Solved: WD External Hard Drive (HDD & SSD) Not Working/Not Recognized/Not Showing Up

“Hi, I can’t see my 1TB WD Elements external hard drive on my Windows 10 PC. I change the USB port and it is still not working. I have about 300GB data stored in this disk, how to fix this issue?” - Karl

It is a tough issue for ordinary users when they find their WD external hard drive which contains important data fails to work on their computer. Just imagine that when you plug your backup WD external hard drive into your computer, but it is not showing up, you can’t access to the important documents in it. It is horrible, isn’t it? Don’t panic, actually you still have many options to fix this issue without losing any of your file in this drive.

When you find your WD external hard drive, whether it is a SSD or HDD, is not showing up on your computer, you can try:

  • Reconnect the WD external hard drive to your PC.
  • Restart your PC and check if this drive could be recognized after restart.
  • Change USB port or USB cable.
  • Plug this drive to another PC/Mac to check it could be recognized.
  • Check the power adapter is connected if this drive requires extra power for boot.
  • Update driver software.

If the methods above can’t help you fix this issue, you can try these methods below:

Please note that: this article applies to Windows users, if you are a Mac user, check this guide: fix unrecognized WD external hard drive on Mac.

Fix 1. Assign a new drive letter for your WD external hard drive.

This method can help you quickly fix unrecognized WD external hard drive on Windows.

Step 1. Right-click This PC (My Computer), choose Manage, then open Disk Management. (You also can click Windows start button, then enter Disk Management into the Search box, find and open Disk Management.)
Step 2. Find the WD external hard drive, right-click the WD external hard drive, choose ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths...’
Step 3. Assign a new drive letter for your WD external hard drive.
Step 4. Back to This PC to check if you can see the WD external hard drive now.

Assign a new drive letter for your WD external hard drive

Fix 2. Create a new volume on the WD external hard drive.

If you find your WD external hard drive is shown as Unallocated in Disk Management, you can create a new volume on it. Just open Disk Management, right-click the space of the WD external hard drive and choose ‘New Simple Volume...’. Follow the wizard to create a new disk volume. After that, just open File Explorer to check if the WD external hard drive could be recognized.

Create a new volume on the WD external hard drive

Fix 3. Format the WD external hard drive.

Crashed file system or incompatible file system would result in your WD external hard drive won’t be recognized or opened. The best method to fix this issue is formatting your WD external hard drive. Open Disk Management, right-click the WD external hard drive and choose Format.

Format the WD external hard drive

Fix 4. Initialize the WD external hard drive.

In special cases, your WD external hard drive is not initialized. Just open Disk Management, right-click the WD external hard drive and choose ‘Initialize Disk’. Then you can use your WD external hard drive on your computer.

Initialize the WD external hard drive

Fix 5. Recover all data from WD external hard drive.

Whether you have formatted or initialized your WD external hard drive or not, you can use data recovery software to get all lost data back. Do Your Data Recovery is a powerful data recovery program. It is able to completely find existing data, deleted/formatted/lost data on your WD external hard drive. After deep scan, you can select the wanted data and save it to a safe location. Follow the steps below.

Step 1. Download and install Do Your Data Recovery on your computer. Connect the WD external hard drive to your computer.

Step 2. Open Do Your Data Recovery, choose the WD external hard drive to start data recovery.

Recover all data from WD external hard drive

Step 3. Click on Scan button to scan the WD external hard drive to find lost files.

Recover all data from WD external hard drive

Step 4. Once the scan is completed, you can select the files you want to recover and save them to your computer.

Recover all data from WD external hard drive

Fix 6. Fix crashed WD external hard drive using Super Eraser.

DoYourData Super Eraser is a powerful, safe and easy-to-use data erasure software. Before you sell, donate or lend your WD external hard drive to other people, you can use this software to help you securely and permanently wipe all your private data. It also can help you fix crashed WD external hard drive. Just open this software and choose “Disk Repair”, select the WD external hard drive, click on Repair button.

Fix crashed WD external hard drive using Super Eraser

In Conclusion

Don’t panic when you find your WD external hard drive is not showing up on your Windows computer. The methods above can help you fix this type of issue in most cases. Data recovery software also can help you recover lost data from unrecognized or damaged WD external hard drive. This article applies to all types of WD external hard drive such as WD My Passport, WD My Book, WD RED/BLACK, WD Elements, WD SSD. It also applies to Seagate external disk, Toshiba external hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, etc.