Why does my computer not detect my external hard disk when plugged in?
Question by Fatin Nabila Paiman /
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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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Answers (47)
  • Pro

    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

      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.


    ####### 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!!

  • nishit shah

    what to do if cpu cannto detect external hard drive

  • Anonymous

    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?

  • Ayyub Khan

    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??

  • avdesh

    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.

  • Jessica


    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.

  • Jonathan

    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

      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???

  • juerry

    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.

  • Borg Molari


    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

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