Why won’t my hard drive initialize?

DJ CharchaR January 26, 2013
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My Seagate 1T external HD has been working for years. It has vital back ups, files, movies, docs, etc.

I was using the external HD on a Windows 8 laptop and accidentally pulled the USB cable out of the port while it was loading and changing the “Permissions for SYSTEM and Authenticated User” on a specific file on my external HD.

When I plugged it back in the drive showed up on my computer as normal but would not open.

After reading a few posts I went to the device manager deleted the drivers for the external HD then when I plugged it back in it updated the drivers and told me me my device is now working properly and ready to use and my drivers are up to date.

But now it wont show up on my computer at all.

I went into disk management and the Disk 1 had an icon with a picture of a HD with a red arrow facing down in a white circle.

under Disk 1 it says:


(empty line)

Not Initialized

I then right clicked and it said offline. When trying to get it back online it says:

“The system cannot find the file specified.”

In the properties under Volumes it says:

Disk: Disk 1

Type: Unknown

Status: Not Initialized

Partition style: Not Applicable

Capacity: 0MB

Unallocated space: 0MB

Reserved space: 0MB

When I try to Initialize Disk it says:

“The system cannot find the file specified.”

I have tried it on every port and on a different PC running Vista as well as on my TV (which now says “no USB device plugged in”)

Please help! I have thousands of music tracks on it I can’t lose!

I NEED TO FIX THIS or at least find a way to BACK IT UP and transfer ALL the data onto another drive.

  1. Jordyn Bushaw
    January 30, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Go to: http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/support-content/downloads/seatools/_shared/downloads/SeaToolsforWindowsSetup-1208.exe

    click save, when the download completes, click run and follow the installation instructions. The installation might prompt that it needs Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0,
    if so go to: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17718
    After the installation, plug in your external hard drive and run the application.
    If it detects your device, make sure the S.M.A.R.T status says PASS. If it says FAILED, then run an extended test.

  2. Alan Wade
    January 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Have you tried this:

    I'm told that this has the abilitirs to initialise drives but never tried it myself.

  3. Mahesh Kumar
    January 27, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Download the Software from Seagate website which is used to detect if the Harddisk is fine or not.

    SeaTools for DOS
    The quick diagnostic tool that checks the health of your drive

  4. Jim Chambers
    January 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Try the partition repair function in MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition (free) to find and repair damaged partition on your external HDD.

    • DJ C......R
      January 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      I already checked that page thanks but no good... still not working

    • DJ C......R
      January 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      I now have another problem... I just turned the laptop back on (windows vista) and windows picked the usb device back up and reinstalled drivers by itself.

      I let it do its thing. After it finished it said:
      "Your USB device is now ready to use" but "device unknown".

      I went to disk manager and the disk doesn't even show up any more.
      I used to have disk 0 (internal HD), disk 1 (external USB HD), CD-ROM 0.
      Now I only have disk 0 and cd-rom.

      • DJ C......R
        January 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        sorry my mistake it just showed back up again in the disk management but it still says:

        Disk 1
        Not Initialized

        • Tech geek
          January 27, 2013 at 7:26 am

          Try this:

          (1)right click my computer
          (2)click properties
          (3)In left panel choose "Device Manager"
          (4)choose related drive and update driver software

  5. ha14
    January 26, 2013 at 8:34 am

    try this microsoft fix it while hard drive is plugged

    1) Right-click on “My Computer” then Click on “Manage”
    2) Double-click “Disk Management”
    3) Right-click in the left portion of that drive box External Disk
    4) Click “Initialize” and “OK” in the next dialog box. Wait few seconds and it should now say “Online” in the box.
    5) If there is no assigned drive letter, right click on the big space of your External hard drive then choose Assign drive letter or Change Driver Letter and Path

    • DJ C......R
      January 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      thanks I already tried that and it said:

      “The system cannot find the file specified.”

      • ha14
        January 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

        1. Go to run and type cmd then right click on it and choose run as administrator
        2. type DISKPART and hit enter
        3. type : 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.

  6. Alex Schnapps
    January 26, 2013 at 7:11 am

    When you connect the drive to another computer the same thing happens or drive properly recognized?

    • DJ C......R
      January 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      same thing

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