Why Is the External Hard Drive Not Opened by Windows 10?

I have a WD external hard drive that can be recognized by Windows 10 in the device manager but is not showing in Disk Management. How can I fix this issue?

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Roxanne· Answered on Dec 20, 2023

Have you ever encountered the issue that your computer cannot recognize the external hard drive? And more frequently, the external hard drive is detected but cannot open. Why is this error happening? Here are the leading causes:

  • Your external hard drive is new and hasn't been partitioned yet.
  • Bitlocker encrypts this external hard drive.
  • The driver software is old and needs to be updated.
  • Incorrect file system: Windows can only support NTFS.

First, check if Bitlocker encrypts your hard drive and remove the encryption. In the next section, I will discuss four practical ways to assist you in fixing the detected but cannot open issue.

Fix 1. Partition this External Hard Drive

If your WD disk is new and has no partition, the system can't recognize the drive's size, which makes it inaccessible. Thus, you need to create new partitions on the hard drive. EaseUS Partition Master is your first choice as it has a "New Disk Guide" feature that can create multiple partitions simultaneously.

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Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master to recognize the new drive, and then the New Disk Guide window will appear.

Step 2. Hit the "Partition this disk" option and assign the partition number, size, and style. Select "Proceed" to continue.

Step 3. Choose "Execute 1 Task" and then select "Apply."

Fix 2. Format the Drive to NTFS

Disk Management is also a good helper that can allow you to convert the file system of your hard drive to NTFS.

Step 1. Press "Windows + X" and locate Disk Management.

Step 2. Find and right-click on your WD external hard drive, then choose "Format."

Step 3. Change the file system to NTFS, check "Quick Format," and click "OK" to confirm.

Fix 3. Update the driver

Download the new version of the driver from the official source and update your old driver according to the guide.

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