Portable drives such as USB flash drives, SD cards, and portable external hard drives can be a lifesaver most of the time. When you urgently need the important document or items that you stored into the flash drive as the backup for instance photos, software, documents, and many more digital items.
In some of the cases, Windows users claim when they try to connect their flash drive to the Windows PC or laptop or else with another device such as smart TV using the USB port and they shock to see the external hard drive not showing up.
Well this issue can be used by several causes such as flash drive is not readable, USB port is dead due to which drive is not showing up, partition issues on the external drive, using the incorrect file system, drive errors on windows or maybe the drive is dead itself.
In this short guide, we are going to show you what you can do if the external hard drive not showing up on your device system to fix it without taking the help of tech support or an expert.
Restart Your PC or Computer
Whenever something goes wrong with your devices including your computer, phone. For example, some sort of error shows up in your computer system and your device begins to lag or the USB flash drive is not showing up. In this case before making any changes in the settings.
You needed to restart your device because most of the time, there is a temporary bug or error that can cause the issue and it can very easily be fixed once your device is restarted. Due to the restart, all the startup processes get restarted along with that all the errors will get resolved in the system bootup process.
Well, if the system restart does not help you and the flash drive does not show up then you needed to move to the next method that is given below.
Check If External Drive is Turned On & Configured Properly
This is also a primary method but it’s very important to make sure the external drive is enabled and turned on. Because most of the USB drive required a third-party power source (to get power over flash) to get connected to the device.
Well, most of the desktop external drives come with separate power cables or else the physical power switch. So if your external drive is not delectable your computer or laptop system might have an issue with the power cable. To fix this try out plugging it into some other power outlet or swap the cables along with that keep an eye on the sign of activities like flashing of the lights on the unit or light movement inside the drive.
If you aren’t able to see any sign that shows that your drive is working fine which simply means that the device might get damaged or dead.
Check-in the “Disk Management”
This is an initial step that is needed to perform to check if Windows detects your hard disk after you plug it in using the USB port. Try to plug your removable drive into your laptop or machine, if it isn’t already. Now follow these steps to make sure its shows in the disk management.
Press Windows + X keys together to open Windows Explorer and select the “Disk Management” from the list. Else you can also press the Windows + R keys to open a RUN dialog box and enter the following commend “diskmgmt.msc” to open the disk management utility of your computer.
With the help of Disk Management, you can easily able to see all the disks that were connected to your computer and with the help of it, you can also make disk partitions, review disk sizes, along with other disk-related information without having a hassle.
Must Try Another USB Port and PC
This is one of the best solutions to confirm that if your Hard Drive is working fine and somethings goes wrong with the computer in which you’re trying to connect the external hard drive. Well, you only needed another computer or laptop and plug in your external hard drive using the USB port.
If you’re hard drive working fine with another computer which simply means that your computer has some hardware or technical issues. Now let us try another method, try to connected the hard drive on your computer to another USB port.
Because most of the time, only the USB port dead and stop showing the devices to the computer. To confirm it you can connect the device using another USB Port given on your computer CPU or laptop. There are 2 USB ports on CPU and the laptop so you must try plug-in the hard drive in both ports one by one and check if the hard drive working fine in any one of the USD Port.
Diagonise Device Drivers
If the hard drive does not shows up on another computer or the USB Port you currently you don’t have access to the another laptop or computer. Well, In this case you must inspect the drivers on the computer because most of the time outdated drivers may cause the problem espcially the hardware drivers such as Bluetooth, Audio, Video etc. You can easily inspect the drivers using the Device Manager tool avaialbe on the Windows.
Follow the step by step instrution to know entire process of diagonsing windows drivers.
1. Go to the Start Menu and use the search box to find “Device Manager” and open it.
2. Once the device manager dialog box pop-up on the screen. Navigate to the Disk Drive and expand it.
3. Now right click on the disk driver to open the menu list and then select “Update Driver”. Hit the OK button.
4. Again, open the menu list of Disk Driver and select “Properties”.
5. Go to the General tab and check the device status if its says “the device is working properly”. Which means drive is in perfect conditon.
