Why is my hard drive not showing up on my computer?
There are several reasons that your hard drive might not be showing up on your computer. It could be due to hardware compatibility issues with the device or its drivers. Many times, the problem is due to malicious software that has found its way onto the drive. Your drive might not be accessible because of something you inadvertently did to it. You need to get it operational if you want to recover its data.
Being unable to recover data from a hard disk which is not detecting properly poses a problem. Obviously, before you can perform any type of data recovery, you need to be able to access the device. If the drive remains undetected, you won’t be able to do anything with it. We are going to look at why your drive might not be recognized and discuss a valuable data recovery tool to use once you regain access to its contents.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your hard drive might not be recognized by Windows.
#1. Human error
Your drive might not be detected because of simple human error. This might be due to plugging the drive into a faulty port. In that case, you can try a different interface or computer. More likely, you have deleted or formatted a partition. You might have tried to assign a drive letter and used a value that the operating system cannot use properly. All of these issues will cause any hard drive, including an external Seagate or Western Digital (WD), to be undetected by your OS. The good news is that most of these issues can be resolved fairly easily. More on that later.
#2. Viruses and Malware
Infection by a virus or malware program can cause all sorts of problems, including making it impossible to recover files from external hard drive that’s not detected properly. A virus can randomly delete files or format a partition without your knowledge, making the hard drive display as RAW. Malware might change the drive letter or have deleted or corrupted the necessary device driver. In some cases, the damage caused by malware may be the reason your computer won’t boot from the drive.
#3. Environmental Factors
Too much heat or moisture will cause damage to your hard drive and might be a reason that your OS is having trouble detecting it. Of course, it’s then impossible to recover data from a hard disk that is not detecting as it should. While you can obtain some hard drives that can withstand harsh conditions, keep in mind that most drives are meant to be kept cool and dry.
Have you managed to fix the problem preventing your hard drive from being detected? Great! Now you can use data recovery software to get back any files that have gone missing in the process.
As a Windows user, you can pick between a number of free and paid data recovery software solutions. Here are some important criteria to pay attention to when making your choice:
- ⚡ Performance: The best data recovery software tools can recover hundreds of file formats from all commonly used storage devices.
- 👶 Easy-of-use: Not all data recovery applications are equally easy to use, and some don’t even have a graphical user interface.
- 💕 Compatibility: There’s no point in downloading any application that’s not compatible with your operating system or your internal or external hard drive.
- 💲 Price: There’s no point in going over budget since there are many data recovery software apps that let you recover lost files for free.
- ⭐ User reviews: Marketing promises don’t always reflect the reality of how software really performs, so it’s a good idea to always check reviews posted by users who have been using the software for some time.
Disk Drill can recover data from any type of disk-based storage device including removable hard drives, SD cards and your computer’s main internal hard disk. The application employs advanced scanning algorithms to find lost and deleted files in over 400 different formats. Scans can easily be paused and restarted and the result can be mounted as a drive to make recovery even easier.
Additional data protection features such as the ability to create byte-level backups and a Recovery Vault to protect your important files are included for free from the developers of Disk Drill. Downloading the free trial version lets you use these tools as well as recover up to 500 MB of data without any financial investment. It should be your got data recovery tool and can help you recover from all kinds of data loss situations.
Useful information about Disk Drill:
- Supported file systems: NTFS, FAT, FAT32, exFAT, EXT3/EXT4, HFS, APF
- Supported languages: English, Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Turkish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Dutch, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Chinese, Hindi
- Supported file formats: FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32), exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2/ext3/ext4, HFS+, APFS
Note: Before you can use data recovery software like Disk Drill to recover files from an internal or external hard drive that is not detected, you need to first resolve the issue that’s preventing your hard drive from being detected properly.
To recover files from an external hard drive, you need to:
Removable hard drives are prime targets for thieves who want to steal personal information. An example is the theft of a drive from Fresno State University that contained sensitive information on over 15,000 individuals. The theft highlights the importance of encrypting data on removable storage devices. Misplacing a removable drive or having one stolen can lead to a major data breach that can cause serious damage to the organization that lost the drive and the people whose data was compromised.
In this article, we explain how to recover files from a hard disk that is not detecting properly and introduced a useful data recovery software application called Disk Drill. Using Disk Drill, you can recover files that are no longer accessible and protect your internal and external hard drives against further data loss.
- Toshiba External Hard Drive not being detected or even turning on (2020, superuser.com)
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- Why is My External HD Not Detected After Downloading Chromebook Utility (2020, google.com)