What to do if your external hard drive does not show in my computer

By MrNoname ยท 134 replies
Sep 29, 2006
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  1. mr.abhi

    mr.abhi TS Rookie

    hello mr.noname I find myslf in good trouble when my wd elements 500gb didn't get recognized by my win 7 I followed ur suggestions but its showing disk 2, unknown, not initialized after right click it gives option initialized disk but when I do so it ask to chose one of the below
    1. mbr
    choosing mbr ( recommended default ) said files are rite protected . I have losts of information on the hard disc related to my work pls help me out.

  2. canocoke71

    canocoke71 TS Rookie

    This was a massive help. thanks.
  3. iDarkLokey

    iDarkLokey TS Rookie

    THANK you MR no Name

    I've try to find answers on Microsoft but no one there works.. thanks to your post I successfully fix it.. I thought my external is broke though -_-
  4. crickethunain

    crickethunain TS Rookie

    I have read this everywher I have one question-
    what if it does not show CHANGE DRIVE LETTER on rightclicking?
  5. ktpierce

    ktpierce TS Rookie

    I apologize if this has been asked, but my phone makes it difficult to read through everything. My question: How can I do this using a Mac computer?
  6. manrayus

    manrayus TS Rookie

    Im still having a problem finding my external hard drive in the list it is plugge in and all the drivers are installed I just cant access it its no where to be found eccept for my devises tab
  7. Paul Benson

    Paul Benson TS Rookie

    Hi I have followed he steps outlined in the post, but when I click on Disk Management all I get is
    "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service" appear at the bottom of the window and then nothing.
  8. ahmedakram

    ahmedakram TS Rookie

    I have a new external hard disk and it was working normally on my laptop (windows 7) until I plugged it into Apple Macintosh then tried to plugged it again into my laptop and it didn't work, What can I do ?? .. thanks in advance.
  9. Kennyevich

    Kennyevich TS Rookie

    I did all of the above, deleted both upper and lower filters and they no longer appear but the problem remains. it will not let me change drive letter and the box has cross shading.
    I have no idea how to proceed. If you can help me I would be extremely grateful.
    Sagar Gohokar likes this.
  10. jmaxx

    jmaxx TS Rookie

    My hardrive is not accessible and not visible please help me with this, see my screen shots: my HD is already plugged in. I really need your help guys.
    2. 2. 3. 4. 5. drive not showing.
  11. Sagar Gohokar

    Sagar Gohokar TS Member


    Hello there,

    This is Sagar. I am currently facing problem similar to what its mentioned above. I will describe my problem more specifically:

    I have Westen Digital Harddisk 1TB and trying to connect to my Wipro laptop (WinXp Professional SP2). It shows a drive has appeared. When I try to open it says "Need to format". See screenshot01. I also changed its screenshot01.PNG drive name to "M" after referring to random website's solution but all in vain.

    Can you please help as I have very important data in it & I don't want to lose it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Sagar Gohokar.
    [email removed]
  12. maverik13

    maverik13 TS Rookie

    you found any solution I have the same problem
  13. mjacks77

    mjacks77 TS Rookie

    So external HDD not regognised, when it comes up in Disk Management ( I think its it ) it says invalid ( no size of HDD) I can refomat this area, but if I do wont I lose all the data thats on the drive?
  14. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Posts: 321

    Not read all the posts but the sollution I found was u need to go into I think disk management like pics above the nchange letter of the drive as when plugging external drive in it is trying to use the same letter as one u already have so example change letter D to a H r something
  15. vanderz

    vanderz TS Rookie

    Hi guys...

    I'm having a very similar problem as the rest of you it would appear!
    I have an old hitachi 250gb hdd with lots of pics and vids on it that I need access to.
    I have plugged it into my laptop/windows 7 via a usb caddy. the computer said it was installing drivers etc but it doesn't show up under my computer. tried to follow steps previously mentioned on this thread but not sure what to do.....
    the hdd is not shown in the top list under disk management but appears in the bottom list as disk 1 unknown not initialized. see screen shot

    really could do with your help pls! thanks in advance

    Attached Files:

  16. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Imagine the confusion trying to answer all of these different people's questions within the same thread. You would have several different conversations going on at the same time. If you follow the tutorial and still cannot solve your problem, I recommend not tacking your question onto the end of this tutorial. Instead, post your problem in the appropriate subject forum and you will most likely get some help there.

    If you insist on posting in this thread, go ahead but notice that not many posts are answered here.
    vanderz likes this.
  17. Nepalese Fan

    Nepalese Fan TS Rookie

    Many Many thanks to the solution, my samsung m2 nearly chrashed about since it did not appear on my laptop and have tried to this different times in normal windows 7 but the laptop stop to work so I applied ur suggestion on safe mode and successfully recover my hard drive and protect my life time lost documents...
    Thank you again...
  18. sfernandez

    sfernandez TS Rookie

    This is really bugging me , basically , I did all of the below but I can't access my external HDD

    anyone , I would be very greatful for your help

  19. element13

    element13 TS Rookie

    I am having an issue with one of my external drives.

    After a power outage all my hard drives came up no issues except one.

    The hard-drive is there and under Disk Management it shows up as "healthy" and the capacity correct.

    The problem is that when you try to explore it nothing happens.
    I tried rebooting and unplugging and plugging it back on and it does attempt to look for the files but stops.


    Update. If I try to eplore and wait and wait....it finally asks if I want to format.

    I do have the option of error-checking the volume under properties but before I make a mess I will await your suggestions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2014
  20. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

  21. element13

    element13 TS Rookie

    It says the destination disk is unsupported.

    BTW...Windoes XP professional
  22. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    What version of Windows are you running?
    Do you need to recover data from the drive or just reformat ok?

    Is this a USB flash drive or external hard drive?
    Does Disk Management show a File System on the drive? (like NTFS or FAT32? or does it say Raw?
  23. element13

    element13 TS Rookie

    XP Professional
    Recover Data
    External Drive
  24. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Here's a link to Recuva. Download and run the Free version. Does it detect the drive OK? Does it find/recover any data?
  25. element13

    element13 TS Rookie

    It found 68 files 191k ignored.

    I have NOT hit the recover.

    It sees the files and it was nearly 3tb of data and the sad aspect of this was I was in the middle relocating all the files to back-up when the power went out.

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