Recovering data from external hard drive that isn’t detected – stellar data recovery blog

We often come across questions on technical forums in which people describe that their external hard drives aren’t detected on their machines. For example –“My computer isn’t detecting my external hard drive. This is surprising since everything was working fine till an hour ago. My machine shut down unexpectedly while transferring some data from the drive and now, it isn’t showing up on my PC. There’s a lot of important data on the drive. Can anyone give me a hint as to what the problem is and how I can get a hold of my files?” Such situations though alarming, aren’t uncommon. An external hard drive is just another mechanical device that is prone to damage and corruption like other hard drives. Thus, you must be aware to deal with unexpected problems like the one described above.


Most of us use an external hard drive for storing data backups, however, hard drives can often be unreliable. That’s why experts suggest we should maintain multiple copies of our crucial data, that too, at different locations and on different devices. Nevertheless, knowing why a hard drive isn’t detected on a computer plays an important role in rectifying the problem.

When a hard drive isn’t properly detected on a system, you might not see anything happening on connecting it. No sounds, no Auto-Play pop-ups, the drive might not even appear in Device Manager. Alternatively, you may see the message, “ hard drive not formatted, format it now?” flash on the screen on connecting the drive. In such a situation, formatting the hard drive would seem like the only option available. However, it is common knowledge that formatting erases all data on the drive.

In addition to hard drive recovery, Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery– Professional efficiently performs photo recovery, email recovery, CD/DVD recovery and hard drive image creation. If you’re unsure of the software’s capabilities, try out its free version. You can proceed up to step 6 (preview of recoverable files) with the demo version. If a file can be previewed, it can be recovered. Once satisfied, you can buy the full license and recover your files.

Always remember to maintain at least 2 copies of the backup of your crucial data. Moreover, avoid meddling with the hard drive while it is being used. If you still find yourself in a dreadful situation like the one described in this article, stay calm and use our helpful pointers to recover all your data.

It was working fine. Suddenly it stopped detecting in my computer as well as in disk management or device manager. The light is ON and stable when plugged in with the laptop/PC. And there is normal vibration too (normally which is felt when the drive is plugged in) which indicates it is not dead and still working which means there is still a good hope.

It got detected twice after this problem. In first case, when I tried copying something, it stopped detecting and the light became stable and while opening the hard drive it showed folder is empty. Next time when it got detected, it showed all the files and folders which means data is not lost(What a relief..!!). When I tried copying(when it was detected again), only one file was copied and the light was stable again (which should blink in normal case) and the external drive stopped showing up(detecting).

I have contacted WD customer support (as it is still under warranty) and informed about the same. They told me that WD does not provide data recovery service. But I got mail from WD that I can show this Hard drive for data recovery/repair and still it will be under warranty.

The executive told me that they can replace the product as it is still under warranty. But the question is not about replacement it is about the DATA. The data is VERY IMPORTANT as it has all my study related data, my research, photographs, work related data, etc.