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Search our FAQ to find resolutions to common issues.
Drive is not recognized in Windows

Start by verifying the cables are securely connected to the drive. If the USB cable that came with a Y-Cable, connect both to USB ports found on the back of your computer. This will ensure your drive is getting the appropriate power.

If the drive is still unrecognized, check to see if the drive appears in Disk Management. To open Disk Management, right click My Computer and choose Manage. Disk Management is found on the left under Storage.


In Disk Management, drives are listed as Disk 0, Disk 1, etc. Disk 0 is assigned as the primary hard drive on your computer (the c: drive). Depending on the number of drives or partitions on your system the external drive will commonly be identified as Disk 1 orDisk 2.

NOTE: In the event you have multiple drives attached to your system, it can be helpful to look for the drive capacity.


  1. If the drive has a letter assigned, minimize the Disk Management window and open My Computer. If the drive letter appears in My Computer, the drive is properly recognized by the system.

  2. If the drive letter you identified in Disk Management is assigned to a drive other than your HGST external hard drive you will need to manually set the drive letter.


To manually assign a drive letter, bring up Disk Management and right click on the capacity of the drive.



  1. Choose Change Drive Letter and Path from the menu.

  2. Select Change and select an available letter from the drop box.

IMPORTANT: Choose a drive letter that does not already appear in My Computer.

  1. Click OK to assign the drive letter and close the window.
  2. Once assigned, the drive should appear in My Computer with the letter you have selected.
  3. If the drive is listed as Unknown or Unallocated in Disk Management, the drive is not properly formatted for use with this computer. If the drive was used with a Mac or another non-windows device it may be using an incompatible format.

    WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process. 
 Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

    1. If the drive shows Unknown, right click on the word Unknown and choose Initialize. Follow the wizard, accepting the defaults. The drive should now be labeled Unallocated.
    2. If the drive shows as Unallocated, right click on the word Unallocated and choose New Partition (2000/XP) or New Simple Volume (Vista/Win7). Follow the wizard, accepting the default settings. Clicking finish will begin the format process. The format will generally take 10-15min, but can vary depending on drive size. When the format is complete the drive can be found under My Computer labeled New Volume.

      If you wish to change the name of the drive, right click on the for the drive icon and choose rename from the menu.


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Article ID: 56 Article Created: 04-01-2011 00:12 AMLast Modified: 09-11-2013 18:09 PM

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