External Hard Drive Not Working/Responding? Fix with 100% Working Methods Now!

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


This article provides you with 100% working methods to fix "external hard drive not working/responding error" without losing any data. If your external hard drive is not working, fails to respond or becomes undetectable, download EaseUS disk data recovery software here with 100% working methods to repair your not working external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 PC and restore data now.

External hard drive/disk not working or responding

Is this not the first time that your external hard drive, USB drive, SD card or other storage devices are not responding while connecting to your PC? Your external hard drive suddenly cannot be detected or recognized by your PC or laptop? Relax! You don't have to buy a new external hard drive and give up all the precious data.

100% working fixes are available here to help you resolve external hard drive not responding issue without losing any data in this article now. No matter what brands of devices you are using such as WD Elements external hard drive, Seagate external hard drive, SanDisk or Toshiba hard disks, etc, just follow this article to get your problem solved with provided methods here now. Let's see how to repair the not responding external hard drive or undetectable external hard disk drive now:

Quick fix: Check power management for USB Hub

Connect your external hard drive to a new USB port or a new computer to check out whether it's really not responding, or just a damaged USB port that disallows your drive to show up on the PC.

If it doesn't work after changing the USB port or cannot be read by a new PC, try the quick fix below to repair an unrecognizable external hard drive now:

1. In Run (Windows + R), type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

open device manager in the Run

2. Open Device Manager > expand "Universal Serial Bus controllers".

3. Right-click USB Root Hub > Properties > Power Management > uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power".

allow the computer to turn off this device to save power

  1. If your external hard drive is physically damaged or broken, take it to a nearby maintenance center for a manual repair.
  2. If it just doesn't work or respond, just follow the three methods below to fix a not working external hard drive or disk on Windows 10/8/7 PCs.

Part 1. Fix external hard drive not working issue in Windows 10/8/7 (3 Methods)

The very first step for fixing external hard drive not responding issue is to make not responding drive show up or be detectable by a Windows 10/8/7 computer or laptop. How? Here below are some 100% fixes offered by professional administrators that you can try.

Method 1. Boot PC/Laptop into Safe Mode and check the hard drive issue

Sometimes, when an external hard drive, USB or SD card doesn't show up, the problem might exist on PC. Therefore, you can reboot the PC or laptop into Safe Mode and then check out where the problem exactly exists. 

Method 2. Run a disk checkup and fix internal errors on external hard drive

Here you have two options to check up the disk and fix internal errors on a not responding external hard drive:

Option 1. Check and fix external hard drive not responding errors with partition manager freeware

Download and install  EaseUS Partition Master Free on your PC.


Step 1: Insert your SD card into your computer or connect your USB/external hard drive to your computer and run EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the partition on your storage device and choose "Check File System".

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, keep the option "Try to fix the errors if found" selected and click "Start".

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 2

Step 3: Then EaseUS Partition Master will automatically check the file system error on your SD card, USB, or external hard drive. When it has done, click "Finish" to end the whole process.

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 3

Option 2. Run CMD to manually check and fix external hard drive errors

Step 1: Open Command Prompt and type: chkdsk /f g: (replace g with the drive letter of your external hard drive).

Click to copy

Step 2: Hit Enter to let the checking process to run;

Step 3: When it's finished, type: exit and hit Enter to finish the process.

After this, your not responding external hard drive should now show up. If it still doesn't work, go on with an easier chkdsk alternative.

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. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Method 3. Force not responding external hard drive to show up by uninstalling drivers

Step 1: In Run (Windows + R), type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Step 2: Open Device Manager > expand Universal Serial Bus controllers > check out whether any device shows up as unrecognized;

Step 3: If it shows as unrecognized, go to the Drivers tab and delete/uninstall the driver; Then check out whether the external hard drive shows up on My Computer/My PC or not.

update driver for not responding/working external hard drive

Step 4: If it doesn't show up, reboot or restart the PC.

Step 5. If it shows up but disappears later, repeat the above steps and go to "Disk Management" > change drive letter OF YOUR EXTERNAL DRIVE ONLY > Go and select a new drive letter to replace the old one of the non-responsive drive by clicking "Change", and click "OK" to confirm. Then not responding external hard drive can be read and detected now.

change drive letter for not working external hard drive

If you are having a similar problem with your USB drive, SD card or hard drive partitions, you can also follow the above methods to fix them with ease now.

Part 2: Restore data after fixing external hard drive

If you are still unable to access your data after fixing external hard drive not responding, don't worry. As long as the external hard drive is not physically damaged, you can recover data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This data recovery software allows you to scan and recover data from the external hard drive when it cannot be recognized or detected by a computer or when it becomes inaccessible due to disk error.

After fixing the External HDD not working or responding error with the offered methods in Part 1, follow these steps to see how to restore data from the external hard drive with HDD recovery software with simple clicks now.

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 under the External Devices tab, choose the exact drive where you lost data. Click Scan.

select external hard drive

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.

scan external hard drive

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.

preview and recover data

Part 3. Repair and reset not working external hard drive by formatting

In order to make sure that the external hard drive is secure for storing new data again, it's recommended that you format it to repair the not working drive to be usable again with Windows disk management tool.

Step 1: In Run (Windows + R), type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

open disk management

Step 2: Go to Disk Management, right-click the external hard drive, USB or SD card, and select "Format".

format external hard drive in disk management

Step 3: Choose a file system like NTFS or FAT32 and perform a quick format.

You can set the file system of your external hard drive to NTFS or FAT32 so to store data on it again. 

Note: The methods offered in this article can also be applied to repair and fix SD cards, memory cards, USB drives, flash drives or hard drive partitions etc devices with not responding/working or undetectable issues. If you are having similar issues with your storage devices, follow the above steps to get your problem solved right now. 


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've 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, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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