What to do when external hard drive not recognized?

Have you ever been in this situation where your external hard drive not recognized when you plugged it to the computer? What did you do to solve the problem?

Basically, there are several steps that you need to follow to diagnose and investigate why your external hard drive is not recognized by the computer.

Step #1 – Check USB cable

The most common reason is, the USB cable that is connected to your external hard drive and your computer is not properly connected.

Try to disconnect the cable and reconnect it back properly. And try again to see whether it is working or not.

Still not working? Well here is the next step…

Step #2 – Check the USB connector

Sometimes due to the wear and tear, the USB connector on your external hard drive is loose or broken. Even though you have securely connected the USB cable to the computer, your computer will not be able to recognize it because the data transfer is not occur between them.

To check whether the USB connector got problem or not, you need to take out the hard drive from its casing and try to connect it by using another external hard drive casing. Maybe you can borrow the casing from your friend, or you can connect the hard drive directly to the IDE or SATA connector in your computer (it is easier if you have a desktop PC here).

If the hard drive it still can’t be detected, then you need to go to the final step…

Step #3 – Send it to the Data Recovery Expert

Hurm…still cannot recognized eh? Then I’m sorry to say, your hard drive is most probably has damaged. Maybe there is a problem with the hard drive platter or the printed circuit board.

You need to send your hard drive to the data recovery expert. Don’t ever, and never send your hard drive to the computer shop, or IT technician that you found at the shopping complex. Seriously!

The reason I tell you this because I am afraid your data will get leaked and the so called “professional” IT guy will distribute your personal data like photos, documents, etc to the Internet like Facebook or Blogspot.

It is better if you send your hard drive to the data recovery expert like CyberSecurity Malaysia (recommended), MDR Data Recovery Solution, or Adroit Data Recovery Centre. These guys are professional and they really care about your data and will not do any unethical behaviour like distributing your data to the public.

And of course, the cost to recover your data is very expensive. Depending on how much the difficulty to recover your hard drive. It can be from RM300 to RM5000 for one data recovery case.

But for me, it is better to pay RM300 to these experts than losing your precious wedding photos, or multi-million projects when your external hard drive not recognized.

Final Note

I know some of you want to repair the hard drive by yourself. But please, please, please don’t try to be a MacGyver. Don’t try to open the hard drive and repair it by yourself.

If your external hard drive is not recognized after you have follow the first two steps, please send your external hard drive to the data recovery expert.

You would’t want to lose your data, would you? Then just send your hard drive to the Malaysia Data Recovery expert and let them recover your data.


  1. This is one of the MOST common problems people experience with their usb devices. And its a pretty annoying one. I know it from personal experience…A reboot not always helps, and thats when shit hits the fan..

  2. It is really amazing. i appreciate him who made this beautiful circuit Design.

  3. hahahaha

  4. There are many tools for hard disc data recovery and even many companies are there that offer recovery services as well. So it is not impossible to recover lost data but yes if you are afraid to do it yourself and fail then visit an expert for help.

  5. I was looking for Hard Disk Recovery and got to this blog, which helped me throughout the process.

  6. This by far the best article I came across about External Hard Drive Data Recovery but I am not that technical person so I’ll prefer going to an expert.