Hard Drive Not Recognized

Is your hard drive not being recognized?

One of the most common issues we see with hard drives is the drive being unrecognized. If you’re experiencing this issue, please safely eject the drive from the computer and put it aside. If we get these cases early enough, almost always we are able to recover 99.9% of the data from the drive.

Most common reasons why hard drives are not recognized are:

  • Damaged File System
  • Firmware Corruption (Programming)
  • Bad Sectors
  • Electronic Issue
  • Mechanical Issue
Drive Not Recognized


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Common issues with Drives Not being Recognized

Damaged File System

The most common reason why a drive wont mount or show up on your computer is due to a damaged file system. The file system of a drive is similar to an index of a book. The file system has crucial information such as file and folder names and metadata about the files. IF the file system gets damaged, there is no way for the computer to understand whats on the drive and therefore cannot mount the drive.

Firmware Corruption

Firmware Corruption (or damage to the drives programming) is the second most common reason why a drive would not be recognized by a computer. The firmware/programming is what gives the drive instructions on how to operate. IF the firmware gets damaged/corrupt, it would be impossible for the drive to mount as its not able to send proper instructions to the computer.

Electronic Issues

An electronic issue could also cause a drive to be unrecognized by the computer. IF you have your drive plugged in, but don’t hear it spinning or many any sounds at all, chances are that the drive has electronic problems. Electronic issues are almost always caused by some sort of power surge. These cases have a higher chance of recoverability.

Mechanical Issue

IF your drive is making any clicking or beeping sounds, then the issue with your drive not being recognized is definitely mechanical. You want to be sure to power down the drive as quickly as possible to prevent more damage to the platters. The sooner you power down the drive, the higher the chances of recovery.

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Can I recover the data myself from a drive thats not being recognized?

We always advise against this. IF a drive fails or starts being problematic, you want to have someone who specializes in recovering data handle the situation. You really only get one good chance at recovering data from a failed drive. YES, we can still try to recover the data after someone else has made attempts, but it just makes the situation much more difficult and complicated.

EXAMPLE: If the issue with your drive is a damaged file system, a Google Search would recommend that you run DSK CHK or First Aid on the drive in order to repair the file system and get access to the data. Although this may work in some cases, most times it doesn’t and it causes irreversible damage. How? If you run First Aid (Mac) or DSK CHK (PC) on a drive that is 100% healthy, the process will go fairly smooth. IF you run it on a drive that has bad sectors (there is no way for anyone to know this until trying the process), these repairs attempts will partially repair the drive and incorrectly alter the file system of the drive. This will cause the data shift and results in X amount of the from the drive being permanently damaged and unrecoverable. We see this problem very often.

EXAMPLE: You dropped your drive, but it still worked after the drop for a couple of days. Then the drive stops being recognized by the computer. If you try to run data recovery software (Google Search Recommendation), chances are high that the read/write heads are going to try and scan the entire drive, hovering over areas of media damage and in the process spreading the media damage throughout the entire drive. Of course the software recovery process is not going to allow you to save the data, due to media damage. At that point, when we receive the drive for recovery, the platters are already severely damaged, and recovery is going to be either very partial or impossible.

IF the data on your drive is important and irreplaceable, please don’t attempt to recover the data yourself.

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Why choose Five Star Data Recovery for Unrecognized Drive Data Recovery

At Five Star Data Recovery, we specialize in recovering data from all types of issues, including Drives that are not recognized by the computer. We have all of the right tools, resources and knowledge to recover the data safely and cost effectively.

Our turnaround times are super fast and our prices extremely competitive.

We are available 24/7 for any questions and concerns you may have regarding your hard drive.

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