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How to Fix Not Responding External Hard Drive On Windows 10?

When you connect an external hard drive to your Windows 10 computer, sometimes it may not work as expected and produce an error “not responding”. You try to reconnect the device multiple times, but the error still seems to persist. Though your computer detects the hard drive and is visible in My Computer, yet it doesn’t respond. Even when you connect it to another computer, the issue persists. How to fix a not responding external hard drive?

Well, in this article, we have explained 2 different methods to troubleshoot the problem. But before we proceed, it is advisable to recover data from the USB device as a first step. To help you achieve this, Remo Recover serves as a fantastic tool. It is designed to recover data from USBs that are not responding or unrecognizable. The software performs a deep scan of the drive and recovers all data along with the original structure. So, you will have no trouble identifying the required files after recovery.

Download button Download Remo Recover to restore deleted powerpoint files on Mac

All your files like photos, videos, documents, .exe files, etc. can be recovered by the software. Moreover, the tool supports all brands of USBs like SanDisk, Samsung, Transcend, HP, Sony, Toshiba, etc. Now that we’ve seen how the software works, let us move on to the steps to recover data from the external hard drive.

What Causes External Hard Drive Not Responding Error?

Following are a few reasons that can result in the external HDD not responding issue:

  • Bad sectors
  • Corrupt File system
  • Virus Attacks
  • Damaged device driver issue
  • Mechanical or physical error

How to Recover Data from an External Hard Drive that says ‘Not Responding’ using Remo Recover?

1. Connect the external hard drive to your Windows 10 system and download Remo Recover  software

2. Install the software and launch it to go to the main screen

3. On the main screen, select Recover Partition from the 3 options provided and click on Scan

recover partition


4. Once the appropriate selections are made, select the external hard drive from which you’d like to recover data

5. Then allow the software to scan the drive and display results in File Type View and Data Type View

file type view

6. Then select the files that you wish to recover and save them

Once you have recovered data using Remo Recover, you are all set to troubleshoot the ‘not responding’ error on the external hard drive.

Solution 1: Reinstall the USB device

Uninstalling and re-installing the USB device through Device Manager may help you resolve the error. To do so, please follow the steps below.

  • Click on Windows + X keys and select Device Manager

device manager

  • Expand the list that contains your device and right-click on your device
  • Click Uninstall and confirm device removal in the dialogue box that opens
  • Then remove the device and connect it back. Connecting it will reinstall the device automatically.

Then check if you’re able to access your USB, if not you can proceed to the next step.

Solution 2: Run CHKDSK on External Drive

If your external hard drive is corrupted or contains bad sectors, you can diagnose and repair it by running a disk check-up. To do so;

  • Open Command Prompt as admin by clicking on Windows + X keys

command prompt

  • Once the Command Prompt is open, type ‘CHKDSK /R X:’and hit Enter. (Replace X with the actual drive letter)

/R command will help you get rid of corruption issues as well as deal with bad sectors. So, this command is run, you should ideally be able to access data on your drive provided the issues were related to corruption.


With these workarounds, you can usually get your external hard drive to respond. If it does not, then maybe the drive is damaged. Before you proceed further, with troubleshooting the external HDD, make sure you have your entire data recovered using Remo Recover hard drive recovery tool. That way, even if something goes wrong, you don’t have to worry about losing data.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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