How can I initialize an external hard drive in Windows that is no longer recognized?

Mutesasira Edward January 3, 2011
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I accidentally removed my Toshiba USB external hard drive without ejecting it. On trying to use it again, it cannot be seen in my computer. It is seen in the device manager, but recognized as an uninitialized device.

I tried initializing it using Windows, but it said required sector not found. I have tried using some software and it recognizes it as bad disk.

My question, is there a solution to the problem my HDD has? If so, please let me know because there is a lot of important information I need to retrieve form it. I will be very greatful if am helped.

  1. Deenigwarzo
    April 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

    i hav the exact same problem as Mutesasira Edward, can u tell me pls if u were able to solve nd repair ur harddisc, coz i have browsed through all of these suggestions, non is applicable; it does not display any driive letter for me to able to change it, it just displays disc 3 not initialised, nd when i try to initialise it, it says sector no found. pleeeeease help.

  2. Khaos27
    October 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    It's a simple problem - if you right click on where the partitions are, you won't see the initialize option.  You have to right click on the drive number.  A mistake I made myself :)

  3. Aibek
    January 10, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Hey Mutesasira,

    Did you manage to to get Windows recognize the drive? How did you do it? Did the above suggestions help? Let us know.


  4. Anonymous
    January 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Right Click on Computer Icon then choose Manage then Go To Disk Management under Storage, right click on your external Drive and choose change Drive Letter and Path.

  5. Sonny Bass
    January 4, 2011 at 6:44 am

    If you are unable to get Windows to recognize it you still may be able to retrieve your info using a live Linux cd/dvd such as Ubuntu or Mint.

    • Aibek
      January 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

      yep, that should definitely work

      • Aibek
        January 10, 2011 at 8:09 am

        oh and I had a similar problem with a USB Flash Drive. It suddenly became recognizable after a few days and a number of reboots.

  6. Tina
    January 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Mutesasira Edward,

    we have had similar questions before. Check out the answers and see whether any of the solutions work for you.

    Why does Windows 7 not recognize my external hard drive?
    Why is my external hard drive no longer visible in Windows Explorer?
    Why does my computer not recognize this hard drive, when it is connected externally through USB?

    Please let us know if you were able to fix it and which method worked for you. Thank you!

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