Table of Contents
- Video Recovery
- SD Card Recovery
- Recycle Bin Recovery
- Recover Data from USB
- Recover Deleted Emails
- Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows
- Recover Unsaved Word Documents
- Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10
- Recover Files from Virus Infected Hard Drive
- Best Free Photo Recovery Software
- Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive
My external hard drive is recognized but won't open
"Recently, I connected my 64GB external hard drive to the computer, it didn't appear as normal in the 'My Computer' folder. Instead, it shows up as an unknown device in Device Manager.
My external hard drive detected but cannot open? I have so many important files on the drive, so I can't format the drive unless files were safely restored. Can I fix this issue without losing my files?"
Being different from an unrecognized external hard drive, the causes of the "external hard drive detected but cannot open" error seems to be more commonly discussed. Here is a list of symptoms when the external hard drive or other storage devices become inaccessible:
- Access denied
- File system error
- The storage device driver is outdated
- Device not formatted error
- Unsupported file system
- The request failed due to fatal device hardware error
- Unknown disk not initialized
As for a new external hard drive, users may meet the last listed issue and they just need to initialize the device to make it accessible.
You May Also Interest In:
If you are having a similar issue on your hard drive, you may directly try the fixes below.
Are your hard drives, be it new or old, internal or external, not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management? Follow to learn how to make your hard drive showing up again in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data.
Part 1. Restore data from not opening external hard drive (3 steps)
How are you going to access saved data on the external hard drive which is not opening on your Windows computer? Professional data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard enables you to access data on an inaccessible storage device.
With it, you can fully scan and recover data from the inaccessible hard drive in 3 steps:
Step 1. Choose the external hard drive
Since you're going to recover data from the external hard drive, run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose the exact drive where you lost data. Click Scan.
Step 2. Scan for lost data
The software will start immediately to scan all over the selected drive for all lost data. During the scan, you could see more and more data showing up in the results.
Step 3. Preview and recover data
After the scan is over, check the scan results for the desired data. You can preview the file by double-clicking on it. Click Recover and choose another location to save the recovered data.
After this, move on to Part 2 and find an effective solution to make the external hard drive accessible again on Windows 10, 8, or 7.
Part 2. Fix external hard drive won't open error (4 methods)
How to solve the external hard drive detected but not showing up error and make your device work perfectly again? Here, we've collected 4 reliable methods that can help:
Method 1. Gain administrator permission (3-4 minutes)
Applies to: remove device inaccessible issue without access permission
The process of getting access permission on Windows 10 and 8 is similar, only a tiny difference on Windows 7 and older OS.
- Step 1: Open This PC, right-click the inaccessible external hard drive, and select "Properties".
- Step 2: Go to Security, click "Edit" and click your username under Group or username.
- Step 3:Check all boxes under the Allow column, click "OK" to confirm, and "Apply" to keep all changes.
Reboot the PC and reconnect the external hard drive to your PC if necessary.
Method 2. Update the external hard drive driver (3-5 minutes)
Applies to: resolve device driver outdated, not opening issue
If you can't access your external hard drive on Windows 10, this method is also worth trying.
- Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to the PC.
- Step 2: Right-click on This PC/My Computer icon, select Manage and go to Device Manager.
- Step 3: Expand Disk drivers, find and right-click on the external hard drive, choose "Update driver".
- Step 4: Select "Search automatically for updated driver software" and wait patiently till the process completes.
Reboot the PC and reconnect the device if the system requires.
Method 3. Check and fix file system errors (4-5 minutes)
Applies to: fix corrupted file system or existing errors, making device not opening
To do so, you can either use disk error checking tools or cmd command to check and fix existing file system errors on your device.
Here is the example of using the CMD command to fix file system errors:
- Step 1: Press Windows + R keys simultaneously to invoke Run. Type cmd in the empty box and hit Enter.
- Step 2: Type disk part and click OK to bring it up.
- Step 3: Type chkdsk G: /f /r /x and hit Enter. (Replace G with the correct drive letter of the external hard drive that is not opening.)
Exit the command prompt and safely eject your external hard drive. After some seconds, try reconnecting it and see if you can open it normally.
If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.
EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.
To fix file system error or disk error:
Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.
Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option.
Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive.
Method 4. Format external hard drive, change the file system to NTFS
Applies to: resolve unsupported, unrecognized file system causing device unopenable
Mostly, NTFS and FAT32 are the default file system of external hard drives and USB devices. Sometimes, if the operating system doesn't support a specific file system, the device will not open.
To resolve this issue, you can format the device to NTFS or FAT32 by using disk management or a free format tool. Here is an example of changing the external hard drive file system by using the EaseUS free format tool - Partition Master Free. Only 3 steps will make it work again:
Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to the PC. Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the external hard drive, and choose "Format".
Step 2: Set a new Partition label, new File system (NTFS/FAT32), and Cluster size for the external hard drive, then click "OK".
Step 3:Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start the formatting process.
Wait for the formatting process to complete. Then you can unplug and replug the external hard drive, reusing it to save files again.
To sum up, to unplug the external hard drive by using safely remove method, update disk driver timely, fixing file system error and use adaptable file system on storage devices, you can safely avoid the device is detectable but not opening issue.
Also, don't panic when you meet this issue. Turn EaseUS file recovery software to restore and export valuable files first, and then apply 4 methods on this page to make your device usable again.
Was This Page Helpful?
Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition. Read More
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past. Read More
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair. Read More