Computer can’t recognise your drive? Try these steps

Setting up and using an external drive of any kind should be a straightforward task; usually as simple as plugging the drive into a USB port and waiting until the relevant icon appears on your desktop. That said, it’s far from unusual for external drives not to be recognised and, if you’ve been affected by this, here’s what we recommend:

1.       Check the power source

Some external drives need to be powered up when connected to a computer. In fact, some even require their own individual power source and need to be connected to the mains to function.

This one’s extremely obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people think they’ve purchased a faulty drive because, following them first having connected it to their PC, they didn’t realise it needed to be turned on/plugged in.

2.       Try a different USB port

This, like our previous tip, is a possible quick fix. If your computer has more than one USB port, simply try connecting your drive via a different one. It’s possible that the first port you used was faulty and, if this is the case, simply using a different port will solve the problem.

3.       Connect it to a different PC

As the problem could lie with either the PC or the drive itself, you’re going to need to connect the drive to different PC to work this out. If your drive is recognised by a different machine, the problem rests with your computer. If, on the other hand, the drive still isn’t recognised, it’s faulty and will need to be replaced.

4.       Update your drivers

If your external media’s drivers aren’t up-to-date, this could be the cause of the problem. Search for your media’s drives, download them, install them and restart your computer. If this was the source of the problem, your computer will now recognise your drive.

5.       Delete data (if it’s backed up)

The worst-case scenario is that the drive’s data has become corrupted. If you have a backup of your external drive, this means you can rectify the problem by restoring the drive to its factory settings. If you don’t, and the data stored on this drive is important to you, you’re going to need to get in touch with a data recovery services provider like Fields Data Recovery and speak to a member of our specialist hard drive recovery team today.