You try to use an external hard drive on your PC and Windows does not recognize it, surely it has happened to you at some time and you have panicked for fear of losing your saved data, or that you had a defective drive when you bought it. Don't despair too soon, there are several reasons why Windows won't recognize your external hard drive, and many of them are easy to fix. We explain what to do if Windows does not recognize your external hard drive .
There are several steps we can take before giving up an external hard drive for dead , many times the failures of these devices are due to a very simple reason to solve.
Check that the external hard drive has a partition created
The first step is to verify that the hard disk appears in the hard disk management tool . Your hard drive may not have a partition created if you just bought it, so it doesn't appear as a Windows drive. You can access the hard drive management tool from the Windows 10 start menu.
A new window will open showing all the hard drives on your PC. All hard drives with a partition include a letter, which is what the operating system uses to identify it. If you see that a hard drive does not have any letters, it means that there is no partition created . Make click with the right mouse button and click format , thus you can create a partition and Windows and detect your hard drive.
Check if the outer shell works
This works if it is an internal hard drive that you have placed inside a special case for external use. This type of enclosure includes a controller that is responsible for converting the SATA interface of the hard disk into a USB interface so that you can use it externally.
Unfortunately, many of these cases are of poor quality and stop working shortly after purchase. All of them usually have status indicator lights, which light up when you connect the hard drive to a USB port on your PC. Just plug in the hard drive and see if any lights come on. You can search for information on the web about your carcass model to see what each light means.
Problem with the software included in the hard disk
Some external hard drive manufacturers like Western Digital and Seagate include software on their external hard drives. Most of the time it is a backup management application. It is not common, but it can happen that these software cause interference problems with Windows functions , causing the latter to stop detecting the external hard drive.
It is possible that you installed the software on your external hard drive a long time ago and you do not remember, you can look at the list of installed Windows programs in case it appears. If you see any programs that refer to your external hard drive, uninstall them and restart your PC.
Check that you have the updated driver
Another possible cause that your external hard drive is not recognized by Windows is that the correct driver has not been installed. To find out we will use the Windows device manager . You can access it from the start menu.
A list will appear with all the devices connected to your PC. Locate the external hard drive and click on it with the right mouse button. Then click on " Update driver ".
In the new window select the option to search for driver automatically . Windows will try to install a newer driver from the Internet, maybe it will work.
These are the most common steps to recover a hard drive that is not recognized by Windows, if you've come this far and it doesn't work, we fear that the damage will be irreparable.