My External HDD Won’t Show Up Any Data. How Do I Get It Back Again?

Does your external hard disk won’t show up on My Computer? Don’t panic, it could be a simple connection issue or a faulty port. There may be some issues with the device drivers. We’ll share some workarounds to get rid of this issue.

How to Fix an Undetected Hard Disk and Recover Data?

Check the Drive in Disk Management

To recover the data stored on your undetected hard disk, you need to enable your external hard disk which is currently undetected. To do that, plug in your external hard drive. Then, press Win + X to launch the Disk Management tool. From the list, select “Disk Management” and enter “diskmgmt.msc” and open the utility. Once the Disk Management utility opens up, you can check all the hard drives mentioned on the list. Your external hard drive should appear as a “Removable” volume even if it doesn’t show up on your PC window.

If the device is listed, you might need to format or create partitions for Windows to access it. If not, then move on to other fixes.

Try Another USB Port or Computer

Sometimes, your external hard disk is not being detected due to a damaged or faulty port. Unplug the device from the faulty port and connect it to another port. If it works, replace the faulty port.

Troubleshoot Device Driver Issues

Sometimes, your hard disk does not get detected due to missing, incompletely installed, or obsolete drivers. You might want to check whether newer versions of the drivers are available online, and install them. If the problem is caused due to incompletely installed drivers, you might want to roll back to the previous driver version using the Properties dialog in the Device Manager.

Simply run “devmgmt.msc” and expand the disk drives category and look for a yellow exclamation mark next to your hard disk entry. A yellow color exclamation mark indicates a problem with the corresponding drivers.

You can also try downloading the required drivers from the manufacturer’s website. If that doesn’t help, simply uninstall the device, restart your computer. Once the Windows loads up, it will automatically download and install the drivers. If it doesn’t, open Device Manager again and use the Scan for hardware changes option.

Format the External Hard Drive

If you have tried creating a new volume and partition for the Windows to access your external hard drive but it still doesn’t recognize it, you should try formatting it. It might also be that the hard drive is partitioned with a different file system.

Remember, formatting will erase all your data. Therefore, if the drive is formatted for use on Mac or Linux for instance, you should transfer your data by running that hard drive on the same operating system. 

Use Third-Party Programs

Finally, if none of the above work, you can download and install third-party apps that help detect your external hard drive. These programs will detect your device and read your data with ease, allowing you to transfer as well. This is the safest option if you do not want to risk losing your personal data while troubleshooting the detection issue.

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