Steps to Take if You Can’t Read External Hard Drives
If you’re having trouble reading your external USB hard drive, there are several steps you can take to get it back up and running and to avoid problems in future.
After rebooting both your PC and the USB HDD, the first thing to check is your cabling – does your USB hard disk drive have an old or worn out cable? If the cable isn’t fixed to the drive, you should try a substitute and see if this improves the situation. Otherwise try the drive on a different PC or laptop in order to troubleshoot the cause.
If a second PC can see and read the drive but the original computer cannot, then the problem is either
• malicious software on the drive resulting in the device being blocked by your security software
• malicious software on the PC preventing it from reading the drive
• a failure of the USB bus (this could be due to software or hardware – a repair of your operating system or a new motherboard could well be on the cards)
A suitable reaction to this would be to save as much of your work as possible with the drive connected to a second PC, then run a full anti-virus scanning procedure in order to clean up infections.