Why does my computer not detect my external hard disk when plugged in?

Fatin Nabila Paiman May 17, 2012
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I have a problem regarding my external hard disk 465 GB where it can’t be detected in my computer and also disk management. I have formatted the external HD since I was asked to format it when an error popped up.

So I formatted it and after the formatting completed, I tried to connect the hard disk to my Windows Vista laptop. When I connect it to the laptop, it can’t be detected and yet the hard disk is blinking with green light like it used to when it is connected to the laptop. I tried the disk management thingy, but it can’t detect my hard disk.

What can I do to make it better? Please help me! I am not worried about the things stored in the hard disk, but I have to move the files in my laptop, so that it wouldn’t crowded my laptop disk drive. Please help me!

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  1. Pro
    November 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I cant see my Ext. hard drive on my computer but still i can safely remove it from my computer. I can find it connected to my Laptop but i cant see it in MY COMPUTER. Please help me about this.

    • Max
      November 15, 2012 at 4:00 am

      In Vista, click start, right-click on computer > manage > storage > disc management, check if your drive is listed in disc3, 4, 5 etc. If yes, select on it and select appropriate option after right-click on it. Be aware to first save you data, it may erase and formatted the disc to be readable by Vista. Good luck.

  2. PRATIKV
    October 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    ####### WORKING SOLUTION#######

    GO to Computer>System Properties>device manager

    1.UNDER THE 'universal serial bus controllers' check whether any names under it is labelled as 'unknown device'
    2.double click on it, THEN click on uninstall driver(DONT WORRY!!)
    3.close everything restart and its done, now connect your HDD again let the drivers be installed

    For the POINT NO. 1 ABOVE, alternatively you can check any labels such as 'unknown device' and follow pint no. 2 and 3 above for the same

    wish you good luck!!
    hope it works!!

    • akash
      October 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      pratikv
      not able to find unknown device

    • akash
      October 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      still facing the same problem,

  3. nishit shah
    October 16, 2012 at 11:49 am

    what to do if cpu cannto detect external hard drive

  4. Anonymous
    October 16, 2012 at 5:02 am

    I have the same problem. My Transcend 500GB cannot be detected tried plugging in in 2 different computers with different OS. One is LinuxMint and the other is Windows 7. I have check the Disk Management but unable to see the drive. I also tried changing the USB cord but still it wouldn't work. Any idea how to fix this guys?

  5. Ayyub Khan
    October 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    My WD sata HD drive has dropped from one meter hight, after that it stop working even it is not detected in my PC, I want to take data from it, how it is possible??

  6. avdesh
    October 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I have a problem.i instal window 7 on my c drive which is 31 gb.but i requires more space so i instal another window 7 in d drive after formating c.but after instalation my c drive does not appear.although it shows a green label and shows free space in disk managment.but when i try to crate volume it gives error that there is no more space on drive to perform this operation.now what can i do.how can i show it.

  7. Jessica
    October 14, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Hi,

    I have a WD My Book Essential. The other day I was transferring a file that was 655mb and it had only 5 seconds left. When I got up to do something else my chair was caught to the 3.0 usb cable and it was improperly disconnected from the external hard drive. When I reconnected the the external hard drive does not automatically turn on, so I manually turned it on. When I did, the light was flashing then it stayed on and no flashes occurred thereafter. I assumed that my laptop took time to read the disk but as I waited, nothing occurred. I then checked disk management and check it on my other computers to find out that my external hard drive was not being read. I replaced the usb cable and power adapter from the company and that did not help my situation. What kind of problem do I have and if it's not fixable is there any possible way for me to do the data recovery myself without spending $200-$1000 to recover the data? Please help and I greatly appreciate to anyone who can.

  8. Jonathan
    October 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    i have the same problem. while i'm transferring a file from com to external there's a message that pop up the word that i only remember is "malfunction" then when i restart my pc i doesnt show up anymore i try also to plug the external in my loptop and the same problem pls help :(

    • Jam
      October 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      I recently bought a Seagate 1tb usb 3.0 Expansion external hard drive and the blue light blinks when i put it on, i'm running windows 7, i cant find the hard drive on disk mgnt nor windows explorer. What do i do???

  9. juerry
    September 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    why my hardisk ( toshiba ) is not detected by other computers after i reformat, now i am using macbook, but if i connect my hardisk to other computer is not detected, my hardisk is working only in my macbook.

  10. Borg Molari
    September 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Hi.

    I have a brand new desktop PC and bought a "Retail plus" EF80 3.5 sata external enclosure.
    I installed the HD into the enclose, connected everything, snd the external enclose lights up and seems to be working.

    I am running Windows 7 and hear the beep from the PC when you connect a USB device. I looked in "My Computer" and don't see the external drive.

    i go to go to control panel> administrative tools> computer management> disk management amd I see the external disk without a name but when i right click the drive to rename it, I see the "Rename Drive Letter Path" but it is not highlighted for me to click on that option....the only highlighted thing in that list I can click is "Delete volume..." and "Help".

