What to do when I connect an external hard drive and it doesn’t show up?

External hard drive not showing up

Have you connected an external hard drive to your Windows PC, but the computer doesn’t seem to recognize it? This is a common problem that can be fixed with a simple solution. As always, in this post we will try to explain the causes and solutions for such annoying situations: “I have connected my external hard drive. But it didn’t appear.”

In general, Using external drives isn’t much of a secret. All you have to do is connect those drives. After that, the drive appears almost immediately on our computer screen or in the file manager. Without further ado These drives are often used to save backup copies of certain files until a “cloud” appears. This is the normal method. In fact, it is still widely used today.

The first thing to look for is The reason why this external drive is not accessible?. You will need to decide what is the best way to attempt to resolve the problem. Depending on your home, in many cases the solution is quite simple. Although there are cases when everything is complicated. We check all of them below:


Cause of the problem

Here are some possible reasons why USB-connected external hard drives are not showing up on our PC. At least most often:

  • USB port connection problems. The power cord or plug may be damaged. or even the USB port of our computer This is one of the most common causes.
  • The power supply of the external hard drive has failed.Both. This occurs when the drive is not receiving enough power from the computer. This is a rare cause. But it can happen too.
  • USB driver errorThis results in direct unit instability or damage. In the same way It is possible that the drivers used are not supported or are outdated.
  • Hard drive malfunction. Once we have checked everything above. But there are still problems. We have to conclude that the problem lies with the external hard drive. It must be repaired or replaced.

External hard drive not showing up: How to fix it?

A short list of potential problems. What we listed in the previous section serves as a guideline to start trying different solutions. Let’s analyze them one by one:

Check that the machine is connected and turned on correctly.

USB port

Even though it seems nonsensical But many times we find errors in things as stupid as not checking obvious things like The cable is firmly connected or the machine is turned on..Sometimes we are in a hurry and are thinking about these things. So we forget these little things that we often take for granted.

Please note that although some units only need to be powered from a PC’s USB port. But other units The laptop (which isn’t designed to be portable) has a cable for plugging into an electrical outlet. Otherwise it cannot work.

Restart PC


Another classic solution. After checking that everything is connected well. But the hard drive still doesn’t appear on the PC. We can try the old reboot trick.

It’s worth a try. In many cases, the CPU is under a lot of stress or has other unknown issues. That may cause the unit not to appear. This is a situation that happens from time to time. But it can be easily unblocked by rebooting the device.. The correct way is: First you need to disassemble the device. Just wait a moment and restart your computer.

Try using a different cable or port.

USB port

We rebooted, but the external hard drive still does not appear. At this point, it is necessary to rule out whether the problem is a broken cable or a USB port that has stopped working. What we can do in these situations is Unplug the device and try connecting to a different USB port.. Another possibility is that there is a problem with the USB cable. If so, you will need to try a different one.

To make the audit more secure is not a bad idea. Try connecting the external hard drive to another computer. To see if it works there or if we are also experiencing a similar problem. If not, then we will have to look for the source and solution in the external unit itself.

Update drivers

Update drivers

Having discarded all of the above, there is no other choice but to deduce that the problem lies with the external hard drive itself. We have analyzed in this blog how to update drivers, for other cases it will serve us too. Update external hard drive drivers First, you need to catch the error by following these steps:

  1. On our Windows PC, we will open the menu. start.
  2. There we write “Equipment Supervisor” And we click on the result to start.
  3. Next, we expand the list of disk drives and find the disk that corresponds to the external hard drive that we connected to the computer. (Next to it, a yellow exclamation mark may appear, which is a clear sign that something isn’t working properly.)
  4. We click with the right mouse button and in the panel that opens we select the tab. “feature”. Details of the error will be displayed there.

We now know there was an update error. We will continue to fix it. This depends on the version of the Microsoft operating system we use:

  • Windows 10: We go to “Settings” and in the menu we select “Update and Security”, then click on the “Update and Security” button. “Check for updates” when what we’re looking for appears. Click the button. “Install Now” to download available updates
  • Windows 11: We go to “Settings” and then select “Windows Update”. Then we click on “Check for updates” and then select “Download and Install” next to any available updates.

In general, The update will run automatically.However, in all other cases (at least) we will have to download it directly from the manufacturer’s website. Once the new driver is installed The problem will be solved.

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