Fix 'USB/External Hard Drive Shows Up in Device Manager Not in This PC' Error

Tracy King updated on Jul 18, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

Does your USB or external hard drive appear in Device Manager/Disk Management but not in Windows Explorer/My Computer/This PC? This article will guide you to completely fix 'USB external hard drive only showing in Device Manager' in Windows 7/8/8.1/10. Download EaseUS hard drive recovery software for free to recover data from USB, HDD and memory card not seen in Explorer.

USB/External hard drive only appears in Device Manager, how to make it show up in This PC or Windows Explorer?

USB, external hard drive shows in Disk Management but not in This PC.

"Hi guys, do you know how to make an external hard drive show up in This PC or Windows Explorer in Windows 10? I have a problem that my external USB drive shows up in Device Manager, but it doesn't display in the Windows Explorer. 

I have some important files saved on the USB drive, so I need a secure way that can help me make the USB drive to appear and show up on This PC without losing any data."

Are you having a similar issue on your USB or external hard drive in Windows 10, 8 or 7? Relax! Here below, you'll find a complete solution in three parts. Follow to fix “USB or external hard drive shows up in Device Manager but not explorer” error and restore all data by simple clicks.

Notice: If you have important data saved on your external hard drive or USB drive, do remember to check whether your saved data are available. If not, please refer to part 3 to access and restore data from USB or external hard drive after it showing up in Disk Management. 

PAGE CONTENT:
1. Check if detectable in Disk Management
2. Fix 'USB/External hard drive showing in Device Manager only' problem
3. Access and extract data in USB/external hard drive on Windows 10/8/7

1. Check if USB/external hard drive detectable in Disk Management

When your external USB storage drive is not showing up in My Computer (Windows 7), This PC (Windows 8.1/10) or File Explorer, you should first make them detectable in Disk Management. And below tips will help you make it:

1. First, insert and connect the USB or external hard drive to your PC.

2. Check if it appears in Disk Management or not.

Check if USB shows up in disk Management.

If not, try the below tips for help:

  1. #1. Press Win + X keys at the same time and select Disk Management > Check out if you can see your USB or external hard drive listed as a Removable disk.
  2. #2. Plug and insert your USB or external hard drive into a different USB port on your computer instead of using USB hubs.
  3. #3. Power on your USB or external hard drive if it's switched off and try to connect it to a different computer.

When the USB or external hard drive appears in the Disk Management, you can now follow Step 2 and Step 3 to restore your device out of 'USB/external hard drive not show up in This PC' error.

2. Fix 'USB/External hard drive showing in Device Manager only' error

If your USB or external hard drive does not show up in Explorer on your PC, you can now follow the three methods below to resolve this error now:

Method 1. Update or reinstall USB/external hard drive drivers

1. Connect your USB or external hard drive to your PC, go to Devices Manager > Click Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

2. Right-click your USB or external hard drive and click Uninstall > Unplug the drive. 

uninstall drive to make usb external hard drive show up in disk management

3. Plug the USB/external hard drive back in your PC, and enter Device Manager again > Go to Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

4. Click to highlight and select the USB component to be updated.

5. Right-click USB and choose "Update Driver Software" from the drop-down menu.

6. Follow the onscreen guide in Update Driver Software Wizard to update USB or external hard drive drivers.

Method 2. Assign USB/external hard drive with a new drive letter to make it appear in Windows Explorer

1. Press Win + X keys and click Disk Management.

2. Find and right-click on your USB or external hard drive and select Change Drive Letter and Path...

Change Drive Letter to make USB or external hard drive show up in This PC.

3. Click Add if the drive doesn't have a letter or assign a new letter to your drive, select a new drive letter and click OK to save all the changes. 

Method 3. Format or create a new volume on USB/external hard drive

After this, you can then format and reset the file system on your USB or external hard drive to NTFS with tips below:

Notice: This method may erase or remove the existing data on your storage device, so please make sure that you've extracted your precious data to a secure device. If not, please refer to Step 3 and restore your data in advance with the help of powerful data recovery software.

1. Right-click Start and select Disk Management.

2. Locate and find your USB or external hard drive, right-click on it and select Format volume...

Format to reset USB or external hard drive which not appears in Windows Explorer.

3. Reset the file system from FAT or RAW to NTFS, click OK to confirm and keep all changes.

If the USB or external hard drive shows up as unallocated space on Windows 10, you can create a new volume on the disk to make it usable for saving data again:

1. Press Win + X keys at the same time and select Disk Management.

2. Find and right-click the unallocated space on your USB or external hard drive and select New Simple Volume...

Create new simple volume to make USB or external hard drive display in This PC.

3. Recreate and set the drive file system with a new drive letter to make it detectable in This PC/Windows Explorer again.

3. Access and extract data in USB/external hard drive on Windows 10/8/7

If you saved essential data on your USB or external hard drive, follow this step to access, extract and restore all data out of the device with powerful hard disk recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

This software supports you to restore data and repair undetectable flash drive or disk with simple clicks.

Step 1. Connect your device to PC.

If you lost data on an external hard drive, USB or SD card, connect the device to your PC firstly.

Step 2. Run the data recovery software and scan lost data.

1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC.
2. Select the device where you lost data under "Hard Disk Drives", "External Devices" or "Specify a location".
3. Click "Scan" to start scanning the lost data now.

Run data recovery software.

Step 3. Preview and restore data.

1. After the scanning, you can double-click each file to preview them from below tabs:

  • Delete Files: All your deleted files are listed here.
  • Drive (with your device name): It loads found files here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if your hard drive is formatted or partition gets deleted.
  • Extra Files: All files that lost names or paths on your drive can be found here.
Preview lost data.

After this, you can even use "Filter" or "Search" to quickly find all your lost data.

2. Finally, you can choose those lost data and specify a safe location on your PC to complete the data recovery process by clicking "Recover" now.

Restore lost data.
 
 

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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.

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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.

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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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