My External HDD 320GB WD. Won't show anymore.

By Unholy23 ·
My external HDD wont show under my computer anymore. But it says that it is installed and it shows under device manager. I need to save the data on it its very important that i do. Please help me.

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Provided that the drive has not been bumped, dropped or otherwise destroyed

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to My External HDD 320GB WD. ...

This happens because the user doesn't use the Safely Remove Option to unplug the drive or just turns off the computer.

What you need to do here is open the Drive Management and see if you are prompted to Format the Drive. If you are the Partition Tables have been corrupted and if the Data is Important you should pack it up and send it to a Specialist Data Recovery Specialist and pay them to recover your Data.

However if the Data would only be nice to have back you can try using the scandsk /r option from the Command Line Press the Windows Start Button and then Run and enter the above text and then scan the External Drive Letter.

This may or may not bring things back and if it doesn't you'll need Specialist Data Recovery Software. As there are many different Applications to do this type of work I'll provide a short list of the professional ones here but this is by no means a complete list.














While the last 2 are from the same company they are very different products. Win Hex should only be considered for use by someone who knows Hex Inside Out while Davory is a great cheap General Purpose Application.

Personally I prefer the On Track Option but it's anything but cheap. However because I use this type of software a lot it's paid for itself many times over by now, for a cheaper option Spin Rite from Gibson Research or Stella have both very good reputations by other TR members.

There are free options but I have no personal experience of them but if you want to try look here


However you need to understand if this Data is Important the more that you mess with the drive now the less likely it is that the professionals will be able to recover all of the data and the more expensive it's going to be.

If however the Drive Management doesn't ask you to Format the Drive it's gone to Silicon Heaven. You may need to open the case remove the drive and fit to a computer as a Internal Drive and that may work as the Circuit Board that goes between the USB Lead and the HDD may have failed. But if after removing the drive from the enclosure you can not get any listing of the drive as an Internal Drive in a Computer and you really need the Data Off it you need to send it to a company capable of working with Dead Hard Disc Drives. The best place for this that I have experience with is Kroll On Track but I'm sure that there are other places that do a reasonable job of recovering Data off these Dead Drives.


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Thank you but I still have a problem

by Unholy23 In reply to Provided that the drive h ...

It soes not show the drive under disk management but it does show it in Device Manager.

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You haven't set the Drive letter to something silly

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thank you but I still hav ...

Like a Currently used drive listing have you?

This can happen with Card Readers which act like a HDD and take a Drive Letter.

If that's the case you'll need to clear the USB Listings or the setting that you made.

If that is no help I would be opening the enclosure removing the drive and fitting to a computer. While it may not work and may destroy the enclosure it's still considerably cheaper than sending it away tot he Professionals for a Full Data Recovery.

The only thing you need to know here is if it is a IDE/PATA Drive you may need to set a Jumper to Master,Cable Select CS or Slave.


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by Unholy23 In reply to You haven't set the Drive ...

Well how do i set the drive letter?

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Not an issue if you have not set something previously

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Oh.

You are at the point if this has worked with this computer previously where the enclosure has to be opened and the drive removed.


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drive letter

by ozonedman In reply to You haven't set the Drive ...

If another drive has been mapped (from a network) it will take precedence over the USB drive being plugged in. Usually the USB will still appear in the Disk Management and just need to get a new letter to be visible. If it is in Device Manager, is there a yellow exclamation mark indicating other issues?
Otherwise, it it got dropped, as mentioned, the partition structure may be gone - or worse. Device Manager shows that the hardware is seen, but not anything past that.

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