External drives either external hard drives or USB flash drives should be easy to use. Sometimes, you may connect your external drive to a Windows 7 computer and find that it is not recognized. It can be caused by dead USB ports, driver issues in Windows, partition issues on your drive, wrong file system or other problems. If external hard drive or USB drive not showing up in Windows 7, then don’t worry, try these troubleshooting steps:
- Try a different PC: Use the external drive on another system and check whether it is detected. This will verify whether the drive is dead or broken.
- Plug external drive into a different USB port: Unplug the external drive and plug it into a different USB port on your PC. It’s possible that the USB port on the PC is dead.
- Avoid USB hubs: Directly connect the USB drive into one of your PC’s USB port instead of plugging it into a USB hub. Some USB hub doesn’t provide enough power supply for your external drive to work.
Handy methods to fix external drive not showing up in Windows 7
Once you have performed the above troubleshooting steps, you are ready to fix the problem. Here are some easy methods based on the problems that you found when finding the external drive in Disk Management.
Method 1: Partition the external drive
Go to Disk Management and if the external drive is full of unallocated space with unpartitioned, then you need to create a new partition on it. Here are the steps to create a new partition on your drive.
- Click Win+R keys to open a Run prompt
- In the Run dialog box, enter mscand click OK tab
- Right-click the unallocated space on the external drive, then choose New Simple Volumeoption and follow the onscreen instructions to create a new partition
Method 2: Assign drive letter for the external drive
In Disk Management, if the external drive has not been assigned a drive letter, then follow the below steps:
- Right-click on your drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths option
- Click Add icon and press OK to choose the first available drive letter
Method 3: Enable the external drive
If the external drive is not enabled, then it won’t show up in Windows. Follow below steps to enable the drive.
- Launch Device Manager
- Double-click on your external drive and select Enable Device tab
- Click Next icon, then press Finish
Method 4: Format the drive
Note: Formatting cleans out the entire data stored on the drive, so you need to backup all important files first before continuing the process.
The external drive does not show up in Windows when you accidentally canceled a format operation on the drive. In such case, use Disk Management and format the external drive to solve drive not showing up after canceling format. To do so, right-click on the drive, click Format option and choose the desired file system.
Further, if you wish to wish to recover hard drive data without formatting, then you can make us of Hi5 Software. As this tool will help you to restore deleted/formatted/missing files with great ease.