Lifestyle / Gadgets

What to Do When Your External Hard Drive doesn’t Show Up?

Have you ever had a hard drive crash? It’s pretty devastating to think about all the data you’ve lost.

Feb 23, 2022 | By LUXUO
usb cable
Image: Pixabay

Have you ever had a hard drive crash? It’s pretty devastating to think about all the data you’ve lost. And when it comes to external hard drives, you’ll be even more disappointed. External hard drives are a great way to back up your data in case something happens with your computer or in case something happens in the future that might affect your computer.

But what if your external hard drive won’t show up? There is usually a simple explanation for this problem. So don’t worry! We’re going to go over some of the most common reasons why an external hard drive will not show up on your desktop and provide solutions so you can get back to backing up all of your essential information.

What Causes an External Hard Drive to Not Show Up?

Many things could cause an external hard drive not to show up. And it can cause data losses from your hard drive. That’s where you can get help by taking data recovery services from a professional. Here are the most common reasons:

  • The external hard drive is not plugged into a working USB port
  • The external hard drive needs to be reformatted
  • The wrong file system is being used on your external hard drive
  • There’s a power surge or electrical problem near your computer

What do I do if my hard drive is not detected?

If your hard drive is not detected, check a few things. First, make sure that you have the correct power and data cables. If you are using an external hard drive and a laptop, ensure that you have the power adapter plugged into a wall outlet and then plug the other end of the power cable into your laptop.

Ensure that your computer is turned on and has access to power because this might be all you need to do to get your external hard drive working again. If it still doesn’t show up, try plugging it into another computer.

If it’s not detected on another computer either, then there might be something wrong with your hard drive or possibly with the pins in the connection. If this is the case, then you will need to contact your manufacturer for further assistance.

The Solutions

It’s important to remember that hard drives crash every day. It’s not a question of if it will happen, but when. There are numerous reasons why your external hard drive won’t show up on your desktop, but there are solutions for each one.

  1. The cable that connects the hard drive to your computer may not be plugged in all the way. Check for dirt and dust on the connection points and make sure it is plugged in all the way
  2. If you have another external hard drive, try plugging it into the computer to see if it recognises it. If it does, then there is a problem with your first external hard drive
  3. You may have selected “safely remove hardware” from the list of icons on your taskbar rather than ejecting it from within the program you’re working in
  4. You may need to replace or upgrade your USB port as they can wear out over time

How do I fix an external hard drive being detected but not accessible?

There are various reasons why a hard drive may not be accessible. First, you will want to make sure that your data was backed up, and if it wasn’t, you need to take steps for the lost information not to happen again. Next, do an internet search on “external hard drives detected but inaccessible” or similar phrases and see what solutions people have found. Lastly, try some common fixes such as restarting your computer with the external plugged in, updating drivers through manufacturer websites (ensure they are compatible), downloading special software from the manufacturer’s website onto a USB thumb drive/CDrom, which might fix the issue when inserted into the computer.


The external hard drive you use for your business is a critical piece of equipment, and when it goes down, it can affect your productivity. If you can’t see your external hard drive, don’t panic. A few things could be going wrong, and we’ve got the solutions to get you back up and running in no time.

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