Removable Hard Disk Drives, both USB and External Hard Drives are most commonly used now a days to export or import data, to create a backup and certain other features.  Both of them play a major role of storage devices.  But sometimes they may get corrupted or damaged due to some external features or internal virus damage.  When you insert a drive into the USB port of a computer or any other device it may show error or sometimes it might not get detected.

It may be due to partition problems, external physical damages to the drive, virus attack or sometimes the drive might be dead.  Let us see how to diagnose and retrieve your files from External Hard Disk.

  • Initially check if the if the windows is detecting your drive when you plug it in. if it doesn’t try inserting it in a different port.  Sometimes there might be a problem with the USB port.
  • If it is an External Hard Disk check by using a different cable cord. There might be a possibility of loose connection.  If your Hard Disk shows up, just buy a new cord.
  • Also run antivirus software, to see if there are any viruses available. Sometimes it might work. But most of times your data would be lost. But don’t worry there are lot of recovery softwares like, Ease Us , Recuva, Tune Up Utilities available to recover your lost files.

  • If it doesn’t work, open your disk management tool, by pressing Windows Key +X or click the power menu and select Disk Management option; or open the Run dialog box and enter diskmgmt.msc to open this utility.


  • The Disk Management allows you to view all the Hard Disks connected to your computer, both external and internal.  It shows all the hard disks along with sizes, partitions, and other information on the disks.

  • Your External Hard Drive should be visible below the primary and secondary hard disk drives.  If you see your drive here click on it and change your drive letter by clicking Create a new volume and assign a drive letter or just format it if you do not do it need the data in the drive.
  • If it doesn’t show up even here, then there is a final option.  Try connecting your external hard disk directly to your mother board via SATA port.  If all has failed, then it means your hard disk is completely dead and you might need to replace it with another one.



  • If your external hard disk is still under warranty, make sure you register a complaint with the company and get their permission before you turn it in, to a service center for data retrieval, because the warranty becomes null once the package seal is broken.
  • Also make you try the retrieval techniques in one or two computers before turning it in.
  • Also if the light in the External Hard Disk doesn’t blink, in most cases it means your hard disk is dead. But still try all the options above before you turn it in.



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