In case if the device status shows somekind of error then you needed to uinstall the driver and reinstall it. This will fix the issue.
Create A New Drive in This PC
If the hard drive shows up in the second method in we use the Disk Managment or in other above methods able to detect the drive. In this case you can initialize the drive to use it, Apart from this the Disk Management tool can also able to fix the disk related problems along with disk partition.
Moreover, if the external hard drive is shows only “Unallocated” space well then you’ll require to create a new disk volume or parition into the This PC or My Computer. After this you can easily able to access the hard drive from your computer.
To create a new parition, right-click on the hard drive Unallocated space and then choose “New Simple Volume” and go through the wizard to create a new disk volume.Once the partition process is completed you can able to see the hard drive into the This PC and use it as other drives.
If the hard drives does not shows Unallocated space and you cannot able to see it into the Windows, Then make sure the drive letter written. Because, this can be happen automatically however if you do it manually by removing the drive letter for some reason, then you cannot able to access the drive into the Windows or This PC.
To switch the drive letter in windows, Right-click on the drive and choose “Change Drive Letter and Paths”. If the drive does not have the letter already then select “Add”.
What letter should you use for the removable drive, well the letter G and J work perfect with removable drives. Make sure to avoid the letter A and C, because these are reserved for the Windows for other purposes. After this all the drives will shows up on This PC.
Format The External Hard Drive
If the hard drive shows to be partitioned and you can see it on This PC but cannot able to access it. Well this is can be happen due to the partition with the different file system. Which means you’ve formatted the drive with ext4 file system from Linux, or APFS on a Mac.
The windows cannot able to read the other file systems, so to fix it you needed to you again format the hard drive on the Windows to switch the file system that Windows can access such as NTFS, exFAT, or the older FAT32.
Once you perform the format the windows will access it. In this case if you don’t know how to format the drive in Windows, then follow below given step by step instructions to understand the process without having a hassle.
To reformat the drive using the Disk Management. Select the drive and right-click on it and from the menu list select the “Format” option.
Note: Formatting the drive will delete all the data stored into the drive. To save the data make sure to copy it into another device before formatting. If the drive is previous used on the Linux or Mac devices then access that device and generate the back of the drive on it.
While formating the drive you can change the drive name if you want and more importantly leave the Allocation unit size as Default; leaving Perform a quick format checked.
Select the file system which you should choose depends on the type of the drive and you use it for.
What is best File System on Windows 10?
In Windows there are mainly three file systems, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS. So the question is which file system is best to use for the computer.
FAT32 File System:
Well, if you have smaller drive then you must go with FAT32 file system because its an used for small storage devices and has longer compatibility.
However, the FAT32 cannot able to save files over 4GB and only support 2TB of volumes. So you can easily run into the issues related to the storage using the flash drive but there some limitation. Moreover that main purpose of using the FAT32 is that it work fine with almost any device such as Media Player, Game Consoles, Camera and many more.
exFAT File System:
exFAT is an updated version of FAT32 it does not have the same libilites as FAT32, its complete free from the file size restrictions compare to over format moreover its perform faster in tests compare to FAT32. The exFAT is one of the best choice for smaller removable devices such as flash drives. If you specific closeness reason to use FAT32.
NTFS File System:
The NTFS is latest version of the file system in Windows operating system. However there nothing special about it and most of the older devices are not compatible with NTFS. Moreover, its not for the smaller devices it is best to use NTFS for the larger external hard drives that you use for other purpose such as workstation etc. In end the exFAT is best for the commercial purposes and the removal storage devices.
Hopefully, Its Work For You !
Alright! this is an end of the short guide, hopefully all the above given methods worked for you and the hard drive starting showing into your computer. In case if you’ve any other problem related to the Windows, Mac, OS, Android feel free to ask us, We try our best to resolve you issue with the help of your technical experts team.