Why is my external disk not showing up and what can I do?
Question by Damiana Spadafora /

MakeUseOf, I need your help before I start crying! My external hard disk all of a sudden is not showing up in my Computer anymore! I tried disk management and it’s not there either. But the hard disk’s light blinks, so I know it’s alive.
Please help, there are huge chunks of my life in there!

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Answers (13)
  • milove

    I have seagate USB hardisk freeagent USB model. Now it is not recognizing in the computer. when we connect to the laptop its white multiple lights are blinking and not recognizing in the computer. Please suggest. I want to take back up only from the data.

  • FIDELIS

    Hello, there is also the alternative of using a Linux live cd to see if it recognizes it and can mount it. You could try ubuntu live cd:

    http://www.ubuntu.com/download

    — Download the image file from the link provided above and then burn it to a cd. You could also make a bootable usb key.

    — Burn the image to cd
    — change boot order in your computer to start from cd/dvd
    — choose the live cd option
    — once the live cd is running, check to see if your drive is recognized there. Sometimes, it is necesary to mount the drive yourself.
    — if your drive is recognized, you can copy the data there to another external drive, your computer or burn it to cd/dvd.
    — once your data is recovered, make sure to set the boot order to the way it was before.

    Hope it helps

  • Irshaad Abdool

    sometimes the external drive need aditional power. i too faced a similar problem.
    either use it on a PC with a more powerful powersupply or use a usb cable that have a separate cable for Power.

  • Chinu Mehta

    Follow these steps…

    http://goo.gl/GHqqd

  • Steve Lundy

    The light being lit basically means the light is getting power. If you put your ear against the drive do you hear/feel it spinning? if so then it could be a corrupt partition. I would download Partition Magic and after installing see if it detects the drive. If not then pick the drive up and tilt it left and right to see if you can feel that it’s spinning (it’ll feel iike it’s ‘out of balance’. If you feel it spinning then it may just be a bad logic board on the drive. You can try replacing it with a similar drive’s board. Or it could be a bad usb cable. If you think it might be a bad cable and don’t ahve a spare, see if you can pop the enclosure open, and pull the drive out and ‘install’ it in your pc to see if it’s detected there as well.

    • Erlis Dhima

      If none of the above comments helps, then, you can try to open it from another computer, or even in another operating system, like linux…

      If with that doesn’t work too, than you should search for a driver re-allocater..
      You can take a look at Driver Partition, or maybe there are other software only for driver allocating… Anyway, don’t go with this steps, if you haven’t tried in another OS, or another computer…
      Also check your USB cable that you connect it with your computer (like Steve said before…)
      If that doesn’t work too, better going to a computer service, that are specialized for dead hard disks repairs…
      Of course, if your hard disk is dead, it might not turn back… But even if, it might cost a little to fix it… (Just ask, maybe it doesnt cost so much now… )

    • Erlis Dhima

      If none of the above comments helps, then, you can try to open it from another computer, or even in another operating system, like linux…

      If with that doesn’t work too, than you should search for a driver re-allocater..
      You can take a look at Driver Partition, or maybe there are other software only for driver allocating… Anyway, don’t go with this steps, if you haven’t tried in another OS, or another computer…
      Also check your USB cable that you connect it with your computer (like Steve said before…)
      If that doesn’t work too, better going to a computer service, that are specialized for dead hard disks repairs…
      Of course, if your hard disk is dead, it might not turn back… But even if, it might cost a little to fix it… (Just ask, maybe it doesnt cost so much now… )

  • Igor Rizvi?

    Download peccy-it will give you hardware information,check what type of ram you have,and whats the maximum number of ram GB you can install on your memory (keep in mind your memory module,frequency and memory).

  • ha14

    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

    plug hard drive go to your device manager and look for yellow sign concerning your external hard drive, if yes then right click on it and choose uninstall and reboot pc.

    1. Go to run and type cmd then right click on it and choose run as administrator
    2. type DISKPART and hit enter
    3. etype : LIST DISK. This will show you all the connected disk with the offline one.
    4. Now select the offline disk using the next command SELECT DISK wheredisk_no is the offline disk number which you can get from step 3 result.
    5. Now you have selected the offline disk. Now enter command ONLINE DISK.

  • Vipul Jain

    Have you tried on
    1.Other USB Ports?
    2. Someone else’s PC?