My External Hard Drive Suddenly Stops Working, What Should I do?


Even a simple bump can damage hard drives and lead to hard drive functioning issues. So, when it comes down to hard drives, we need to be extra vigilant.

There are just too many actions that can result in “hard drive not working”. For instance, a hard drive might stop working if there are any file system issues or problems with the software. How to recover your precious data under such occasion? Once that happens, you can choose to practice data recovery with special-designed software. This software is a tool or a medium to get hold of data that has been stuck inside the hard drive.

You all must be thinking that this is one of those articles where you get different methods to restore and recover lost data. Absolutely wrong! Those kinds of articles are flooded on the internet. Instead of talking about recovery, in this article, I will talk about what you need to do right after such a scenario occurs.

Causes for Hard Drive Not Responding

Before we get down to the things you need to do when you face hardware malfunction, you must have a deep understanding of the causes first. Understanding the causes will give you insight and help you choose better steps to follow.

  • File system errors.
  • Bad sectors.
  • Damaged hard drive.
  • Malware infection.
  • Corrupted.
  • Overheating.
  • Unauthorized ejection.

What To Do When Your Hard Drive Malfunction?

Backing up data has become important. In fact, using cloud storage systems to back up data has become the second nature of businesses or individuals who value their data. However, we are yet to reach a level where we can totally depend on cloud storage, and this is why hard drives are still in use.

The hard drive is a good cold storage solution for storing all your sensitive data and information, but doing so comes with a risk. Hard drives are sensitive and can easily be damaged. 

1. Ensure It Perfectly Plugged In

I know, it is one of the silliest of things you have ever seen. But before commenting anything, just hear me out. It doesn’t mean plugging in a hard drive necessarily means it is receiving power to function. What if the switch is off, the plug is a bit loose, or you have not plugged in entirely? There can be anything that can go wrong when you are in a hurry.

2. Try Another USB Port

Try using a different USB port. Every system has a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port. You might be inserting a 2.0 into a 3.0 or vice versa. It happens all the time. So, the next time you see your hard drive is not showing on the system screen, try inserting your hard drive to the next port. This will do the truck trust me.

3. Update the Drivers

When you are using hard drives for storing your sensitive data, it is important that you keep your drivers updated all the time. If the drivers are not updated, you won’t be able to see your hard drive.

4. Remove and Test Bare Drive

If you use a drive enclosure to keep your external drive safe and secure. Try removing that enclosure and test the drive again. In free rare care cases, the component that makes the drives in USB drives fail to perform, which results in not showing the drive.


There is nothing wrong with electronic devices not working properly from time to time. Just like any other device, your hard drive might show some problems from time to time.

I have talked about a couple of points you need to practice after seeing your hard drive is not working properly. Trust me, professional data recovery software will trace back your data. If not, I have other articles on data recovery. You can take help from them.

Bikram Chhetri

Welcome to G24i. My Name is Awais Ahmed chief Editor And Author of g24i. Here At g24i, You will Find Me solving Tech & Gaming Related Queries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *