How to Fix Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working in Windows/Mac

The Seagate external hard drive not working error is also known as Seagate hard drive not detected, not recognized, or not showing up. In this guide, you have 8 solutions to fix the Seagate external hard drive not working problem on both Windows and Mac. If files are lost, let EaseUS file recovery software help you immediately.

Table of Contents

Is your Seagate external hard drive not working? This page covers comprehensive solutions to fix Seagate and other brands of external hard drive not working, not detected, or not showing up errors, making your hard drives work again without losing any data.

Quick Tips to Fix Problematic Seagate External Disk:  

  • 1. Try a different USB port on the computer.
  • 2. Switch to a new cable if the current one is damaged.
  • 3. Try connecting the drive to a different computer.
  • 4. Verify if the drive's light is on. (Light off indicates the power adapter is not connected to power.)
  • 5. Try a different power outlet. (Desktop Drives)

After following these tips, if your Seagate external hard drive is still not detected, move on and try the other solutions offered below.

Applies to: Fix Seagate external hard drive not showing up, not detected, external hard drive light blinking but not work, not recognized in Windows 10, USB not showing up, etc.

8 Ways to Fix Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working in Windows & Mac

Follow along and pick the right method to make your Seagate external hard drive work again.

Fix Seagate External Not Working in Windows

Fix Seagate External Not Working in Mac

#1. Uninstall/Re-install Seagate Drive Driver...Full steps

#2. Format RAW Seagate Hard Drive...Full steps

#3. Create New Partition on Unallocated Seagate...Full steps

#4. Change Seagate Drive Letter...Full steps

#5. Turn on USB Root Hub...Full steps

#1. Repair Seagate External Drive in First Aid...Full steps

#2. Format Seagate to macOS Supported Format...Full steps

#3. Remount/Reformat Seagate External...Full steps

Since some of these solutions may cause loss of files, we'd recommend you first restore data from the not working Seagate external hard drive. 

Before You Begin: Recover Data after Not Working Seagate External Drive First

Here, reliable hard drive data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with its reliable features can bring all your lost files back immediately. 

Mac users should download the Mac version to restore lost files.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, and emails effectively.
  • Recover files from formatted hard drive, emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, etc.
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, drive corruption, virus attack, system crash, etc.

Step 1. Locate Seagate drive to scan

  • Use the correct USB cable to connect the Seagate external hard drive to your Windows PC.
  • Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, it will load the external drive and display it under the Devices section.
  • All you need to do here is to select the Seagate external hard drive and then click the Scan button.
select your seagate external hard drive and click scan

Step 2. Check for the scan results

As soon as the scan process starts, the software will find more and more lost data on the selected drive and display the data in the scan results. You can find the desired files by following its original path from the leftside tree-view pane, or filter a specific file type like Pictures, Word/Excel/PDF documents, videos, etc.

scan the lost data on the seagate external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover

A double-click on a file lets you preview its content. If the preview is with no problem, just select the target files and click Recover. To avoid data overwriting, we suggest you save the recovered data to the other drive instead of the original Seagate drive.

select files and click recover

To recover Seagate external hard drive data on Mac, follow this link External Hard Drive Data Recovery on Mac.

How to Fix Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working in Windows

First, open Disk Management and check the state of your external hard drive. Then, refer to appropriate solutions given below:

  1. 1. Uninstall and Reinstall Seagate Drive Driver
  2. 2. Format RAW Seagate Hard Drive
  3. 3. Create A New Partition on Unallocated Seagate Disk
  4. 4. Change Seagate Drive Letter
  5. 5. Turn on USB Root Hub

Fix 1. Uninstall and Reinstall Seagate Hard Drive Driver

Risk Level: Low Difficulty Level: Easy

If your hard drive is not detected in Device Manager or Disk Management, you need to uninstall and update the Seagate drive driver and try again. Here are the detailed steps to do so:

Step 1. Connect the not working Seagate external hard disk to PC.

Step 2. Type device manager in the search box and click "Device Manager" on the menu.

Step 3. Expand disk drivers and right-click on your external hard drive, select "Update Driver".

Step 4. Select "Search automatically for updated driver software" and restart the PC when the process completes.

