Solved: External drive won’t mount, eject or boot

By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
4 minute read
external drive won't mount/eject/boot/

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

External hard drives (SSDs included) are of great use for various reasons. Having your data with you at all times is normal these days, especially on a storage which is easily accessible and has a lot of storage space.

However, Windows 10, the system which should be a top-notch service, has a lot of issues with external drives. Besides the minor problems, the users had the worst time with the mounting, ejecting, or booting from the external drive.

Because of that, we made sure to provide the appropriate solutions for these issues. If you have been looking for a solution which should fix mount/eject/boot errors, look no further than below.

How to fix external drive issues in Windows 10

  1. An external drive won’t mount in Windows 10
  2. A mounted external drive won’t eject in Windows 10
  3. An external drive won’t boot on Windows 10

1:  External drive won’t mount in Windows 10

Mounting an external drive should be quite simple. Plug-and-play is there for ages and the system should have an easy time reading any USB-plugged external drive.

However, seemingly, some users experienced a variety of issues which, eventually, lead to the same conclusion. The system can’t recognize the external hard drive whatever they do.

Now, before we outline the possible solutions for this problem, we need you to try and mount your drive on an alternative PC. That way we’ll eliminate possible hardware issues. Hardware issues which are quite common when it comes to hard drives and USB ports.

If you’re sure that the external hard drive works on other machines but it just won’t mount on that one Windows 10 PC, follow the instructions we provided below:

    • Try an alternative USB port. If your device is USB 2.0, make sure to sure the proper port.
    • Reinstall the driver.
      1. Plug in the external drive.
      2. Right-click Start and open Device Manager.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      3. In the Main menu, click View and check Show hidden devices.
      4. Expand the Disk drives section.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      5. Right-click on your external drive and Uninstall device.
      6. Restart your PC and wait until the driver is installed.
    • Change USB power settings.
      1. In the Windows Search bar, type Power and open Power & sleep settings.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      2. Click on the Additional power settings.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      3. Click on the “Change plan settings” option beside Power plan of your choice.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      4. Choose “Change advanced power settings”.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      5. Expand USB settings > USB selective suspend setting.
      6. Disable this setting and confirm changes.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/

      7. For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

        This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

        1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
        2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
        3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

    • Create a new volume
      1. Press Windows key + R to open the Rum elevated command-line.
      2. Type in diskmgmt.msc and run it.
      3. You should see a lot of unallocated space.
      4. Right-click on the Unallocated space and choose to create a New simple volume.
      5. Choose the size and confirm changes.
      6. Unplug external drive and plug it in again.
    • Format your external hard drive (preferably in NTFS format).

2: Mounted external drive won’t eject in Windows 10

Now, this is rather peculiar. Problems with mounting a certain drive are one thing, and the reasons spectrum is broader. On the other hand, the issues one can experience with the inability to eject certain external hard drive are mostly provoked by the background processes.

Namely, some background process associated with the mounted drive prevents it from ejecting. Of course, you can unplug it/shut it down without ”safely remove” feature, but that can, consequently, lead to more complex errors and further issues.

What you’ll need to do is to follow the solutions we enlisted below and look for improvements. Hopefully, you should be able to eject the mounted drive safely, without any risks of data corruption.

      • Reboot your system.
      • Make sure there’s no application in use of data stored in the drive. Close all applications you’ve used to open those files and try ejecting the external mass storage again. Also, temporarily disable the antivirus.
      • Eject it from the This PC.
        1. Open This PC/My Computer.
        2. Right-click on the external drive and click Eject.
        3. If you see the error, just continue.
      • Use a third-party safely remove software.
      • Troubleshoot the drive.
      • Change advanced settings.
        1. Plug in the external drive.
        2. Right-click Start and open Device Manager.
        3. Expand Disk drives.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
        4. Right-click on the external drive and open Properties.
        5. Under the Policies tab, toggle Better performance and confirm changes.external drive won't mount/eject/boot/
      • Format your drive to NTFS format.

3: External drive won’t boot on Windows 10

Finally, one of the advantages of portable data drives is that you can create a bootable system drive and carry your system around. However, some user reports outlined the boot issues concerning the external drive. They were unable to boot to Windows 10 from the external drive, even though this worked great on the previous Windows iterations.

When you look at it, it’s quite obvious that the BIOS (UEFI) is the one to blame. However, it doesn’t mean that the BIOS is the only culprit. We enlisted all known troubleshooting steps below.

  • Don’t even try with USB 3.0. Windows 10 can hardly boot from the USB 3.0/3.1 drive.
  • Update BIOS.
  • Disable Legacy USB in BIOS (UEFI) settings.
  • Format external drive in NTFS and create a new bootable drive.

That’s a wrap-up. In case you’re aware of any alternative solutions, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. 

RELATED STORIES YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

Discussions

Next up

Best Windows 10 antivirus software to use in 2018

By: Radu Tyrsina
7 minute read

Update – 2018 will soon come to an end and we already have a guide on what is the best antivirus you should get in […]

Continue Reading

These features are out for good with Windows 10 version 1809

iamsovy@gmail.com' By: Sovan Mandal
2 minute read

Microsoft is all set to launch its next big update, Windows 10 version 1809 in October. While that should be a nice piece of news […]

Continue Reading

Windows 10 18H2 builds no longer receive new features

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update (otherwise 18H2) rollout might now be two to three weeks away. For the last few months, new build previews […]

Continue Reading