External hard drives are the most convenient and cost-effective way to store large amounts of data. But, like all the other electronic gadgets, they can experience problems. In some cases, the computer might not even recognize the accessory. If the disc you inserted was not readable, it is a sign that something is wrong with your setup.
If you find that the external hard drive is not working properly, the following steps will help you diagnose the issue and take the necessary action to fix it.
Step 1: Check the Power Cord and USB Port
The first step in troubleshooting an external hard drive problem is to check the power cord and the USB port. Make sure that the cable connecting the external hard drive to your computer is functioning correctly, with no frayed or bent wires. Also, ensure that the USB port on your computer is undamaged and clean of dust particles.
Step 2: Check the Computer’s Operating System
If all the physical connections are fine, then the next step is to check the operating system of your computer. Different versions of Windows may require different drivers for external hard drives to work properly. The same holds true for different versions of Mac OS as well. It’s important that you use an updated version of either Windows or Mac OS so that your computer recognizes external storage devices without any hiccup.
Step 3: Scan Your Computer for Viruses
The presence of a virus on your computer could be causing issues with your external hard drive connection as well. So before trying anything else, make sure that you scan your computer with reliable antivirus software and remove any viruses you might find. This should help resolve some common connectivity issues between the two devices.
Step 4: Try Uninstalling and Reinstalling Drivers
Sometimes uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers related to an external hard drive can also solve many compatibility issues between a computer and an external storage device. You need not worry about losing data during this process since only the driver files get affected by it – none of your files will be deleted or lost during this process. Once you have reinstalled the driver successfully, restart your device and try connecting again after giving it enough time to reboot fully into its new configuration settings.
Step 5: Check Device Manager Settings
In some cases, simply checking device manager settings may also prove helpful in resolving certain compatibility issues between a desktop/laptop device and an external storage device such as a hard disk drive or a flash drive etcetera. To do this go into ‘Device Manager’> ‘Universal Serial Bus Controllers’> ‘USB Mass Storage Device’.
Expand each option one by one until you come across any unrecognized keywords like ‘Unknown Device’ or ‘Other Devices’ etc., these indicate a possible malfunctioning hardware component inside the system which can be fixed by updating/installing its driver from the manufacturer’s website itself if needed be – depending on what type of device manager entry it is showing up as (HDD / Flash Drive).
If not, try changing USB ports from one another until both ends connect perfectly in proper order without any loose ends – if still not working then proceed towards Step 6 below in order to conclude diagnosing & fixing any further existing malfunctions within either side (computer vs HDD/Flash Drive).
Step 6: Utilize Disk Management Tool(s)
Disk management tool(s) provide essential control over how data is physically stored onto an HDD (or flash drive), thus allowing users better manage their drives & understand their capabilities. There are two great options for disk management tools:
EaseUS Partition Master
EaseUS Partition Master is a powerful disk management tool designed for both Windows and MacOS users alike. It provides an array of features such as partitioning, resizing, cloning, merging partitions all at once without losing any data. It can also be used to recover deleted data from lost partitions or damaged disks by using the Recover Lost Partition function.
Additionally, EaseUS Partition Master allows users to securely erase all files on their drives using the Wipe Data feature which overwrites all existing data with random numbers making it impossible to recover deleted files again in the future ensuring maximum privacy protection of your confidential data.
Paragon Hard Disk Manager
Paragon Hard Disk Manager is a comprehensive disk management tool designed for advanced users who need more control over their hard drives than ever before. It provides a wide range of features such as creating bootable backup images of entire partitions and restoring them later if needed; setting up a RAID system; scheduling automatic backups; defragmenting drives; performing disk checks for errors; securely wiping individual files or entire disks; encrypting volumes; converting between different file formats (FAT16/32 – NTFS); adding additional partitions with just one click.