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks ahead

  11. mohan
    September 12, 2012 at 3:00 am

    hi
    i bought a new buffalo ministation usb 3 js a week ago by mistake i removed it with ejecting it and it is not regnised on my laptop frm the next tym when i used please help me..!!!! :-( im not considered about the data i just want my hard disk to work as usually

    • susendeep dutta
      September 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Connect your external HDD and go to device manager and see whether there's any yellow exclamation mark.If present,then right click on it to troubleshoot it or uninstall the driver and reinstall it from the CD which might had came with it or you can download it form the link below by selecting the model you've -

      http://www.buffalo-technology.com/en/download.html

  12. San
    September 6, 2012 at 11:40 am

    That's also happen to me, just try my solution :
    - Windows explorer can't detect but on computer management detect.
    This is my solution :
    1. Use control panel -> Administrative tools -> Cumputer Management.
    2. Just select Storage -> Disk Management -> Select partition on your external Hard Disk.
    3. Click Right mouse -> Change Drive Letter and Paths
    4. And It's work.

    Hopely hear good news from you soon...

    Regard,-
    saptono

    • mohan
      September 12, 2012 at 3:13 am

      i cant fin my hard disk in diskmanagement only my system drives are found

    • BIJU
      September 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      DEAR SAN
      THANKS FOR YOUR GREAT ADVICE ,MY SYSTEM NOW DETECTED MY EXTERNAL HARD DISK.I AM TRYING TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM FOR THE LAST 2 DAYS.THANK YOU SO MUCH

    • errol
      October 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      many thanks,,it work in my external..

    • alex
      November 12, 2012 at 4:49 am

      Hello,

      I have been trying to fix my problem for some time. I have an external hard drive plugged in, it shows up in my devices window but cannot be detected anywhere else. I have installed the proper drives and have done checks, it says everything is installed and up to date. I tried to do the fix you suggested to change the drive letter and path but it will not allow me to select that option, any suggestions??

    • Daryl
      November 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

      good job,.., it worked,. thanks a lot, God bless

  13. satish kumar
    August 27, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I have a problem regarding my external hard disk 1TB where it can’t be detected in my computer and also disk management. I have formatted the external HD since I was asked to format it when an error popped up.

    So I formatted it and after the formatting completed, I tried to connect the hard disk to my Windows lenovo laptop. When I connect it to the laptop, it can’t be detected and yet the hard disk is blinking with green light like it used to when it is connected to the laptop. I tried the disk management thingy, but it can’t detect my hard disk.

    What can I do to make it better? Please help me! I am not worried about the things stored in the hard disk, but I have to move the files in my laptop, so that it wouldn’t crowded my laptop disk drive. Please help me!

  14. Bimbo
    August 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    My samsung 500GB external hard disk is nt recognized by my hp laptop tried all the above tricks still nt see all my documents are on it and i just reinstalled my windows wt aim of restoring my stuffs to the system pls help

    • Oron
      August 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

      If the hard disc is powered by the laptop (rather than having its own power adapter), it may not be getting enough power from the USB socket. You can try connecting it to different sockets on the laptop, or better yet, connect it to a different computer (ideally to the rear sockets on a desktop PC, they are usually more reliable power-wise). If you can get it to work in this way, then this was the problem. Possible solutions would be:
      1. Use a USB "-lead" (available from eBay etc), which will draw power from 2 USB sockets.
      2. Get an external power supply for it, if available.
      3. Of course, if it works with one of the other sockets on the laptop, you could keep using that socket!

    • susendeep dutta
      August 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

      Keep your external HDD connected.Go to device manager and see whether any yellow exclamation mark is present on your drive.Then,uninstall the driver,reboot your laptop and then allow it to install the driver automatically.

      You can also try to explore your files by live booting a Linux distribution like Linux Mint if your documents are urgently required.

  15. Bear
    August 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Cannot access my external seagate drive on my computer. Working fine a day ago. Printers and devices reads as working properly. My computer reads it as Drive F: not the designation I gave the hard drive. Cannot open F: Crashes windows explorer. Sometimes a window pops up saying that I need to format disk to use. I really do not wish to format and lose all of my data. Will not read on other computers. I just would really like to get the info off and save it somewhere else. Any ideas or suggestions??

    • Bruce Epper
      August 27, 2012 at 4:04 am

      Try it on another computer. If it doesn't work there, it is most likely a problem with the drive itself and you may need to perform surgery as I did on my dad's unit. (Removed the hard drive from the enclosure and installed as an internal drive in his system. Been working like a champ ever since.) If it works on the other machine, you may need to uninstall the drivers on your machine, reboot the machine, reattach the drive to your computer and allow it to reinstall the drivers.

