External drives were created to be easy to carry around and to use. They come in the form of USB flash drives or external hard disk drives (HDD). This kind of technology was created to help us by improving the way we carry and use information. Sometimes, though, not everything works as intended, and these devices may malfunction. The usual problem is that the portable storage unit is not recognized by the PC or is not detected at all.
Check Disk Management
When your external hard drive wont show up at all, the first thing that should come in your mind is to verify if the external HDD is listed in the Disk Management tool. After you’ve plugged in your faulty drive you should access the Disk Management. In order to do that you need to press Windows Key + R, and in the window that pops up, you have to write “diskmgmt.msc”. When that’s done, a window should appear with a list of partitions. You should see your drive here, and if you don’t, it might take you a little more time to fix the issue.
Solving the problem
If Windows doesn’t detect the drive at all, there might be a hardware problem on the computer’s USB port, a Windows driver problem or your HDD is dead. In order to work out which one it is, you’ll need to test everything. Unplug the drive from the USB port and plug it into another USB port on the same computer. If this works, you should fix the USB port issue. In case that didn’t work, you should try and connect your drive to another computer. If the drive doesn’t work on that computer either, it could mean one of two things: either your Windows drivers are not updated or you’re dealing with a drive which is not working at all. If the drive works on other computers, Windows may have a problem with drivers. You can check that by pressing Windows Key + R, and then writing “devmgrnt.msc” in the window that pops up. There, under disk drives, you should find and update the driver on your external storage unit.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, in case you still do not manage to repair your hard disk, your best bet would be to take it to a service, or get it replaced.