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    Senior Program Developer

Learn how to fix a mobile hard disk that is not displayed on your computer. Find solutions and steps to retrieve data and reuse the disk in this article.

external hard drive not showing up in file explorer
When there is a problem with the connection between the mobile hard disk and the computer, the Windows system may not be able to display/recognize the mobile hard disk. It is recommended that you eject the hard disk safely and then connect it to another USB port for checking. If the hard disk still cannot be found normally, try to replace the hard disk data cable, or try to use another mobile hard disk to troubleshoot this problem. After troubleshooting the problem of the USB port and the hard disk data cable, you can continue to look down for other solutions. The following will be divided into two situations to troubleshoot and fix.

I. The mobile hard disk is not displayed in My Computer , but it can be displayed in Disk Management

1. There is a problem with the drive letter of the mobile hard disk

After the mobile hard disk is connected to the computer, open “My Computer”, and the mobile hard disk cannot be found in it, but you can see the mobile hard disk in “Disk Management”. This may be because there is a problem with the drive letter of the mobile hard disk. Change or reassign the drive letter to resolve. Proceed as follows:
Step 1: Press the Windows icon + X key at the same time, select (Disk Management) in the menu, right-click the mobile hard disk, and select (Change drive letter and path).
Change drive letter and path
Step 2: Click (Add), assign a drive letter to the hard disk, and then click (OK).
assign drive letter
Step 3: Then open “My Computer/This Computer” on the desktop, and you can see that the hard disk that had disappeared has been successfully displayed.
normal display hard disk

2. The mobile hard disk is used for the first time and has not been initialized

If the status of the mobile hard disk in Disk Management is “not initialized” or “unallocated”, etc., it will also cause the mobile hard disk to fail to be displayed in My Computer/File Explorer. You can initialize the disk and create a new simple volume for it. operate. Specific steps are as follows:
Step 1: Press the Windows icon + X key at the same time, and select (Disk Management) in the menu.
Select Disk Management
Step 2: If the hard disk is displayed as “not initialized”, right click on the hard disk and select (initialize disk).
initialize disk
Step 3: Select the partition type MBR or GPT and click (OK).click here See more information about MBR and GPT.
●MBR is only applicable to hard disks with a maximum capacity of 2TB. If a hard disk with a larger capacity uses MBR, the extra parts will not be recognized. At the same time, MBR only supports setting the hard disk as four primary partitions.
●The advantage of GPT is that it breaks through the limitation that MBR only supports a maximum of 2TB hard disk, and also allows users to divide the hard disk into unlimited partitions.
Step 4: After initialization, the hard disk partition will be displayed as “unallocated”, right-click on the unallocated partition, select (New Simple Volume), and then set the capacity, drive letter, file system, etc. for this partition according to the wizard.
Please check: Features and differences of FAT32, exFAT and NTFS file systems.
Create a new simple volume
If the mobile hard disk partition suddenly disappears and becomes unallocated space, you also need to create a partition in Disk Management, otherwise it cannot be displayed in “My Computer/File Explorer”. If the missing mobile hard disk partition contains important data, you can use professional data recovery software to restore the partition data. The specific method will be introduced below.

3. Use Renee Undeleter to restore mobile hard disk partition data

Rene.E Laboratory ™ data recovery software It is a software specially used to restore various data files. When you accidentally delete important files, empty the recycle bin, or format the disk/storage, you can use this tool to retrieve the lost data. The software covers four functional modules, including file recovery, format recovery, partition recovery and image creation, which can help you solve all data loss problems in an all-round way.
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Step 1: Connect the mobile hard disk to the computer, download and install Renee Undeleter on the computer and run it, and select the (Partition Recovery) option on the main interface.
Note: Do not install on the disk that needs to restore data, so as not to cause data overwriting.
Select partition recovery option
Data recovery function introduction:
File Recovery – Quickly retrieve files lost due to accidental deletion or emptying the recycle bin.
Formatted Recovery – Quickly recover files lost due to inaccessible or formatted partitions.
Partition Recovery – Analyze and get partition information and perform a full scan of the entire partition.
Create Mirror – You can create a mirror image for a partition to back up the current partition state.

Step 2: Next, select the hard disk device that needs to recover data. After the selection is complete, click (Next).
Select target device for partition recovery
Step 3: Please wait patiently for the scan. This process will find out all the partitions in the hard disk, and then the “Select the partition you need to scan” window will pop up, and you can select a specific partition to scan. If not selected, all partitions will be scanned automatically, and more files can be found, but it will take longer.
Select the appropriate partition to scan
Step 4: You can preview the files in the partition during the scanning process. If all the required files have been found, you can check the files to be restored, and then click the (Recover) button to restore the files to other disks of the computer.
Partition recovery scan result presentation

II. The mobile hard disk is not displayed in My Computer/Disk Management, but it can be displayed in Device Manager

The computer prompts that the mobile hard disk is successfully connected, but neither “My Computer” nor Disk Management can find it. At this time, you can try the following repair methods.

1. Uninstall the device and update the driver in the device manager

Step 1: Connect the mobile hard disk to the computer, right-click on the (Start) menu, and select (Device Manager).
Step 2: Find the hard disk device in Device Manager (you can try to find it in “Disk Drive”). Right-click the hard disk device and select (Uninstall Device).
device manager uninstall device
Step 3: Click (Uninstall) in the pop-up window, wait for the uninstallation to complete, remove the mobile hard disk, and then reconnect to the computer.
Device manager uninstall device prompt window
Step 4: Re-open Device Manager, right-click on the hard disk device, and select (Update Driver). Then select (Search automatically for updated driver software), and follow the prompts to complete the operation.
update hard drive

2. Delete the device in Devices and Printers

If none of the above methods can make the mobile hard disk display normally, you can also try this method. Proceed as follows:
Step 1: Right-click the USB icon on the right side of the taskbar and select (Open Devices and Printers). You can also search for (Control Panel) in the search box on the left side of the taskbar, and open (Hardware and Sound) > (Devices and Printers) in turn.
Open devices and printers
Step 2: Find the corresponding mobile hard disk device in Devices and Printers, right-click it and select (Delete Device). Then remove the external hard drive and connect it to the computer again to check if it is displayed normally.
Tip: If there is no response after clicking (delete device) multiple times, the mobile hard disk may be faulty. You can try to remove the mobile hard disk directly and reconnect it. Afterwards, a prompt box that needs to scan and restore the mobile hard disk may pop up. Follow the prompts Scan and fix it. Removing the mobile hard disk directly may damage or lose the data, please operate with caution, if you have concerns about this, you can also shut down the computer and then remove the mobile hard disk.
Delete a device in Devices and Printers