  16. deepak
    August 5, 2012 at 6:48 am

    love the way u help us.

  17. Maur
    July 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    the case your hard drive is in maybe faulty.....

  18. pratik
    July 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    i have an external hdd of 500 gb ,it is detected when i attach it but it does not autoplay or opens and i cant browse the files.I have tried disabling the hard disc n the port but the system gets hanged when i try disabling it...my OS is win 7..please help

  19. thuya8
    July 11, 2012 at 6:06 am

    go to control panel> administrative tools>computer management>disk management Now you will see disk without name give it a drive letter and you are done

  20. Shirsendu Ghosh
    July 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I have a external HDD (I-O Data USB3.0). It gets detected in MacBook Pro Laptop. But it does not get detected in Windows Vista Laptop.
    Please suggest some ways.

  21. siti hajar mohd mokhtar
    May 30, 2012 at 10:54 am

    my hard disk also have the same problem... my hard disk model is acer AH025S... if i connect it to other computer the computer will hang.. can anyone help me... by the way it using usb 2.0...

    • Susendeep Dutta
      May 31, 2012 at 5:47 am

      Did you tried the solutions suggested above?

    • Oron
      May 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Can you give us more details please? Have you tried the solutions suggested above? Have they made any difference? If they haven't:
      Does the hard disc make a gentle, whirring noise or some other noise (e.g. clicking)? Do you get any message on the PC screen at all ("Installing Driver", an error message etc)? What version of Windows are you runnning, and finally, have you tried the drive on a different PC, or at least on different USB sockets on the PC?

      • march
        September 20, 2012 at 4:59 am

        hi i have the same problem with my external WD 320 Gb it cant be seen on my computer but in device manager its there...i tried the disk managment but it wasnt there only in disk device

    • Kannon Y
      June 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Generally speaking, once errors appear during reformatting a drive could be nearing failure.

      A hard drive keeps a reserve of unassigned space which it uses to remap portions of the drive that have failed. Once it runs out of unassigned space the drive won't even complete a format. It will just fail and sometimes won't even be detectable by Windows, regardless of the command line tricks used.

      Recovery of a failed disc can be extraordinarily expensive. I hope this is not the case.

  22. Reý Aetar
    May 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    connect it with the back pannel of ur cpu and check

  23. Amichai Rotman
    May 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I would check for the following:

    1. Check the Device Manager and make sure the drive shows up.
    2. What file system did you choose for your format?
    3. Make sure the BIOS is configured to support external media. Some BIOSs have to be explicitly configured for it.
    4. Your best test would be on a different computer, different Operating System (i.e.: Linux LiveCD) or simply a different USB port altogether (if you connected the disk to the front USB Hub, try it on the back Hub)...

    Good luck!

  24. FIDELIS
    May 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Hello, if you do not want to keep files in external drive, I would recommend visiting the external drive's manufactures and download the tools they provide for your specific drive. Make sure to download the analisys tools and also the formatting tool. I would install these tools in the computer were you formatted the drive. Run the tools and then try it in your vista laptop.

    This can be caused by different reasons, so if you could provide us with more info about your external drive model and manufacturer we can help you out more. What happens when you connect drive to another computer? a different USB port?

  25. ha14
    May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    did you tried on another pc, to see if the problem is not your hard drive?

    go to device manager and look for a yellow sign, if it is there right click and choose uninstall, reboot and replug hard drive.

    perhaps usb port blocked in BIOS
    1. Reboot your computer
    2. Enter BIOS
    3. Select Advanced
    4. Select USB Configuration and press enter
    5. Select the option to enable USB ports

    MicrosoftFixit
    http://support.microsoft.com/mats/hardware_device_problems/en-us

    • Dharma
      June 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      I have a problem regarding my external hard disk Transced 640 GB where it can’t be detected in my computer and also disk management.
      When I connect it to the laptop, it can’t be detected and yet the hard disk is blinking with blue light like it used to when it is connected to the laptop. I tried in different system also but it dint work. But when I insert pendrive it works. I tried the disk management thingy, but it can’t detect my hard disk. I am not worried about the things stored in the hard disk, I have very important files in my hard disk.
      I donno what to do.. Please help me!

      • ha14
        June 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

        well you can try on other computer, on other OS like MAC or linux, if it is hardware problem then software will not help,

        try other usb cables, USB port or buy usb pci card and try

        you can buy the same hard drive then transfer the disk into the new housing...last action will be to get technical support but this will cost depending on how much files to be recovered.

        • Bill
          August 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

          Hi

          Is there some kind of short class that i can take on external hard drives so that i can preform the task of disassembling my damaged hard drive, removing the disk, and putting the disk into a new hard drive, and then recovering the data?

          bill

    • Q
      August 6, 2012 at 3:44 am

      What if you have HP laptop that says no hard disk is detecte?d. How can you fix that

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