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7 ways to fix "computer not recognizing external hard drive" error


Summary:

In this article we will introduce effective ways to fix "computer not recognizing external hard drive" error. And also you can download reliable data recovery software to recover lost data from hard drive if data loss happens.
Bitwar Data Recovery for Windows download Bitwar Data Recovery for Mac download

Sometimes, when you connect your external hard drive to a Windows PC with a USB port, you may find the external hard drive is not recognized. It's common. Because various reasons may cause the "external hard drive not recognized" issue or "WD external hard drive not recognized". and you may read this post and find multiple solutions to solve this issue.
computer not recognizing external hard drive

Different situations

Computer not recognizing external hard drive error/issue can be caused by the following situations:
 
      1. USB driver has become unstable, outdated or corrupt
      2. USB ports become faulty, damaged or broken
      3. Partition issues on your external USB device
      4. USB device is malfunctioned or damaged
      5. The wrong file system in an external drive
      6. Virus infected PC
 
You can follow below-explained solutions to resolve "computer not recognizing external hard drive" problem.

Solutions to Fix the Error

Solution 1: Disconnect the computer from the power supply

Sometimes, a very simple trick can fix not detected USB device problem. Follow below steps to apply this trick.
 
       1: Turn off your computer by using Windows Shut Down option
       2: Disconnect the power cable from your computer and wait for a few minutes
       3: Reconnect the power cable and Start your computer.

Solution 2: Making Windows to Recognize the Drive

If current USB port doesn't detect the drive then, try to connect it with another USB port. Unplug the drive from your USB port and try plugging it into another USB port on your computer. If it works in the new USB port, and you just need to change the external hard drive to a port that can used normally. If no USB port recognizes the device then, try another solution.

Solution 3: Update USB Device Driver

If all USB ports are working fine then you need to check for latest USB driver installed on the computer. Because sometimes old drivers can prevent the drive to connect to the PC and shows device malfunctioned message.
 
     1: Press Windows + R key together and then, type devmgmt.msc in the run dialogue box and click on OK.
     2: Expand disk drivers and right click on the connected external USB drive.
     3: Click on properties and select Driver tab.
     4: Click on Update Driver Software and follow the further instruction to update driver.

Solution 4: Change Drive Letter 

Check whether you can see your external USB Drive in Disk Management, then rename or change the drive letter. To do this, follow the below steps.
 
     1: Right-click on This PC or My Computer and click on Manage.
     2: Select Disk Management.
     3: Right-click on the connected external drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
     4: Click Add, and then assign a new drive letter from the drop-down list and click OK.

Solution 5: Turn on USB Root Hub

     1. Click Start > Type: devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
     2. Open Device Manager > Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.
     3. Right-click USB Root Hub > Properties > Power Management > uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
     4. Repeat this process for each USB Root Hub in the list and reboot to try again.
 
Note: Repeat this process for all available USB Root Hubs. Save changes for each process and then restart your PC. If still you see USB device not recognized problem then go back to the power management tab for each one and check the box again.

Solution 6: Antivirus with a Virus Cleaner Software

If it is a virus that caused your external hard drive to be undetectable or unrecognized, you can try a virus cleaner software to wipe out and remove all viruses from your PC and hard drive. Then format the external hard drive to make it readable again.

Solution 7: Formatted the external hard drive

Sometimes you need to reformat the external hard drive to use. It's recommended that you reformat or format this drive to make sure it's secure for storing new data again.

Restore All Data from External Hard Drive after fixing it cannot Detected/Recognized Error

Data is the most important in a hard drive, so if data lost, you're going to feel panic. However, if you fix the computer not recognizing external hard drive error or WD external hard drive not recognized error. It is possible to lose your important data from the external hard drive. So the best way is restore all data from external hard drive first and then perform the error fixed.

How to restore data from the cannot recognized external hard drive?

To efficiently restore data from external hard drive which couldn't be detected, you can try Bitwar Data Recovery software. It is specially designed to restore your deleted/formatted/RAW files from Windows PC, laptop, hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, memory card, USB drive, SD card, digital camera, multimedia player and other storage devices for only 4 simple steps. From these devices you can recover audios, videos, pictures, archives, and documents. Whether you deleted these files, or lost them due to virus, or due to formatting, or due to perform the drive fix you can still have them back using this software.
 

Steps to recover data with Bitwar Data Recovery?

Free download and then install Bitwar Data Recovery Software on your computer by clicking the download icon below. Please make sure the questioned external hard drive is connecting on your computer.

Bitwar Data Recovery for Windows download Bitwar Data Recovery for Mac download

Step 1. After installed the program, you can Launch Bitwar Data Recovery software and select the external hard drive, even it types is displayed as "RAW", and then click "Next". If you can't find the external hard drive appearing in this step, you can click "deep scan" on the program below to scan the disk first.
WD external hard drive not recognized
 
Step 2: Select the Scan Mode and click "Next". There are three modes to scan data out, to recover Non-formatted data, you can choose "Quick Scan" mode to scan first.

If you cannot find scanned files out you want on this mode, try Deep Scan. The deep scan will search every sector of the disk to find all existing files.
WD external hard drive not recognized
 
Step 3: After the scan, you can filter the scanned out files you want and double-click them one by one to preview to make a selection. After determined, click the "Recover" button to save it to the hard drive or other external device that can be accessed.
WD external hard drive not recognized
 
After following the above steps, most files on external hard drive will be recovered back. Then you can fix the "computer not recognizing external hard drive" Error use any solutions without worrying about any data loss.

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