Update Driver Seagate not detected

Fix 2. Format RAW Seagate External Hard Drive to NTFS

Risk Level: High. Data may get lost after formatting. Difficulty Level: Easy
Note that formatting will cause DATA LOSS on your hard drive, if you need the data, then data recovery is necessary.

In Device Manager or Disk Management on your computer, if your external hard drive shows as RAW or Unallocated, it means you need to format your hard drive.

Step 1. Connect the Seagate external hard drive to your PC and open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click on the not working RAW drive and select "Format".

Step 3. Set volume label, set NTFS as the file system, and tick "Quick Format". Click "OK" to start the formatting. 

Format raw file system

Fix 3. Restore Partition or Create a New Partition on Unallocated Seagate External Disk

Risk Level: Medium, data may get overwritten by creating a new partition. Difficulty Level: Easy

When your external hard drive shows as unallocated in Disk Management, you have two options: 1. Restore the partition, 2. Create a new partition.

#1. Restore Lost Partition and Data from Seagate Unallocated Space

Your first choice is to directly apply the partition recovery software. It will scan and recover all lost partitions and data from the unallocated space.


Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Recovery on your PC.

Select the disk or device where you lost partition(s), click "Scan" to continue.

Select disk to scan lost partition.

Step 2: Wait for the scanning process to complete.

Let the program scan the selected disk and find the lost partition(s).

Scan lost partition.

Step 3: Preview and restore the lost partition(s).

Double-click on the partition which is marked as "Lost" with "Good" recoverability.

Preview lost partition

Preview the content of the lost partition. Click "OK" and click "Proceed" to start restoring the lost partition.

Select found partition to restore.

Step 4: Click "Recover Now" to finish the partition recovery process.

Note: If the program warns you that there is a conflict, back up the listed partition with essential data to an external hard drive first. Then execute the final operation to restore your lost partition.

Finish partition recovery.

#2. Create a New Partition on Unallocated Seagate External Disk

Note: This method can lead to data loss, remember to recover data first if you want to use this method.

Here is how to use Disk Management to create a new partition:

Step 1. Connect the unallocated Seagate external hard drive to PC and open Windows Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click on the unallocated partition and choose "New Simple Volume...".

New simple volume

Step 3. Set partition size, drive letter, and file system such as NTFS, etc., click "OK" to confirm.

Step 4. Click "Finish" to complete the process.

Fix 4. Change Seagate Drive Letter

Risk Level: Low Difficulty Level: Easy

If your external hard drive shares the same drive letter as your disk partition, Windows won't show the drive letter of your external device. It will show as New Volume in Disk Management without a drive letter.

And, this is probably the reason your external hard drive not detected. To fix this issue, you'll need to add a new drive letter to your Seagate disk. Here are the steps to do so:

Step 1. Connect Seagate external to computer and open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the partition of not working Seagate disk and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths...".

Step 3. Set a new drive letter to the Seagate disk and click "OK" to confirm.

Change drive letter on Seagate external hard drive

Fix 5. Turn on USB Root Hub

Risk Level: Low Difficulty Level: Easy

Sometimes, USB external hard drive devices may stop functioning correctly if multiple devices are connected to the same USB hub, which goes into selective suspension.

You can enable the USB root hub letting the controllers recover the USB port from its unresponsive condition to make your device work normally again:

Step 1. Connect not working Seagate external hard disk to PC.

Step 2. Open Device Manager and expand "Universal Serial Bus controllers".

Step 3. Right-click USB Root Hub > Click "Properties" > "Power Management".

Step 4. Uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" and restart the PC.

turn off the wd external hard drive to save power

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If you are having a similar issue on your hard drive, try the fixes below. 

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How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

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.

Hard drive not showing up

How to Repair Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working/Detected in Mac [3 Methods]

Follow the following methods to repair the Seagate hard drives to work normally again on Mac:

  1. Fix 1. Repair Seagate External Hard Drive in First Aid
  2. Fix 2. Format Seagate Disk to macOS Supported File System
  3. Fix 3. Remount and Reformat Unmountable Seagate External Hard Drive

Before you proceed further, try the quick fixes:

  • Seagate drive is not showing on desktop: check Disk Utility: open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  • Seagate disk is not detected in Disk Utility: see the System Information/System Profiler section.
  • On macOS 10.13 or higher, click "View" in the upper left and select "Show All Devices".

