USB hard drive not showing up: Windows

USB hard drive not showing up: Windows

If you have some issue due to Windows not recognizing your external hard drive, you can look at the following instructions to make it detected and usable.

What if the hard drive is not detected?

  • Test with another USB cable.
  • Try unplugging the drive, turn it off, reconnect, then turn it on.
  • Install the latest drivers from the motherboard, including the USB drivers.
  • Check the website of the hard drive manufacturer if there are no special drivers.
  • Check also if it does not have a section with answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).
  • Check (if possible) the position of the rider in the rack (Sata1/Sata2 for a SATA disk) or the master position (IDE Disk).
  • Plug the box's hard drive directly into the motherboard to check if the failure is due to the hard drive.

What if the hard drive is detected?

It might be because the hard drive file system is not recognized by Windows.

  • Open the Disk Management menu:
    • Windows 11/10: right-click the Start button and select Disk Management.
    • Earlier versions: open the Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management.
  • Either try to change the assigned letter: right-click the volume and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".
  • Or, recover data from unallocated space: right-click the volume and select "New Simple Volume...".
  • Or, format it: right-click on the external disk and select "Format" (you may lose your data).
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