Fix Seagate External Hard Drive Not Detected/Recognized Error without Losing Data

Tracy King updated on Dec 03, 2018 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


A Seagate external hard drive can occasionally not be detected/recognized by the PC. The reasons why this can happen and several solutions are provided. If you notice any data loss once your hard drive is recognizable again, download reliable data recovery software to recover the lost data.

My 1TB Seagate external hard drive cannot be detected by my computer but the light is blinking, what can I do to fix this? I need to get my data back. I use it at as a backup so pretty much all of my personal and work files are stored in the drive. Please help me out.

There are a variety of reasons why an external hard drive can become undetectable. Luckily, this is a well-documented issue and there are a number of fixes to get your external hard drive working again. First we’ll discuss why your Seagate external hard drive cannot be detected by your Windows PC, then we'll provide you with some effective solutions. 

ReasonsWhy Does a Seagate External Hard Drive Become Undetectable

Seagate external hard drive not recognized due to:

  • PC's USB port is not working.
  • Hard drive driver is out of date.
  • Virus attack.
  • Hard drive failure.

Five SolutionsFix Seagate External Hard Drive Not Detected

So, how do you fix these problems when your hard drive, such as Seagate external hard drive, becomes undetected or unrecognized?  There can be a number of underlying causes, so these solutions try to cover every circumstance.

Fix 1. Try a different USB port

If the Seagate external hard drive is blinking but not detected on you PC, then you can try to unplug and plug it into a different USB port.

Also, you can reboot your PC and try to connect your Seagate external hard drive to the computer again.

If this simple fix works, then your problem with the Seagate "external hard drive not detected" error is solved.
If not, move on to the other solutions offered here.

Fix 2. Uninstall Hard Drive Driver

By carefully performing the four steps, you should be able to resolve the unrecognition problem of the Seagate external hard drive.

  • Step 1: Click on Start > Type: devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  • Step 2: Open Device manager > Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers > check whether any device shows up as unrecognized.
  • Step 3: If it displays as unrecognized, go to the drivers tab and delete/uninstall the driver. Then check whether the external hard drive shows up in My Computer/My PC or not.
  • Step 4: If it doesn't show up, reboot or restart the PC. If it shows up but disappears later, repeat the above steps and go to Disk Management > Change drive letter of your external hard drive only > Select one new drive letter to replace the old one by clicking Change, and click OK to confirm.

Fix 3. Turn on USB Root Hub

  • Step 1: Click on Start > Type: devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  • Step 2: Click View > Select Show hidden devices.
  • Step 3:Expand all notes by clicking on the + (plus) symbol.
  • Step 4:If there are any grayed-out entries, right-click on them and select Uninstall.
  • Step 5:Reboot and try again.

Fix 4. Show All Hidden Devices

  • Step 1: Click on Start > Type: devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  • Step 2: Click View > Select Show hidden devices.
  • Step 3:Expand all notes by clicking on the + (plus) symbol.
  • Step 4: If there are any grayed-out entries, right-click them and select Uninstall.
  • Step 5: Reboot and try again.

Fix 5. Make Changes in Registry

Please follow the below tips carefully while deleting Registry keys from your computer so as to make the Seagate external hard drive recognizable again. Any false operations such as deleting wrong keys in Registry may result in program failure, system crash, or even data loss error.
  • Step 1: Click on Start > Type: regedt32 and click OK.
  • Step 2: Back up your registry by going to File > export.
  • Step 3: On the left side, go to:
  • Step 4: If you see any upperfilter or lowerfilters at the right side, delete them.
  • Step 5: Then try accessing your external hard drive again.
If you've exported the Registry as a backup by following the above steps, you can refer to the next steps for a guide to restore Registry manually.

How to Import/Restore Registry from A Manual Backup:

  • Step 1: Type: regedit.ext in Search and hit Enter.
  • Step 2: In the Registry Editor, click File > Import.
  • Step 3:In the Import Registry File dialog box, select the location where you saved the backup copy, select the backup file, and click Open.
  • Step 4: After this, restart your PC.

Fix 6. Run a Virus Cleaner Software

If it is a virus that caused your external hard drive to be undetectable or unrecognized, you can try a virus cleaner software to wipe out and remove any viruses from your PC and hard drive. Afterwards you can format the hard drive to make it readable again, but formatting will delete any software on the drive.

Data RecoveryRecover all lost data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

After getting your hard drive to be recognized once more, you should check to see whether any files were lost. Files could have been lost due to the drive becoming unreadable, or from fixing this issue.

You can turn to these two methods for help:

  • Method 1. If you do have  backups on your Seagate external hard drive, you can directly restore those lost files from your backups.
  • Method 2. If you have no backups, here the best hard drive recovery software will help you.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will assist you with restoring unlimited data from your Seagate external hard drive in three simple steps. Even if you don’t notice any files missing, you can use this tool to scan your entire drive for any lost files that you may have missed. You can download this software and scan your drive completely for free.

If the amount of lost data is less than 2GB, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition will help you restore it all for free. Alternatively, you can purchase the Pro version to recover an unlimited amount of data. 

Save your recovered data to another location than the external storage device. It is recommended that you reformat or format this drive to make sure it's secure for storing new data again. To do this, first back up the data on the drive, format, then restore the data. 


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