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External Drive Troubleshooting - Windows



Check the Power and Data Cable

  • Check that the power cable is securely connected to the external drive and wall socket (applies only to desktop external hard drives).
  • Do not connect the drive through a USB hub, connect it directly to the PC or laptop. Make sure the power adapter is connected directly to a wall outlet, not to an extension cord.
  • Ensure the cable is securely connected to both the drive and computer.
  • If your external hard drive came with with a Y-cable, use both USB connectors to ensure the drive is getting the appropriate power.
  • If you are connecting to a PC, use the USB ports found on the back of the computer. Avoid using USB ports found on keyboards, monitors or the front of the PC.
  • If the problem still continues, try using a different USB port.


Check the Drive Partition in Disk Management

Even though the drive may not be visible on the "Desktop" or in "My Computer," check to see if the drive is recognized in "Disk Management."

  1. Right click on "My Computer" and select "Manage" from the menu.
  2. From the "Computer Management" window select "Disk Management" from the menu on the left.
  3. In "Disk Management" check to see if the drive is visible. If the drive is found, look at the partition for the drive. New drives will be labeled as FAT32 and have a drive letter assigned.
  4. If the drive does not display as "Healthy," or shows the file format as "RAW," then the partition has become corrupt. It could also be corrupt if the bar above the drive is black and shows as "Unallocated."
  5. To make the drive usable again after a partition has become corrupt or lost start by right clicking on the drive in "Disk Management" and select "Delete partition" from the menu. Then right click on the drive again and select "create partition" from the menu. Follow the steps in the partition wizard to create a Primary partition.

    NOTE:  Deleting the partition will cause all data on the drive to be lost. If the partition has become corrupt this may be unavoidable. HGST is not responsible for lost data. It is highly recommended that data be backed up in multiple locations on multiple drives to minimize data loss.
  6. After the new primary partition has been created "Disk Management" will display the drive with an NTFS partition. The NTFS partition is unusable on a Mac. If the drive is used on Macintosh and Windows computers, follow the link below to obtain a FAT32 formatting tool which will allow both Windows and Macintosh users to use the drive.



Check the drive status in Device Manager :

  1. Right click on "My Computer" and select "Manage."
  2. From the "Computer Management" window select "Device Manager" from the list on the left.
  3. From the device list, expand the "Disk Drives" category by clicking on the [+] symbol found to the left. If the drive is detected by the system, there will be an entry for your external drive.
  4. If it is not listed under "Disk Drives," expand the "Other Devices" category and see if there is an entry for an "Unknown Device."
  5. Right click the "Unknown Device" and select "Properties."
  6. Under the "General" tab, it will typically display "This device is not working properly" followed by either Code 10 or Code 28.
  7. Code 10 would suggest a potential power supply issue (typically 3.5-inch desktop external drives). If a second external drive with an equivalent power supply is available, try connecting the power supply to the drive.

    NOTE:  Before connecting a power adapter that did not ship with the external hard drive, verify that the power configuration matches exactly with the power adapter that was supplied. Failure to use the correct power supply can result in damage to the unit, injury or fire.
  8. If a different power supply is not available, verify the problem by connecting to a different USB port or by connecting to a second PC.
  9. If the same error code is still displayed, create an RMA and return the drive under Warranty.
  10. Code 28 would suggest a driver error.
  11. Expand the "Disk Drive" category in "Device Manager" right click on the drive and select "Uninstall."
  12. Disconnect the external drive, reboot the computer and reconnect the drive when the computer has finished restarting.
  13. If same error is displayed, try connecting it to a second PC to verify the issue.
  14. If the drive fails on the second PC with the same error, create an RMA and return the drive under Warranty.

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Article ID: 55 Article Created: 04-01-2011 00:06 AMLast Modified: 07-22-2013 16:42 PM

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