Here on this page, you'll learn four effective ways to fix an unknown device, and powerful hard drive recovery software to recover inaccessible data.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Disable selective suspend setting Open Control Panel, click "Power Options"...Full steps
Fix 2. Uninstall or update driver In Device Manager, find and uninstall "Unknown device"...Full steps
Fix 3. Reinstall USB controllers In Device Manager, expand and uninstall "Universal Serial Bus Controllers"...Full steps
Fix 4. Update chipset drivers Find the name of your computer motherboard, visit the manufacturer's site...Full steps
Recover data from unknown drive To recover data from HDD or SSD, Run EaseUS recovery software > Scan and recover data...Full steps

Why Hard Drive Shows as Unknown Device

What is "unknown device"? An unknown device is a device name listed in the Windows Device Manager for any device Windows is unable to identify or does not have the drivers used to identify the device.

unknown device in device manager

Literally, the HDD/SSD/USB "Unknown Device" in Device Manager displays itself as disk unknown not initialized in Disk Management. When a storage device was recognized by Windows in this way, sorry, it's neither readable nor accessible along with all the data.

"Unknown device" is a common issue that happened to a lot of users, and the following reasons may account for the problem:

  • Insufficient power supply because USB selective suspend setting is enabled.
  • Driver issues associated with the currently loaded internal/external storage drive, USB controllers, or the computer motherboard.

In fact, the "Unknown Device" is a very common error that most of us would face once or twice, so you are not alone. No matter it is an internal hard drive, HDD, SSD, or an external USB flash drive, follow the advice of troubleshooting, and you will hopefully get over with it.

Fix 1. Disable USB Selective SuspendSetting to Fix Unknown Device

Step 1. In Windows 10/8.1/8/7, press Windows + R keys to bring up the Run box, type control, and hit enter. The Windows Control Panel is open.

open control panel

Step 2. Find "Power Options" and click it.

open power options in control panel

Step 3. In your own power plan, click "Change plan settings".

change plan settings in control panel

Step 4. Click "Change advanced power settings".

change advanced power settings in control panel

Step 5. Expand "USB settings" and then "USB selective suspend setting", click the "Setting" and turn the default "Enabled" to "Disabled". 

disable usb selective suspend setting

Step 6. Click "Apply" to save changes.

Fix 2. Uninstall and Update the Hard Drive Driver

Step 1: In Device Manager, navigate to the hard drive showing "Unknown device" (Usually it's under "Other device").

unknown device in device manager

Step 2. Right-click on it and choose "Uninstall".

Step 3. After the hard drive is uninstalled, unplug the external drive. 

Step 4. After a while, reconnect it to the computer.

Step 5. Windows will automatically install and load the driver this time. Go to check if the USB drive shows up in Windows Explorer.

Fix 3. Reinstall USB controllers

Step 1. In Device Manager, expand "Universal Serial Bus Controllers".

Step 2. Right-click on the unknown USB Device and select "Uninstall". Wait until it completes.

Step 3. Restart your computer. The USB controllers will automatically install. Go to check if the USB drive shows up in Windows Explorer.

Fix 4. Update the Motherboard Chipset Drivers

Step 1. In your computer's documentation, find the name of the motherboard manufacturer. It's important for you to search for a matched driver.

Step 2. Visit the manufacturer's support website and find the appropriate driver for your motherboard. You can also reach a support guy for further help.

How to Recover Data from Unknown Device HDD/SSD/USB Hard Drive

To restore data from the unknown device, you have two choices. One, fix the unknown device so that Windows can read it again, as the above part taught. Two, send the disk drive to nearby data recovery companies, let the professionals do a manual hard drive data recovery.

To recover data from a hard drive, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help. It is dependable, powerful, and easy-to-use data recovery software that is worth a try. EaseUS data recovery software is popular for the following features:

When you lost access to a local hard drive or an external USB drive, do not hesitate to run the software to scan and display all the hard drive data for you. The overall steps are as follows.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6

Step 1. Scan the SSD

Open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select the SSD where you lost data, and click the "Scan" button.

select and scan the SSD

Step 2. View the results

When the scanning finishes, find lost SSD data by using the "Filter" and "Search" options after checking the "Deleted Files" and "Other Lost Files" folders.

Preview lost SSD data

Step 3. Recover SSD files

Select desired data and click the "Recover" button to get back lost SSD files.

recover data from SSD

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Jean

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 macOS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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