (replace * with the drive letter of the HDD that is not detecting).

Tip: There are many ways to use this tool, such as undelete command.

For Mac:

  1. Open Disk Utility.
  2. Select the undetected hard drive and click "First Aid."

4. Initialize the HDD

If it appears in Disk Management but is not initialized, right-click the HDD and choose "Initialize Disk." Follow the prompts to initialize it.

5. Format it

If none of the above methods resolve the problem, consider right-clicking the drive in Disk Management and selecting "Format" to reformat it. This will erase everything in it, so before you begin, use the method mentioned above to recover data from hard drive which is not detecting.

How Can I Prevent HDD/SSD Detection Issues In the Future?

Follow these tips to keep your disk in top shape and avoid future headaches:

These tips can minimize the risk of HDD/SSD detection issues and ensure your storage devices run smoothly.


While realizing that your hard drive is not detecting is alarming, multiple avenues exist to attempt data recovery and fix this error. From checking the simple errors to consulting professionals, do not lose hope prematurely. Frequently back up your data, upkeep your hardware, and stay informed about managing digital data. Proactive data management is a critical aspect of the digital age that we often learn the hard way. Please don't wait until it's too late.


  • Data recovery can still be achieved even if the disk isn't detected. It might require specialized tools and techniques, but it is often possible. For physically damaged drives, professional data recovery services can offer invaluable assistance.

  • Begin with these basic troubleshooting steps:

    1. Check the connections: Ensure cables are securely connected.
    2. Try a different port: Use another USB or SATA port.
    3. Test on another PC: Connect the HDD to another computer to see if it's detected.

    If that still doesn't fix the problem, try using a tool to recover data from HDD which is not detecting, and then follow the methods to resolve the issue.

    1. Listen for unusual noises: Clicking or grinding sounds can indicate physical damage.
    2. Inspect for visible damage: Look for any signs of wear or damage on the drive and connections.
    3. Use SMART tools: Software like CrystalDiskInfo can provide health status details.
  • Yes, several software tools can help diagnose and fix HDD issues:

    1. Utilize built-in utilities like Device Manager on Windows or Disk Utility on macOS to diagnose hardware issues and check the driver status.
    2. Tools like iBeesoft Data Recovery can recover HDD not detected, and MiniTool Partition Wizard can diagnose this issue.
    1. Right-click on "This PC" and select "Manage."
    2. Click on "Disk Management."
    3. Look for your HDD in the list of drives.
    4. You may create a new volume if it's there but unallocated.
  • These noises often indicate physical damage or mechanical failure. In such cases, turn off your computer immediately and avoid using the drive further. To prevent further damage, contact professional data recovery services.