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Is The External Hard Drive Not Showing Up? Learn Essential Methods

The external hard drives such as USB flash drives are very easy to use. But, in some rare cases, the external hard drives start to malfunction. External hard drive not showing up is one such error that may occur on most of the cases. When users are trying to connect the external hard drive to a different device with a Windows PC or a USB cable, then you might encounter this particular issue.

Unfortunately, if you are one of them who is suffering from this issue, then read this entire guide thoroughly. Here, you can find the most efficient hacks which are reliable enough to eliminate the error.

Apparent Reasons Behind External Hard Drive not Showing up Windows 10?

There are various reasons that are responsible for getting this issue. So, have a look at the brief description of the causes why you may face External hard drive not showing up issue with your device:

In case, if your hard drive contain virus or malware, then hard drive won’t show on Windows 10. A damaged USB cable is the most accountable reason for facing this problem. However, the worst thing happens when the driver is completely dead. A pop-up notification of “USB Device Not Recognized” will show on the screen of your device.

Feasible Solutions to Fix External Hard Drive not Showing up Issue

Try these simple methods to fix out the glitch on the system. Expectedly these methods will help you to resolve the issue at the earliest possible.

Solution 1: Be sure that the Drive Power is On

This is the primary step to resolve the issue quickly. Almost every flash drive and the hard drive does not require separate power sources. They receive power over the USB as well. Nonetheless, some desktops also have the external drives, some have dedicated cable or a physical power key as well. In that time, if you could not find the external hard drive, then assume that there may be a problem with the power cable. You have to try to plug in another power outlet or you can swap the wire if it is possible for you. Finally, check the flashing light on the unit which is indicating the activity.

Solution 2: Run Hardware Troubleshooting

If the above method is not helpful for you, then you might go through with this one. First of all, you have to launch the Search box and then, tap on the drop-down menu to expand the list. Now, select the Start option and search for the Troubleshooting option. After that, choose the option of configuring a device under hardware and sound. You can see that a new window will open on the screen and you have to tap on the Next icon. Follow the instructions that are shown on the screen to complete the method. It will help you to end the problem and fix them automatically. But, if you are still encountering the same, then move to the next step.

Solution 3: Troubleshoot Driver Issue

In case, if the external hard drive not showing up issue persists, then assume that the Windows may have a driver issue with your device. At that time you can verify this by using the Device Manager. The very first thing you have to do is find the shortcut of Device Manager option by pressing Windows and X key simultaneously from the keyboard. In the Run dialog box, you have to type ‘devmgmt.msc’ to open it. Then, extend the Disk Drives option and check if any device is available for you or not. In case, if you see a yellow exclamation mark, then assume that it indicates the driver itself has a problem. So, you have to right-click on the device and select that particular icon “Properties” and check the error notification. This will help you to get rid of the issue.

Solution 4: Format the Hard Drive

It is suggested that users should use a formatted hard drive always. Because a new hard drive may contain malware and viruses. Hence, if you insert a virus affected hard drive it may create issues. So, follow the steps to format the hard drive.

  • At first, connect your drive with the device.
  • Then, start Windows Explorer and click on the option Computer. In the left sidebar, find your drive.
  • Now, you have to right-click on the drive and choose the option “Format.”
  • Navigate to the next option “File System” and you have to select the file you want to use.
  • Now, rename your driver under “Volume Label,” and review the “Quick Format” bar. After that, select the Start option to format the external drive.
  • After some moments, you will receive a notification on the screen, when the entire method gets finished.
  • Check if you are still encountering the same or not. If yes, then move to the next procedure.

Solution 5: Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting

If the above methods are not helpful for you, then follow this one by disabling the USB Selective Suspend settings option. To do so, first of all, you have to right-click on the Battery icon that is located on the taskbar and adjoining to your current plan. You will find the Change Plan settings option as well. Now, tap on the link to customize the power plan for your device. After that, navigate to the option for changing Advanced Power setting and you have to extend the option of the external drive settings as well. Now, from the list of the expanded option select “Disable the plugged option” also. Then, you have to apply the changes and click on OK. You need to create a system restore point, in case anything goes wrong before changing the settings.

Solution 5: Initialize a new Hard Drive

If the issue is still appearing, then you have to initialize a new hard drive. To do the same, first, navigate to the Start menu option and click on it. After that, you have to select the Management icon and then, start to find the disk. If the disk is a new one, then it will be named as “Unknown”. Now, right-tap on that disk and choose the “Initialize disk” option.  Now, you have to choose the style of the partition that lies between the MBR and GPT. After that navigate to the OK button and hit on it. Now, try to check if the Operating System can recognize the hard disk or not.

Solution 6: Delete the Temporary Files

Seldom a virus affected hard drive restricts your work and won’t let you operate the computer as well. In that case, run the security software on your device to perform a scan and delete this malicious program. After that, try to check whether the Windows external hard drive detects the problem. So, first of all, you have to navigate to the Start menu and click on it. After that, choose the category “All Programs” and also select the option Accessories. Now, choose the icon System tools by clicking on it. Then, click on Disk Cleanup and you can see a list of temporary files on the system. After that, choose the box by choosing each file and tap on the Delete button. Keep waiting for a couple of minutes and check if the issue gets fixed or still showing up.

Solution 7: Reinstall USB Controller

If you still fail to resolve the issue, then this is the ultimate method to get rid of the error. By chance, if the driver for the external drive becomes corrupted, then this method may seem workable for you. First, navigate to the Start menu and then, choose the Device Manager by clicking on it. Now, you have to expand the Universal Serial Bus Controller icon. Then, choose any device and right-click on it and tap on Uninstall. You might have to repeat this with all the other devices which are located under USB controllers. Now, reboot the system and you can see all the controllers will be automatically reinstalled. Once the entire method gets finished redress if the issue gets solved.

Ending Notes

Hopefully, by applying the above fixes you can completely get rid of the external hard drive not showing up issue. But, in any case, if any complications arise, then seek expert guidance. Also, you can try using another hard drive with the OS. You will surely figure out the problem if it lies within the hard drive itself. Moreover, you can leave a comment in the below box and let us know your feedback.