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Summary

External hard drive usually has a large storage capacity, widely used in daily life. Many users find that the external hard drive is not showing up in Windows 7 when connected to the Windows 7 computer. In this essay, we should explain why and tell you how to fix the error.



external hard drive not showing up in windows 7
Why External Hard Drive is not Showing up in Windows 7
These scenarios are related to the issue that the external hard drive is not showing up in Windows 7:

  • Faulty USB port
  • Error in Windows driver program
  • Issues on external hard drive partitions
  • Wrong file system configured in external hard drive
  • Faulty external hard drive

… …

As you know the reasons, you can follow to fix the error “external Hard Drive is not showing up in Windows 7”.

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How to Fix the Error “External Hard Drive is not Showing up in Windows 7”

Check Device

First, we can simply check the device. That can save time and avoid additional operations.

  • Test if the external hard drive has been damaged: connect the external hard drive to another computer and see whether it is showing up in Windows 7.
  • Test if the USB port has been faulty: plug the hard drive in the other USB ports and see whether the drive can be recognized.
  • Test if the USB hub has been faulty: for those who connect the drive to the computer with a USB hub, try to make direct connection between the drive and the computer because the insufficient power supply of the hub can block the connection.
  • Test if the cable has been damaged: Change a new cable to see whether the drive can be recognized.

Then, you can try the next methods if these checks are normal.

Method 1: Initialize and Create New Volume

Most of the new external hard drives are not initialized or partitioned. You will not see the external hard drive in “This PC” if it is the first time to be inserted into the computer. Besides, it should be partitioned if there is no partition inside. That ensure Windows and the other devices can get access to it fully.

Steps:

① Right-click at [This PC]. Select [Manage] > [Storage] > [Disk Mangement]. In Disk Mangement, all disk statuses are visible and then you find out the [not initialized] disk.

disk is shown as unknown and uninitialized

② Right-click at this disk and select [Initialize Disk].

how to initialize a disk step 2

③ Continue to click [OK] to begin initializing the disk.

disk unknown not initialized 3

④ After that, right-click at the unallocated space and select [New Simple Volume]. Next, follow the prompts to create new volume.

add new simple volume to initialize disk in disk management
disk is healthy after being partitioned

As you go through these steps, the external hard drive can be shown up in [This PC].

Method 2: Update Driver Program

The driver program can also block the external hard drive being recognized.

① First, check whether the driver program is faulty. Press [Win + R] to open Run dialog and then type [devmgmt.msc]. Press Enter to open Disk Mangement.

press the keys win+r

open device manager

② In Disk Mangement, see whether there is a yellow exclamation mark next to the device icon. If so, the driver program has been faulty.
find unknown device
③ Then, update the driver program to solve this problem. The latest program can be downloaded from the official websites of the computer suppliers.

Or, click at the device > [Action] > [Update driver] > [Search automatically for updated driver software].

search automatically for updated driver software

Method 3: Format External Hard Drive

If the file system is not suitable for Windows 7, the external hard drive is not showing up. For example, if the external hard drive has ever been formatted to EXT in Linux or HFS in Mac OS, it is not showing up in Windows 7 because different operating systems support different file systems.

At this situation, you should format the hard drive to the other file systems.

Before formatting the hard drive, remember to recover all data.

Formatting will clear files stored in the drive. Therefore, before this operation, you should transfer all files to the other drives or devices. At this moment, you can draw support from Renee Undeleter.

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Steps:

① Download and install Renee Undeleter. Then, launch it and select [Whole Partition Scan]. This function can recover data from the disk whose file system has been severely damaged.

select whole partition scan in renee undeleter
② Select the target hard drive and click [Next] to go on.

③ Wait for scanning. The scan time depends on the capacity of the disk. It takes a longer time to scan the larger disk.

scan and preview files to recover
④ At last, the results will be shown at the left pane. Double-click to preview them and check the target files. Click [Recover] to save them.
preview and select the files to recover in renee undeleter
Next, you can format the drive.

Format the external drive

Steps:

① In Disk Management, right-click at the target volume and select [Format].

right click to select format sd card in disk management
② Then, select an option in [File system] and check [Perform a quick format]. Finally, click [OK].
select file system in sd card formatting
TipsIf the flash drive is with small capacity, it is suggested that you format it to FAT32 because it is compatible with many devices, such as camera, multimedia player and game player. NTFS is specialized in relatively new Windows versions, so it cannot be used in some old devices.

All in all, FAT32 is applied to flash drives and SD card; NTFS for large external hard drives.