Seagate (External) Hard Drive Not Working, Detected, Recognized or Showing Up | Data Recovery

Tracy King updated on Aug 14, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

When your Seagate hard drive not working, it is usually about external hard disk not detected, not recognized, or not showing up. This article has the most comprehensive solutions to Seagate internal and external hard drive not working problems on both Windows and Mac. In the final part, you can learn how to recover data from a Seagate (external) hard drive which is not detecting by EaseUS hard drive recovery software.

PAGE CONTENT:
Symptoms - Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working
Reasons - Why Is Seagate Hard Drive Not Detected, Recognized or Showing Up
10 Solutions - How to Fix Seagate Hard Drive Not Working Problems on Windows & Mac
Data Recovery - How to Recover Data from Seagate Drive When It Is Not Detecting

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 the symptoms and reasons why your Seagate external hard drive cannot be detected by a computer, then we'll provide you with the most effective solutions. 

Symptoms - Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working

Under normal circumstances, the external hard drive should be detected by your operating system, without the need of drivers, software, or firmware updates. However, each drive has its own issues after long-term use or possibly improper use.

The "not working" is a general term to express a hard disk or external one which starts malfunctioning. For example, it may not be accessible or detected after connecting it to your computer. Or, even you correctly connect it to a computer, it's not showing up in the drives list or Windows/macOS cannot recognize it.

Why Is Seagate Hard Drive Not Detected, Recognized or Showing Up?

 Both software and hardware issues will cause a hard drive not working as usual. The commonly explored reasons related to the software include:

  • Incompatible file system
  • File system corruption
  • Invalid file system, RAW
  • The drive turns to unallocated
  • Hard drive driver is corrupted or out of date

Other hardware issues are generally about:

For an efficient repair of Seagate hard drive becoming not detected by a computer, we usually recommend people try some basic hardware troubleshooting by themselves. This is an essential step that will greatly save time and improve the chance of successful hard drive repair in the shortest time.

  1. 1. Try connecting the drive to a different port on the computer. Try using a different cable if possible.
  2. 2. Try using the drive on a different computer.
  3. 3. Verify the drive light is on. No light could indicate the power adapter is not connected to power.
  4. 4. Try a different power outlet. (Desktop Drives)
  5. 5. If using a surge protector or power strip, plug the power adapter directly into the wall outlet instead. (Desktop Drives)

For advanced troubleshooting solutions, select your operating system:

10 Solutions - How to Fix Seagate Hard Drive Not Working on Windows & Mac

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.

Windows Troubleshooting Part →

  1. 1. Try a Different USB Port
  2. 2. Format RAW Seagate Hard Drive
  3. 3. Create A New Partition on Unallocated
  4. 4. Uninstall Hard Drive Driver
  5. 5. Turn on USB Root Hub
  6. 6. Show All Hidden Devices
  7. 7. Make Changes in Registry
  8. 8. Run a Virus Cleaner Software

Fix 1. Try a different USB port

If the Seagate external hard drive is blinking but not detected on your 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. Format RAW Seagate Hard Drive

When a hard drive's file system turns to RAW, it won't show up in my computer. You need to format the RAW drive to a file system that Windows recognizes, such as NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT. Since formatting will completely erase data, if you need the data, consider data recovery before the formatting steps.

* EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the capable Seagate hard drive recovery software that helps recover data from a RAW, not formatted or inaccessible Seagate HDD, external hard disk and USB flash drive, etc. Download and try to recover data from the RAW Seagate hard drive in advance.

Step 1: Go to the Windows Disk Management and confirm whether your Seagate drive shows up as RAW.

Step 2: Right-click on the drive and select Format.

Step 3: Enter a volume label, choose a file system among NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT and leave the allocation unit size default. Click OK. 

Convert RAW to FAT32 using Disk Management

Fix 3. Create a New Partition on Unallocated

In the same way, check your Seagate drive's status, does it show as unallocated like this? To make your unallocated Seagate drive show up and recognized again, try to create a new partition on the unallocated space.

create new partition on unallocated to make seagate external hard drive detected

Step 1: In Windows Disk Management, right-click on the unallocated partition and choose New Simple Volume...

Windows 10 disk management 2

Step 2: Follow the wizard to set partition size, drive letter and file system (NTFS), etc. Click Finish to complete the process.

Fix 4. 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 Choose Uninstall Driver. Then check whether the external hard drive shows up in My Computer/My PC or not.

uninstall driver to make seagate external hard drive show up in my computer

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 5. Turn on USB Root Hub

USB external hard drive devices may stop functioning correctly when multiple devices connected to the same USB hub go into selective suspend. Enable the USB root hub lets the controllers recover the USB port from its unresponsive condition.

Step 1: Click Start > Type: devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Step 2: Open Device Manager > 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.

turn off the wd external hard drive to save power

Fix 6. Show All Hidden Devices

Sometimes it's because the connected drive is hidden, not showing up in my computer. You need to unhide the device in the Windows Device Manager.

Step 1: Click on Start > Type: devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Step 2: Click View > Select Show hidden devices.

show hidden device to make pc recognize seagate external hard drive

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 7. Make Changes in Registry

Warning
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:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E967-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}.

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.

Tip
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 8. 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. Afterward, you can format the hard drive to make it readable again, but formatting will delete any software on the drive.

Mac Troubleshooting Part →

  1. 1. Repair Seagate External Hard Drive in First Aid
  2. 2. Reformatting Unmountable Seagate External Hard Drive

Before going further troubleshooting, have some basic check in Disk Utility or System Information/Profiler section. Here's what you can do:

  • If the drive is not showing on your desktop or within Finder check Disk Utility: go and open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
  • If the drive is not detected in Disk Utility then see the System Information/System Profiler section.
  • If you are using macOS 10.13 or higher then click view in the upper left and select "Show All Devices" which allows you to see both the disk as well as volumes.

If all the attempts failed to display the Seagate drive on your Mac, go on with the two solutions.

Fix 1. Repair Seagate External Hard Drive in First Aid

If the Seagate drive is unmountable or the Mount icon is greyed out, it could be some disk errors that prevent your Mac from recognizing/detecting the drive correctly. You can repair the problematic drive in the built-in First Aid utility.

Step 1: Click on the Launchpad on the Dock and find Other.

Step 2: Locate Disk Utility and 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.

Fix 2. Reformatting Unmountable Seagate External Hard Drive

The other assumption that your Seagate hard disk not detected is because the file system has corrupted. In this case, reformatting a corrupted drive is the most instant way to revive it. Again, formatting a disk will erase data, so make sure that you've copied all important data to a safe place, or exported data from a not showing up drive with EaseUS data recovery software for Mac.

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

Step 2: Select your Seagate external hard drive on the sidebar, choose Erase.

Step 3: Rename the drive, choose the format as MS-DOS (FAT) for Format, Master Boot Record for Scheme. Then click Erase.

Data Recovery - How to Recover Data from Seagate Drive When It Is Not Detecting

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. 

By going through three short stages, you can easily find lost data on a Seagate external hard drive. 

Step 1. Under the "External Devices", you should see the Seagate external hard drive showing up after it's correctly connected to your computer. Select the drive and click the Scan button.

select your seagate external hard drive and click scan

Step 2. Soon, the software will find more and more data and display the data in the scan results.

scan the lost data on the seagate external hard drive

Step 3. You can use the Filter feature to quickly locate some specific file types in the results. Select the target files and click the Recover button. 

select files and click recover

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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.

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