How to Fix External Drive Blinking But Not Working? | 11 Solutions

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Having trouble with your external hard drive? If it’s blinking but not working, don’t worry! We have got you covered with 11 proven solutions. Find out how to recover your data from the problematic external hard drive using Remo Recover and repair the drive step-by-step.

Gravatar John Harris
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User Query: I am having a problem with my Seagate external hard drive. Whenever I plug it in, the light on the drive starts blinking, but it's just not working at all. My computer doesn't recognize it, and I can't access any of my files. It's so frustrating because I really need those files for my work. Any suggestions on how to fix this blinking issue?

Solution: Is your external hard drive blinking but not working? Fret not, as we have got you covered with various solutions to resolve this issue. In this article, we will explore 11 troubleshooting fixes to help you fix the problem and regain access to your valuable data.

When you connect your external drive to your computer, it is supposed to show up as an accessible storage device. However, if it starts blinking without functioning, there might be several underlying causes. It could be due to faulty connections, outdated drivers, disk errors, or even malware infections. Before attempting any fixes, it's essential to recover the data from the external hard drive first.

Recover Data Before Fixing the External Hard Drive

Your external hard drive may contain valuable files you need urgently. Before attempting any fixes, your top priority should be to recover data from the non-responsive external hard drive. Taking this preliminary step will help safeguard your important data and prevent potential data loss.

Recover your valuable data from a blinking but non-working external hard drive with Remo Recover the best external hard drive recovery software. This powerful tool supports a wide range of external hard drive brands, including Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, and Maxtor, and can recover over 500 file formats, ensuring you can retrieve all your important files. Whether your external hard drive is unreadable, not detected, or even formatted, Remo Recover can handle various data loss scenarios.

Steps To Recover Data From External Hard Drive Using Remo Recover

  • Download and install Remo Recover on your computer.
  • Connect your external hard drive to your computer using a suitable USB cable.
  • Launch Remo Recover and select the external hard drive from the list of available devices and click on the Scan button.
  • Preview the recovered files using the Dynamic Recovery View feature during the scanning process.
  • Once the scanning process ends, select the files and hit the Recover button to save the files and complete the data recovery process.

11 Solutions to Fix External Hard Drive Blinking But Not Working

Fix 1: Check the Physical Connection

Ensure the secure physical connection of your external drive by trying different USB cables and ports. This fix addresses common issues related to loose connections that may cause blinking but unresponsive external drives.

  • Use a different USB cable to rule out cable issues.
  • Connect the drive to another USB port on your computer.
  • Check if the blinking issue persists after trying different connections.

Fix 2: Test the Drive on Another Computer

Connecting the external drive to another computer can help identify if the issue is with your computer or the drive itself.

  • Connect the external drive to a different computer.
  • Check if the drive works correctly on the other system.

Interesting Read: Find out how to fix and recover data from clicking hard drive.

Fix 3: Reboot Your Computer

A simple reboot can often resolve technical glitches related to external drives. Restart your computer and reconnect the external drive to see if the issue is resolved.

  • Restart your computer.
  • Reconnect the external drive after the computer restarts.
  • See if the issue is resolved.

Fix 4: Update Device Drivers

Outdated or corrupted device drivers can cause compatibility problems with your external drive. To address this, visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest drivers for your specific external drive model.

  • Visit the manufacturer's website.
  • Download the latest drivers for your specific external drive model.
  • Install the updated drivers on your computer.

Fix 5: Check for Firmware Updates

Firmware updates can address compatibility issues with your external drive.

  • Visit the manufacturer's website.
  • Look for firmware updates for your external drive model.
  • Follow the provided instructions to install the latest firmware.

Fix 6: Resolve Drive Conflicts

Multiple connected devices can sometimes lead to conflicts affecting the external drive's functionality.

  • Temporarily disconnect all other external drives and peripherals.
  • Focus solely on troubleshooting the problematic external drive.

Fix 7: Run Antivirus Scans

Malware infections can affect the functioning of connected devices, including external drives.

  • Run a full system scan using reliable antivirus software.
  • Remove any detected malware or threats.

Fix 8: Verify Drive in Disk Management

Access Disk Management on your computer to check if the external drive is recognized.

  • Access Disk Management on Windows or Disk Utility on macOS.
  • Check if your external drive is listed in the drive list.
  • If the drive lacks a drive letter on Windows, right-click on it, select "Change Drive Letter and Paths," and assign a letter.
  • Initialize the drive on Windows if prompted.
  • Format the drive if necessary by right-clicking on the unallocated space and selecting "New Simple Volume."
  • Safely eject and reconnect the external drive.

By following these steps, you can resolve the issue of your blinking external hard drive not working and potentially regain access to your files from your undetected hard drive.

Fix 9: Scan for Disk Errors

Windows and macOS have built-in disk error-checking utilities that can help resolve drive issues.

On Windows:

  • Open File Explorer on Windows.
  • Right-click on the external drive.
  • Select "Properties" from the context menu.
  • Go to the "Tools" tab.
  • Click on "Check" to initiate the disk check process.

On macOS:

  • Open "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" folder.
  • Select your external drive from the list.
  • Click "First Aid" and "Run" to begin verification and repair.
  • Check the status report for any resolved issues.
  • Safely eject and reconnect the external drive to check if the blinking issue is resolved.

Fix 10: Repair File System Errors

Corrupted file systems can prevent proper access to the external drive. Follow the below steps to fix it using the command prompt on a Windows computer:

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Use the "chkdsk" command with the drive's letter (e.g., chkdsk D: /f).
  • Wait for the process to complete, and then reconnect the external drive.

Fix 11: Format the External Hard Drive

Before proceeding with formatting, it's essential to try using hard drive data recovery software like Remo Recover to retrieve any critical data from the external drive. Once you've successfully recovered your important files, make sure to back them up in a safe location. After completing the data recovery process, you can proceed with formatting the drive using the appropriate utility for your Operating System.

For Windows:

  1. Connect the external hard drive to your Windows computer.
  2. Open "File Explorer."
  3. Locate and right-click on the external drive.
  4. Select "Format."
  • Choose the desired file system and allocation unit size.
  • Click "Start" to begin the formatting process.

For macOS:

  • Connect the external hard drive to your Mac.
  • Open "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" folder.
  • Select the external drive from the list on the left.
  • Click on the "Erase" button.
  • Choose the desired file system.
  • Click "Erase" to start the formatting process.

Note: In case you have already formatted your hard drive and wondering how to recover data from it, you can refer to the in-depth article on how to recover data from a formatted hard drive.


Encountering an external drive blinking but not working issue can be distressing, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the problem. Remember to check physical connections, update drivers, scan for errors, and, as a last resort, format the drive. Always ensure you have a backup of your essential data to avoid data loss in the future.

Gravatar John Harris

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…