USB 3.0 external drive not detected in Windows 10 [COMPLETE GUIDE]

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Home » Fix » USB 3.0 external drive not detected in Windows 10 [COMPLETE GUIDE]

USB 3.0 hard drives are becoming more and more popular over the past few years. But, since the introduction of Windows 10, some users are having problems to connect their USB drives to the computer. Affected users state that their USB 3.0 external drive is not detected in Windows 10.

So, I came up with a few solutions for this problem, and you can check them out below.

USB 3.0 drives offer high transfer speed, but many users reported issues with their USB 3.0 external drive. Speaking of issues, these are some of the common problems with external drives:

  • USB 3.0 flash drive not recognized in USB 3.0 port – According to users, sometimes your USB 3.0 port can’t recognize flash drives. If that’s the case, be sure to update your motherboard drivers.
  • External hard drive not showing up in Disk Management – If your external drive isn’t showing in Disk Management, the problem might be your cable. Try replacing your cable and check if that solves the problem.
  • WD, Toshiba USB 3.0 external hard drive not recognized – Many WD and Toshiba owners reported this problem with USB 3.0 drives. If you’re having this issue, be sure to update drivers and firmware for your drive.
  • USB 3.0 external drive not detected Seagate – This issue also affects Seagate devices, and if you’re having this issue, update your drivers and firmware and check if that solves the problem.
  • USB 3.0 external drive not detected laptop – Many users reported this issue after connecting the USB 3.0 drive to their laptop. In most cases, the issue is caused by outdated drivers.
  • External hard disk not showing, working – If your external disk isn’t working or showing, be sure to check if it’s properly formatted. In addition to formatting the drive, it’s also a good idea to set a different drive letter.
  • External drive not detected in BIOS – Several users reported that their external hard drive isn’t detected in BIOS. The cause of this problem is usually a faulty cable, but problems with the drive or the firmware can also cause this issue.

What can I do if Windows 10 doesn’t detect my external USB 3.0 drive?

Solution 1 – Set the new partition on your removable drive

If you’re connecting your hard drive for the first time, there’s a chance that you don’t have any partitions created on it, therefore, Windows 10 won’t recognize it as a hard drive. Thus, your USB 3.0 external drive will not be detected in Windows 10.

But your disk will be recognized by Windows’ Disk Management tool, so we’re going to check if Disk Management recognizes the external hard drive, and our future actions will depend on the results.

To open Disk Management tool, go to Search, type diskmgmt.msc, and press Enter.
disk management search USB 3.0 external drive not detected laptop

If you see your external drive listed in the Disk Management window, you probably just need to format it properly, and it will show up next time you connect it to your computer. You can easily see if the drive is unpartitioned because it will be full of ‘unallocated space.”

To create a new partition on your drive, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Unallocated space, and go to New Simple Volume.
    new simple volume disk management External hard disk not showing
  2. Now set the size of the new volume, and you’re good to go.
  3. Now re-connect your USB 3.0 hard disk drive with your computer, and it should appear

If even Disk Management can’t recognize the hard drive, your problem might be a little complicated. First, try some basic solutions, like checking if the driver is up to date, or try to plug it into another USB port, in case you have a bad USB port.

If Disk Management tool seems too complicated to use, there are third-party solutions that you can use to format your drive.

Mini Tool Partition Wizard and Paragon Partition Manager are two simple applications that can help you format your drive with ease, so be sure to try them out.

Disk Management isn’t loading? Take a look at this step-by-step guide and solve the problem in no time.


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