External Hard-Drive not showing up in Computer or Device Manager

Lewis - Oct 22, 2015 at 07:00 AM
Boogieman_WD Posts 275 Registration date Friday October 10, 2014 Status Member Last seen October 19, 2016   - Oct 26, 2015 at 11:50 AM
Hello, I have tried several methods already, including updating the drivers, turning off the save power shutdown capabilities etc. In a last ditch effort to save my External Hard-Drive and its' content, is there anything I can do before dissecting it or buying a new one to try and fix it?

For context purposes: I plugged it into my Computer, after several years of use and it stopped showing up, with no error message, absolutely no indication of it on the computer anywhere. I later plugged in another external hard-drive and this has happened to it as well, so I am trying to save two 1 Terabyte External Hard-Drives from retirement. It works on no other devices, not computers, laptops, Blu-Ray players, nothing! One device is Hitachi and the other is Toshiba, both have their power lights on and are vibrating as if working.
Please help me!

1 response

Boogieman_WD Posts 275 Registration date Friday October 10, 2014 Status Member Last seen October 19, 2016   37
Oct 22, 2015 at 09:15 AM
Hey there, Lewis.

This would be quite the unfortunate coincidence for 2 different HDDs to stop working at the same time. I know you've written that you've tried one of them with different devices and computers, but have you tried the other one as well? Also try them with a different USB cable as well, to see if anything changes. Have you checked if they are recognized by Disk Management? Perhaps there's something which might be corrupting their content or partitions, so you might want to run a full scan (on your internal HDD) with your anti-virus program, to see if any threats pop-up.
I'd recommend that you try accessing the external drives via Ubuntu Live USB/DVD, to see if they are properly recognized and if you can get to your files and back them up. Another option would be - data recovery software. Other than that there's one more option, but it's not really recommended. I'm talking about taking the drives out of their enclosures and trying them out by directly connecting them to a motherboard via a SATA connection. Note that this would void the warranty of the drives and it wouldn't work if the cause for the issue is not a faulty external enclosure, so do that at your own discretion.

Hope that helps. Please let me know how everything goes.

WD Representative
I have tried everything with both HDD's yes, I don't have any other USB cables but I tried swapping them around, still nothing. They aren't in Disk Management, I have run a full computer check, with Microsoft Security Essentials, is this appropriate? Nothing came up. I don't mind about the warranty, just not sure if the problem is hardware more than it is software. Is there a possibility that the security scan couldn't actually check the hard drives even when they were plugged in? Thanks for your help Boogieman!
Boogieman_WD Posts 275 Registration date Friday October 10, 2014 Status Member Last seen October 19, 2016   37 > Lewis
Oct 26, 2015 at 11:50 AM
Sure thing. If it was a driver, OS, or BIOS related issue, at least one of the drives should've probably popped-up when connected to one of the devices and computers you've tried it with. That's why I don't think it is a software related issue. It really sounds like the drives are either dead or dying. I'd recommend that you go for a data recovery company as a last resort, or send them to a computer service shop, to see if the guys there can think of a solution.