PC not recognizing any external hard drives.


New Member
I'm helping someone out and he has a Toshiba external hard drive. When he plugs it in, it doesn't recognize it at all.

Device manager refreshes when it's plugged in, but does not show up at all in there, under Disk Drives or anywhere else.

There are no unrecognized devices in DM.

Tried every USB port.

Does not show up in Disk Management.

Other external hard drives do not work either. Flash Drives work fine.

Drive works in my PC and it formatted to NTFS.

Any idea why this would happen?
Last edited:

Agent Smith

Well-Known Member
I have an external HDD and when I plugged it into the front USB ports of my desktop it wouldn't even spin up. I plugged it into my laptop and it did spin up and work. So I tried the USB port on the back of the desktop and it spun up. Turns out it was a power issue. For some reason my desktop doesn't deliver enough power to the front USB ports, but does on the back internal USB ports.

So this could be a power issue. That's my only thought. You could try a good powered USB hub. This one looks good. http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...qid=1420823856&sr=8-3&keywords=powerd+usb+hub


New Member
Can't really buy anything right now, this is actually for someone I'm supporting haha. I'm just out of ideas.

I haven't tried it with the laptop undocked from the docking station and it powered on. But I tried it in an identical computer (Besides OS) and it worked fine.


Staff member
Try uninstalling all usb entries in device manager and reboot pc and see what happens. My only other suggestion would be to scan for malware as some infections will cause usb issues.


Depends also on the OS. I never could get my ext HDD to mount in XP via USB 3.0. Same device no problem in Win7 on the same machine (dual boot).