If all the attempts failed to display your Seagate external hard drive on Mac, try the below 3 methods.

Fix 1. Repair Not Working Seagate External Hard Drive in First Aid

Risk Level: Low Difficulty Level: Easy

If the Seagate drive is unmountable or the mount icon is greyed out, it will prevent your Mac from recognizing or detecting the drive correctly. You can repair the problematic drive in the built-in First Aid utility:

Step 1. Open Finder and click "Applications".

Step 2. Locate Disk Utility in "Utilities" and double-click to open it.

Step 3. Select the unmountable Seagate external hard drive in the left sidebar and choose "First Aid" at the top.

Step 4. Click "Run" to repair this Seagate hard drive and click "Done" to finish.

Fix Seagate not working error on Mac via first aid

If Fix 1 fails to work, you may try to format the Seagate disk in Fix 2 or Fix 3.

Fix 2. Format Seagate Disk to macOS Supported File System

Risk Level: High. data will get lost due to formatting. Difficulty Level: Easy
As formatting a disk on Mac will erase data, make sure you turn to reliable data recovery software like EaseUS data recovery software for Mac to restore all files before formatting disk.

If you use an NTFS Seagate external hard drive on a Mac computer, it won't work nor show up on Mac as Mac only supports APFS, FAT32, and exFAT formats.

To fix the Seagate external hard drive not working error, format the drive to FAT32 or exFAT. Here is a step-by-step guide to do so:

Step 1. Connect the Seagate external hard drive to Mac.

Step 2. Go to the Apple menu, click "Go" and select "Applications".

Step 3. Double-click to open Utilities, locate "Disk Utility" and double-click to open it.

Step 4. Select the Seagate disk, click "Erase". 

Step 5. On the Format pop-up window, set a new format like "MS-DOS (FAT)" and click "Erase".

Format Seagate exteranl hard drive

Once the formatting process completes, you can view and access the Seagate external disk on your Mac again.

Fix 3. Remount and Reformat Unmounted Seagate External Disk

Risk Level: Low Difficulty Level: Medium

If the file system on your Seagate hard disk is corrupted and it's not mounted corrected on Mac, it won't work nor be detected. In this case, remounting and reformatting the Seagate drive is the quickest way to revive it.

Carefully follow the steps below to make the Seagate external hard disk work again on Mac:

Step 1. Go to Applications > "Utilities" > Double click and open "Disk Utility".

Step 2. Select the "Untitled" Seagate drive, and click "Mount".

Mount Seagate drive

Once the mounting completes, you'll see the Seagate drive shows up on the left pane.

Step 3. Select your Seagate external hard drive on the sidebar, choose "Erase".

Step 4. Rename the drive, choose the format as MS-DOS (FAT). Then click "Erase".

After trying the aforementioned methods, you should be able to use Seagate external hard drive on both your Windows and Mac computers.

Why Is Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working/Detected

Generally, "Not Working" is a state that usually describes a malfunctioning hard disk or external hard drive. Seagate external hard drive not working or not detected is a concerning issue among worldwide Seagate users.

So, what causes your Seagate external hard drive to stop working or malfunctioning? Both software and hardware issues may cause a hard drive not to work as usual. Here is a list of common reasons for this issue:

  • Incompatible file system
  • File system corruption, Invalid file system, RAW
  • The drive turns to unallocated
  • Disk drive letter conflict
  • Hard drive driver is corrupted or out of date
  • The USB port is not working
  • The hard drive has too many bad sectors
  • The hard drive is damaged, dead, or not spinning up

Fixing Not Working Seagate Drive Is Possible, It's Your Turn

In this guide, we offered 8 solutions to repair the not working Seagate external hard drive on both Windows and Mac computers. If some fixes cause file loss, you can retrieve all precious data with the EaseUS file recovery solution.

Also, we explained why your Seagate external hard drive suddenly doesn't work or is not detected by Windows or Mac computers. As your data matters, creating a regular backup of your external disk data is helpful. Fixing Seagate external hard drive not working error is possible, and follow the above steps to make your drive work again.

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Updated by Jean

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!

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced comuter tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

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