Fix: Laptop Won’t Recognize External Hard Drive Error

The use of digital media devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, and many more is constantly increasing. Moreover, there is a huge demand for managing large chunks of data. This is quite important as you want your data to be safe and sound. Also, it would be best if you protected it from any potential threats like viruses or malware. Hence, users tend to go for external hard drives accordingly. These additional components play a crucial role in increasing the overall storage capacity. Moreover, you can transport them and share data from one system to another. In this article, we will discuss the methods you can use to fix a laptop that won’t recognize external hard drive errors.

However, sometimes you might face some issues in connecting these external hard drives with your system. Also, many users ask, “Why won’t my computer recognize my Seagate external hard drive?”. Suppose you are someone facing a similar problem; no need to worry. We will make sure to resolve your problem without much effort. Therefore, this is guide will assist if your laptop won’t recognize an external hard drive. Further, you can view all the steps involved in the entire process. Thus, don’t skip any portion of this guide as you want to look for the most suitable method.

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5 Ways To Fix Laptop Won’t Recognize External Hard Drive Error

Let’s look at the ways you can fix laptop won’t recognize external hard drive error

Hard Drive Should Be Working

This is the most common troubleshooting method to get started with the external hard drive with your system. Moreover, it is a common fact for the drives to get corrupted and crash. It would be best if you also considered checking the hard drive’s activity status is working or not. If the light is not on, your computer won’t recognize Seagate’s external hard drive and leading to an error.

hard drive should be working
Hard drive should be working

No doubt that most of the hard drives can switch on using the power from the USB port. However, some external hard drives with more capacity require an additional source of power to run. Once everything is fine, your external drive will automatically connect to the system.

Try Another USB Port

Even the simplest computers or laptops have more than one USB port. There can be a possibility that the current USB port might not be functioning properly. Hence, you need to change the port or try the external hard drive with another USB port. Also, make sure to check any fault in the hard drive by connecting it to another system.

try another usb port

Moreover, some external hard drives are exclusive to a specific operating system. Therefore, if it is showing some error on Mac, try using it on a Windows computer. Several manufacturers develop the hard drive according to the system compatibility.

See Also: How Much Hard Drive Do I Need? | Types Of HDD And Usage

Test Run The Drive

If your external hard drive is recognized but not showing up and still the laptop won’t recognize the external hard drive, you should test run your drive.

test run the drive

This problem usually occurs for SATA external drives as they require several types of equipment to run properly. Moreover, your USB port is unable to convert the drive for proper use. The steps to test your drive are,

  • First, make sure to remove the hard drive from its cover or the enclosure.
  • Open the motherboard of the computer or seek help from an expert for the same.
  • Connect the external hard drive directly to the motherboard and see whether it is working or not.
  • Finally, make sure to purchase a new SATA-to-USB porting adaptor or some additional enclosure to connect the drive.

Update System And Drivers

Every operating system manufacturer tries to bring new updates to make the system compatible for normal use. Moreover, new external hard drives are being launched in the market. Thus, if the external hard drive is detected but not showing up on the PC, you need to update the drivers. Also, it would help if you never failed to check the status of various drivers and applications manually. Make sure to update them regularly to ensure everything is working fine. The steps to update the drivers in the system are,

  • First, you need to click on the Start button and search for Device Manager on your PC.
  • Next, click on the Disk Drives option or the Universal Serial Bus to view the existing drivers.
  • There might be some drivers that appear different than others due to a yellow exclamation sign alongside them. These are the ones creating problems for the hard drive.
  • Finally, right-click on the fields and go to Properties.update drive
  • Make sure to update them from the internet, followed by rebooting the system.

Format The External Hard Drive

Even after all this if your laptop won’t recognize an external hard drive, you need to look for some alternatives. The virus is a common threat to any storage device that can hamper the overall performance of connectivity. Thus, you have to format the entire drive in order to connect it to the system. Moreover, you will lose all the data present on the disk, but it is the only viable option.

format drive

Therefore, in case your Lacie hard drives not showing up, format it using the default settings. It will help in removing any potential issues with the hard drive. Thus, it is essential to back up the drive if you need to erase all the data from it.


This is all about whether your laptop won’t recognize an external hard drive or get any similar error. There is no doubt in the fact that hard drives are the safest place to save your data. However, it would help if you did not depend on them for allocating important data files. Hence, it will save you from getting in some serious trouble.

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