When you connect an external hard drive to your laptop or computer, it can remain hidden even if it’s working. Also, there can be situations when the external hard drive not showing up, as it’s not detected by your PC. This problem can cause further damage to both your computer and drives if you do not fix it.
So, if you are currently facing this trouble with your external disks and USB drives, go through this article. It will help you to understand a few common issues due to which external hard drives can become unrecognizable. In case, you are looking to some technical solutions to make your hard drive visible on PC, read the entire content.
Why the External Hard Drive not Showing up on your Computer?
It can be an annoying situation when the external hard drive not showing up anymore when you need to access the files in it. So, before checking the troubleshooting methods to make your hard drives detectable, try to know the causes.
Otherwise, go through the following points to understand what can go wrong with your external drives.
Causes that can Prevent your External Hard Drive to Show up
Let’s take a look at some of the common problems which can block users’ access to hard drives connected externally.
1. External Device not Powered up
Many external drives make use of an individual supply unit to power up. So, if you are trying to connect such a drive to your PC, it might not show up due to power issues. Also, don’t ignore a damaged power cable in either or both your laptop and external drive. As it can also be a major reason why you can’t see your hard drive icon on your PC.
2. Malware and Viruses
According to some customers, external devices can remain hidden when the device is infected with a critical virus or malware.
3. USB Port not Working
The hard drive can also display this error if you are trying to connect it to a defective USB port. Sometimes, certain ports can report malfunctioning problems with external devices. Hence, if you are connecting your USB device or hard drive to such a port, there will be no detection.
4. Drivers not Updated
An outdated driver problem can also be the reason behind external hard drive not showing up on certain PCs. Hence, if your computer is running an OS that is not up to date, it might fail to show the hard drives.
The same goes with the flash drive USB devices, which can produce this error due to the lack of proper updates.
Methods you can Try When External Hard Drive not Showing up
There can be multiple issues due to which your external hard drive not showing up. But, if you want to resolve this error and detect hard drives to access your valuable files in it, check out the following fixes.
However, before applying any of the solutions, you will have to ensure that your external drive is powered up. So, you can connect the drive to a stable power supply or wall outlet. Whereas, in the case of USB, make sure you are connecting the device to a working port.
In case you observe that the LED indicator for your external drive is lit, it means the device is working fine. But, in order to make it recognizable on PC, try the following steps on your Windows.
Method 1 – Check Hard Drive’s Status Using Disk Management Tool
In order to resolve the issue with your drive, you will have to check its Disk Management settings on Windows. Hence, to try this method, hit both the ‘Windows logo’ and ‘X’ key to access the Power User menu. You can also do this by right-clicking on the Windows Start button and then navigate to the section of ‘Disk Management’.
However, Windows 10 users can access this feature by running the application file in the Run dialog box. So, simply press Windows + R buttons and type ‘diskmgmt.msc’ to open the Disk Management window.
Then you can go through the list of external drives available on your Windows along with its status report. Here, you can check which drive is primary, secondary and external for your PC. In order to find the status of the drive that is not showing up anymore, scroll down to the last few sections.
If you can see the option of ‘Create a New Volume and Assign a Drive Letter’, it means you can format the drive to make it visible on Windows. But, if your external hard drive not showing up, move on to the next solution. This can be an indication that the drive is completely dead or having some kind of hardware problem.
Method 2 – Connect your External Device to a Different USB Port
Sometimes, connecting your external drive to a specific USB port can prevent it from displaying on Windows. So, the best method to address this error is by switching to another USB port and connect the drive.
In order to apply this solution, remove the drive from the defective USB port and select a new port. This is one of the surest ways to tell if this error is occurring due to faulty hard drive or USB port.
Also, try to insert the USB based hard drive to the suitable port on your PC rather than a USB hub. As there can be inadequate power in the hub unit which can prevent recognition of external drives.
However, if connecting your drive to the computer directly doesn’t resolve this error, it can be already dead. So, try the remaining methods to see if the problem of external hard drive not showing up can be resolved.
Method 3 – Repair Driver Problems by Applying Latest Update
In case your drivers are not updated to the recent versions, it may reject access to the external drives. So, you can troubleshoot the disk drive problems by updating the drives in Device Manager.
Hence, press Windows + X and click on the tab for ‘Device Manager’. Otherwise, open the Run dialog box and type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in it. Then, navigate to the option of ‘Disk drives’ and select the USB drive or device, which isn’t showing up.
So, for repairing the current issues with the drive, you can simply right-click on USB devices. Then, hit the option of ‘Update driver’ and allow Windows to search for the appropriate updates for disk drives.
Finally, restart your PC and check whether external hard drive not showing up or it’s visible on your Windows. Users can also roll back to the previous state and uninstall any recent driver updates for the hard drives.
Method 4 – Format your Corrupted Drive and Reinstall it
If all the above methods mentioned in this article fails, formatting your disk drive will be an ultimate solution. So, you can perform this task by right-clicking on the corrupted disk on ‘Disk Management’ window. After this, select ‘Format’ and follow technical instructions to reinstall the external drive on Windows.
If you can’t apply the fixes discussed in this article and external hard drive not showing up on Windows or any other OS version, you can take help from the experts. Hence, you can get in touch with a hardware technician and obtain solutions to make your drive detectable on PC.
Also, if you come across the issue of loss of data while troubleshooting hard drive issue, these professionals can help to recover it.