Computing Technology

External Hard Drive Not Showing Up? [Easy Fixes]

External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10
Written by irfansadiq786

There are many reasons for an external hard drive not showing up or accessible when connecting it to your PC. Sometimes our computer fails or denies recognizing the External Hard Drive even after confirming the successful contact. The issue occurs mostly when the device driver is either damaged or outdated.

However, USB devices such as Hard Drive, Memory Card, Pen Drive, etc., are simple ways to save and transfer data from one PC to another device. These USB drives are movable and straightforward to use and handle, but sometimes you might encounter the hard drive not detected an issue with the Windows operating system. This occurred when the USB port did not identify the external USB drives. Let’s take a glance at how to diagnose undetected external hard drives in PCs.

External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

Fixes to External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

Make Sure Your Drive Powers On 

This is an essential step, but one worth verifying. Almost every flash drive and numerous external hard disks don’t need a separate power source, as they gain power over USB. Some external computer disks do have dedicated power cables, or at least a physical power switch.

If this is the problem for you and your external hard disk is not displaying up, you could have a power cable problem. Try plugging it into a different power switch, or swap the cable if possible—monitor flashing lights on the unit that blimp activity before moving on.

Run the Troubleshooters

The next thing you need to do is run the Device and Hardware Troubleshooter and the Windows USB Troubleshooter and monitor if it works. The automated applications check the hardware/USB connected to the PC for any known problems and resolve them automatically.

You could reach for them through your Start Search, or you can enter these Troubleshooters through the Windows 10 Settings Troubleshooter window.

Try another USB Port (or Different PC)

If the disk still isn’t showing, unplug it and use a different USB port. If it’s inserted into a USB hub, try inserting directly into the computer instead. If it’s attached with a USB 3.0 port, use a USB 2.0 port to the plugin. You might also attempt it on a different PC.

If you are a multi-platform user, we would remarkably suggest trying it on a computer that runs a different OS. For example, if you can’t see drive displaying up on Windows, try attaching it to a macOS. It’s reasonable the disk just isn’t formatted for the PC you’re attempting to use, and you’ll require to copy that data onto a disk that’s formatted for cross-compatibility.

Change Drive Letter

Inspect whether you can view your external USB Drive in Disk Management, then rename or alter the drive letter. To perform this, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Right-click on My Computer or This PC and press on Manage.
  2. Choose Disk Management.
  3. Right-click on the attached hard drive and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Press Add and then give a new drive letter from the drop-down menu and press OK.

Find out The Problematic Hard Drive

To further resolve a driver issue, Windows+R hotkey and enter ‘devmgmt.MSC’ to open Disk Drives. Watch for a device having a yellow cry line, which symbolizes a problematic hard driver. Promptly, right-click on the hard drive and see the error message after choosing properties. This problem can fix in the following two ways:

  1. Press on the update driver option for installing updated drivers.
  2. Uninstall the driver and restart your PC. After restarting, the operating system will automatically reinstall and reconfigure the driver.

Now, attach the external hard disk again.

Disable USB selective suspend setting

If the techniques mentioned above do not produce the wanted results, try disabling the USB selective suspend setting. Here’s how you can do.

  1. Go to the Control Panel and open Power Options, then go to Additional power settings. Following, press on the ‘Change plan settings’ button adjacent to your chosen power plan.
  2. Next, navigate to ‘Change advanced power settings’ and inside the USB settings, locate the USB selective suspend setting, and Disable it.
  3. Click Apply and exit.

Formatting the Disk

If the disk displays partitioned but you still can’t access it, it’s most possible using a different file system. To resolve that, copy these steps:

  1. Go to Disk Management.
  2. Elect the drive, then right-click and choose Format.
  3. For the formatting option, select FAT32.
  4. You can set the disk label of your preference and can move the “Perform a quick format” option ticked if you want to.

Initialize Disk, Create Volume, and Enable in BIOS

Often, if your hard drive is a new disk, you require to initialize it first. Then generate a new partition on it and allow it in BIOS. By performing so, you’ll make your new hard drive displaying up on Windows 7/8/10. Here are the actions to make hard disk detectable:

Initialize Disk and Build Volume on New Hard Drive

  1. With the use of your mouse Right-click “This PC” in Windows and select “Manage.”
  2. Navigate to “Disk Management,” right-click on the attached hard disk, and select “Initialize Disk.”
  3. Choose the disk and choose MBR or GPT as its partition style, press “OK” to start.
  4. Right-click on the unallocated place in the attached hard disk and choose “New Simple Volume…”
  5. Fix the volume size file system as NTFS, and drive letter to the new hard drive.
  6. Press “Finish” when the process ends.

Enable Hard Drive in BIOS

  1. Restart your PC and tap F2 or Del until you access BIOS.
  2. Use the arrow buttons on the PC’s keyboard to select “Integrated Peripherals” and press “Enter.”
  3. Use the arrow buttons to choose “USB Controller.” If it is disabled, turn the option to “Enabled.”
  4. Save and exit BIOS.


In this guide, we demonstrated why your external hard drive is not displaying up on Windows PC. We also gave solutions to help you make the used external hard drive and the latest hard drives display up again without dropping any data.

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