Can’t Open External Hard Drive: How to Solve Detected Issue

Having trouble opening your external hard drive? Let’s discuss how to resolve this detected issue.

Fortect can address issues with a can’t open hard drive by repairing damaged files and settings causing the problem.

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External Hardware Check

  • Check the USB cable to ensure it is securely connected to both the external hard drive and the computer.
  • Try using a different USB port on your computer to rule out a faulty port.
  • Test the external hard drive on another computer to see if the issue persists.
  • If possible, try using a different USB cable to determine if the original cable is the problem.
  • Inspect the external hard drive for physical damage such as dents, scratches, or cracks that may be causing the issue.
  • Update the device drivers for the external hard drive to ensure compatibility with your computer.
  • Run a diagnostic tool on the external hard drive to check for any errors or issues that may be causing it to not open.
  • Consider trying a different computer to see if the external hard drive opens without any issues.

Restart Your Computer

1. Click on the Start menu.

2. Select the Power option.

3. Choose Restart from the drop-down menu.

Once your computer has restarted, try reconnecting your external hard drive to see if the issue has been resolved. Restarting your computer can help refresh the system and clear any temporary glitches that may be causing the problem.

If the external hard drive is still not being detected after restarting your computer, you may need to look into other solutions such as checking the device manager for any driver issues or connecting the hard drive to another computer to see if it is recognized there.

Update Disk Driver

Step Description
1 Connect the external hard drive to your computer.
2 Open Device Manager by pressing Windows key + X and selecting Device Manager.
3 Locate the external hard drive under the Disk drives category.
4 Right-click on the external hard drive and select Update Driver.
5 Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.
6 Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the driver update process.
Updated: May 2024

Fortect can address issues with a can’t open hard drive error caused by damaged system files, missing DLLs, or faulty settings.

By repairing these issues, Fortect aims to ensure that the system runs smoothly and allows for access to the hard drive without any further complications.

Disk Management and Formatting

To fix the issue of not being able to open your external hard drive, you may need to manage and format the disk properly. To do this, open Disk Management by right-clicking on the Start menu and selecting “Disk Management.” Look for your external hard drive in the list of disks shown. If the disk is not initialized, you will need to initialize it before you can format it.

Right-click on the disk and select “Initialize Disk.” Choose either MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table) as the partition style. Once the disk is initialized, you can right-click on the unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume” to format the disk.

Follow the wizard to format the disk with a file system such as NTFS or FAT32. Be aware that formatting will erase all data on the disk, so make sure to back up any important files before proceeding. After formatting, you should be able to access your external hard drive without any issues.

Run Windows Troubleshooter

If the Windows Troubleshooter is unable to fix the issue with your external hard drive, you may need to try other troubleshooting steps. This could include checking the connections, trying a different USB port, or testing the external hard drive on another computer to see if it is recognized.

If all else fails, you may need to consider data recovery services to retrieve any important files from the external hard drive. It’s important to regularly back up your data to prevent data loss in case of hardware failure or other issues. Additionally, make sure to keep your external hard drive clean and free from dust and debris to prevent any potential hardware failures in the future.

Repair with CHKDSK

If you are facing issues with your external hard drive and it is not opening, you can try repairing it using CHKDSK. CHKDSK (Check Disk) is a Windows utility that can scan and fix errors in the file system of a drive.

To run CHKDSK on your external hard drive, you will need to open a Command Prompt window with administrator privileges. You can do this by searching for “cmd” in the Windows search bar, right-clicking on Command Prompt, and selecting “Run as administrator”.

Once the Command Prompt window is open, type the following command and press Enter:
chkdsk /f X:

Replace “X” with the drive letter of your external hard drive. This command will scan the drive for errors and attempt to fix them.

If CHKDSK is unable to repair the drive, you may need to consider data recovery options. It is recommended to back up your files regularly to avoid data loss in case of a drive failure.

Recover Data from Unaccessible Drive

If you are unable to access data from your external hard drive, there are steps you can take to recover it.

First, try connecting the drive to a different computer to see if it is recognized. If it still does not show up, the issue may be with the drive itself.

You can attempt to recover data using data recovery software like Recuva or Disk Drill. These programs can help retrieve files even if the drive is not accessible.

If software solutions do not work, you may need to consider seeking professional help from a data recovery service. They have the expertise and tools to recover data from damaged drives.

Request Administrator Permissions

1. Right-click on the external hard drive icon on your computer.
2. Select “Properties” from the drop-down menu.
3. Go to the “Security” tab in the properties window.
4. Click on “Edit” to change permissions.
5. Select your user account and check the box next to “Full Control”.
6. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.
7. You may need to enter the administrator password to confirm the changes.


How do I fix my hard drive not opening?

To fix a hard drive that is not opening, you can try checking the external hardware, restarting your PC, updating the driver of the disk, fixing it through Disk Management and formatting it, running Windows Troubleshooter, and running CHKDSK to repair the disk.

Why can’t you open a hard drive?

You can’t open a hard drive because exposing the platters inside to dust or contamination can permanently damage the data stored on them. If you need to recover data, seek professional services instead of disassembling the hard drive.

Why can’t I access my hard drive?

You can’t access your hard drive because it may be affected by viruses or power failures, rendering it inaccessible by Windows. Reformatting the partition could potentially fix the issue, but it will result in the loss of all data on that partition.

Why is my internal hard disk detected but not opening?

Your internal hard disk is detected but not opening because there may be issues with the cables connecting it to your computer. Check for any damaged cables and replace them with new ones if necessary. Remember to power off your computer and unplug it from the electrical outlet before making any changes.

Example Message

Warning: Do not attempt to force open a hard drive as this can cause irreparable damage to the device. Download this tool to run a scan

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