How can I solve this issue – drive not recognized

What should you do if you cannot see your drive on your PC? What should you do if you encounter the error message “device not recognized”? Why is the drive not recognized?

Part 1. Error - USB Device Not Recognized

When you try to access data on a USB drive, you may receive the following error message:

"USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it." (As shown below)


As a matter of fact, there are many reasons which can cause the “USB Device Not Recognized” issue. For instance, the currently loaded USB driver or USB controllers is unstable or damaged.

No matter why you will encounter this problem, you can try the following solutions to solve the USB drive not recognized issue.

  • Solution 1: Uninstall and then reconnect the external hard drive.
  • Solution 2: Install the latest device drivers for your USB external hard drive.
  • Solution 3: Reinstall USB controllers if the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupted.
  • Solution 4: Disable the option “USB selective suspend setting,” which prevents USB drive from powering down.
  • Solution 5: Update motherboard's chipset drivers to make your PC recognize your USB external hard drive.

Part 2: Drive Becomes Unallocated

There is no doubt that if the drive becomes unallocated, we cannot see it in Windows Explorer.

Now, try the following solutions so solve this issue.

Solution 1: Create new partition

If this drive doesn’t contain data, you can directly create a new partition on the unallocated space.

  1. Open Windows Disk Management.
  2. Right-click the unallocated space and then choose “New Simple Volume…” feature. image
  3. After that, follow the new simple volume wizard to complete this job.

If this drive becomes unallocated suddenly, and it contains massive important data, you should try the following method.

Solution 2: Recover Partition

To save unallocated drive without data loss, you can recover lost partitions from the unallocated drive by using some partition recovery tools like MiniTool Partition Wizard. By using the Partition Recovery feature of this tool, you can quickly recover lost partitions as well as data as long as the data has not been overwritten.

Part 3: Drive Letter Is Missing

In theory, if the drive letter of a partition is missing, you cannot see this drive in Windows Explorer.

Now, to solve the hard drive not recognized issue, you can add a new drive letter to it.

Open Windows Disk Management window, right-click the target drive whose letter is missing, and then click the function "Change Drive Letter and Paths."

Then, click Add button. After that, choose a suitable drive letter for this drive, and click OK button. 


Want to know other different ways to add new drive letter? Now, you can click here to grasp other ways to get missing drive letter back.

Part 4: Drive Has Wrong File System

Windows can read some file systems like FAT12/16/32, and NTFS. However, if you formatted your drive with HFS+ file system on Mac or ext4 file system from Linux, you could not see this drive in Windows.

Now, you will encounter the drive not recognized issue. In this case, what should you do?

Here, to solve the drive not recognized issue, you have to delete the drive, and then create a new one with NTFS file system or FAT32 file system.

Note: Before deleting the drive with the wrong file system, you should transfer its data out at first. Otherwise, the data will be lost forever.

But, the question is how to recover files from the wrong file system? According to a survey, MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a free, simple and professional data recovery software developed by famous software development company, can easily, quickly and completely recover lost data from the drive with wrong file system without affecting the original data because of its high security, excellent performance and simple operation. Of course, if you don’t care about data, you can directly delete this volume.

To delete volume and create a new volume, you can try using the Windows built-in disk management tool.

Right-click My Computer or This PC, select Manage and click Disk Management.

  • 1) Delete volume

Right-click the drive you want to operate, and then click “Delete Volume…”

Then, click Yes when you see the following message:
“Deleting this volume will erase all data on it. Back up any data you want to keep before deleting.

Do you want to continue?”

  • 2) Create volume

Right-click the unallocated space, choose “New Simple Volume…”, and then follow the new simple volume wizard to create a simple volume on this disk.

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