What if my computer can't see the external hard drive?

external hdd Good afternoon.

External hard drives (HDD) are becoming more popular day by day, sometimes it seems that very soon they will be more popular than flash drives. And it is not surprising, because modern models are some kind of box, the size of a cell phone and contain 1-2 TB of information!

Many users are faced with the fact that the computer does not see the external hard drive. Most often, this happens immediately after purchasing a new device. Let's try to figure it out in order, what's the matter here …

If the new external HDD is not visible

New here means the disk that you connected to your computer (laptop) for the first time.

1) The first thing you do is go to computer management.

To do this, go to the control panel, then to system and security settings -> administration -> computer management. See screenshots below.

2014-03-08 16_50_42-Control panel 2014-03-08 16_50_49-System and security 2014-03-08 16_51_12-Administration

2) Pay attention to the column on the left. It has a menu – disk management. Let's move on.

All drives (including external ones) connected to the system should be displayed in front of you. Very often the computer does not see the connected external hard drive due to incorrect drive letter assignment. You then need to change it!

To do this, right-click on the external drive and select 'change drive letter …'. Next, assign the one that is not yet in your OS.

change drive letter

3) If the disk is new, and you connected it to the computer for the first time, it may not be formatted! Therefore, it will not appear on 'my computer'.

If this is the case, then you cannot change the letter (you simply will not have such a menu). You just need to right click on the external drive and select 'create simple volume …'.

Attention! All data on the disk (HDD) will be deleted during this process! Be careful.

external hard drive is not formatted

4) Lack of drivers … (Update from 04/05/2015)

If the external hard drive is new and you do not see it in either 'my computer' or 'disk management', but it works on other devices (for example, a TV or another laptop sees and detects it), then 99% of the problems are related to OS Windows and drivers.

Despite the fact that modern OS Windows 7, 8 are quite 'smart' and when a new device is found, they automatically search for a driver for it – this does not always happen … The fact is that OS versions Windows 7, 8 (including all kinds of assemblies from 'craftsmen') a huge number, and no one canceled various errors. Therefore, I do not recommend excluding this option right away …

In this case, I recommend doing the following:

1. Check the USB port if it works. For example, connect a phone or a camera, even just an ordinary USB flash drive. If the device works, then the USB port has nothing to do with it …

2. Go to Device Manager (B Windows 7 / 8: Control Panel / System and Security / Device Manager) and look at the two tabs: other devices and disk devices.

External HDD - no drivers installed - MyPassport ULTRA WD

Windows 7: Device Manager reports that there are no drivers for the 'My Passport ULTRA WD' drive on the system.

The screenshot above shows that the OS Windows does not have drivers for the external hard drive, so the computer does not see it. Usually, Windows 7, 8 when connecting a new device, it automatically installs a driver for it. If this has not happened to you, there are three options for action:

a) Click the 'Update hardware configuration' command in the device manager. This is usually followed by an automatic installation of the drivers.

Device Manager-13-53-35

b) Search for drivers using special. programs: https://pcpro100.info/obnovleniya-drayverov/;

c) Reinstall Windows (for installation, select a 'clean' licensed system, without any assemblies).

Drivers installed on external HDD

Windows 7 – device manager: drivers for external HDD Samsung M3 Portable are installed correctly.

If you can't see your old external hard drive

Old here refers to a hard drive that was previously running on your computer and then stopped.

1. First, go to the disk management menu (see above) and change the drive letter. This is definitely worth doing if you've created new partitions on your hard drive.

2. Secondly, check the external HDD for viruses. Many viruses disable the ability to see disks or block them (free antiviruses).

3. Go to Device Manager and see if the devices are detected correctly. There should be no yellow exclamation marks (or red ones) that signal errors. It is also recommended to reinstall the drivers on the USB controller.

device Manager 4. Sometimes OS reinstallation helps Windows. Anyway, check the hard drive on another computer / laptop / netbook first, and then try reinstalling.

It is also useful to try to clean the computer from unnecessary junk files and optimize the registry and programs (here is an article with all the utilities: https://pcpro100.info/luchshie-programmyi-dlya-ochistki-kompyutera-ot-musora/. Use a couple … ).

5. Try connecting the external HDD to a different USB port. It happened that, for some unknown reason, after connecting to another port, the disk worked fine as if nothing had happened. I noticed this several times on laptops Acer.

6. Check the cords.

One time the external hard did not work due to the fact that the cord was damaged. From the very beginning I did not notice this and killed 5-10 minutes in search of the reason …

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