FIX: HDD/SSD Unknown Device in Device Manager Windows 10/8/7

Jean updated on Jul 25, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


If you see the internal/external HDD, SSD or USB removable disk showing 'unknown device' in device manager, try to disable USB selective suspend setting or update necessary drivers by the instruction on this page. In case you wish to recover data from unknown device hard drives, we recommend EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for you.

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 happened to a lot of users, and the following reasons may account for the problem:

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

How to Fix Unknown Device in Windows 10/8.1/8/7

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 suspend setting

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

Hard drive data recovery is never a hard topic for modern computer users. There are so many third-party data recovery utilities capable to help. 

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.

>> You may be interested in hard drive data recovery cost.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is dependable, powerful and easy-to-use data recovery software that worth a try. 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.

Step 1: Selecting the location

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and select the drive where you lose your data.
  • Select the very hard drive when you open the file recovery software.
select the hard drive

Step 2: Scanning the drive

  • Click the "Scan" button. The length of the scanning time highly depends on drive capacity.
  • Wait patiently during this process.
scan the hard drive

Step 3: Recovering wanted files

  • After the scan, just choose what you need and click "Recover" button to recover lost data.
  • The "Filter", "Search" and "Extra Files" options are helpful for you to find the desired data from a hard drive.
recover data from hard drive

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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