How to recover data from external hard disk not detected?

Imagine a real life scenario: when you connect an external hard drive to your computer, it might not show up or get recognized. This problem occurs frequently in Windows 10 and it could lead to data loss. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry. With the right tool, you can recover data from external drive even if it is not detected. Let’s take a closer look at it.

external drive

Why the external hard disk become undetectable?

Before we head to the recovery part, we need to know the common causes that resulting in an external hard drive which is not detecting and showing up in Windows.

  • Corrupted or wrong file system on the hard drive
  • Damaged partition table or boot sector on the disk
  • Any physical damage to the drive
  • The USB connection is not tight enough
  • Virus attack and malware infection
  • Driver issues in Windows

How to fix hard disk not detected?

When you connect the external hard drive to the computer and cannot find it, you can try to repair external hard disk by following methods. Here’s what you should try out:

Way 1. check if the hard drive show up in disk management

You can plugin your external hard drive into the system making sure that its power switch is on. Then, you need to open Disk Management by typing diskmgmt.msc in the dialog box that appears after pressing the R and Windows key. If you can locate the external drive in Disk Management, you can format it so it become accessible to Windows.

Way 2. Make Windows recognize the drive

Try connecting the external hard drive into a different USB port on the system. A hardware issue with the USB port might be the reason if the external drive works in the other USB port. Plus, you need to try unplugging the drive from a USB hub and directly into the system if you are using a USB hub for connecting your external drive to the computer.

Way 3. Deal with drive issues

If you cannot locate your external drive in Disk Management after having changed the USB port and eliminating the USB hub, it might have a driver issue or your drive might be at fault. You can plug your drive into a different computer system to ensure this. If it still doesn’t work, your drive is probably at fault.

  • Test the driver with Device Manager

You can test the driver with Device Manager. To open this tool, you should hit Enter after typing “devmgmt.msc” in the Run dialog box which can be opened by clicking R key along with Windows key.

Deal with drive issues

  • Find out error messages

Driver issues can be detected by looking for yellow exclamation marks in front of devices in Disk drives menu. You can select Properties after right-clicking the devices that have yellow exclamation marks, then you can see error message. Search this error messages on Google to find out how to fix it.

  • Run system restore

Running system restore is an option if the driver issue is a recent one. Alternatively, you can reinstall the driver after uninstalling it, revert changes using the Roll Back Driver option or update the driver.

The above mentioned methods can fix the issue of external hard disk not detected. However, your data can get lost or deleted on the fixing process. There is a need to restore your data from external hard disk not detected. Turn to the next section to get your data back with RecoveryMaster software.

How to recover data from external hard disk not recognized?

RecoveryMaster is a comprehensive and easy-to-use data recovery software that allows you to restore deleted, lost or formatted data from hard drive, HDD/SSD, memory card, digital camera, etc. This fantastic tool recovers your document, graphic, video, audio and email in different data loss situations. It fully supports Windows 10/8/7. Here is a simple guide to recover data from external hard drive:

Step 1. Download and install Soouya RecoveryMaster

Step 2. Connect the external hard disk to the computer

Step 2. Launch the program, select the drive and click “Scan”

recover data from external hard disk

Step 3. Select and preview the file you wish to recover

preview the file you wish to recover

Step 4. Click “Recover” to get your file back and store them to another secure location

As you can see, everyone can restore data from external hard drive with a few simple clicks. No technical skill or professional knowledge is required. Moreover, this powerful tool accesses your data through read-only and protects them from secondary damage.


To avoid data loss on external hard disk from happening again, you’d better take regular backup of your important data. Plus, do not disconnect the drive while in use and always safely remove it after use. If you still encounter data loss situation, try RecoveryMaster to recover data from external drive not detected.