No Data to Recover Detected? Fixed!

Learn how to fix no data to recover detected using seven efficient ways. And you can also use data recovery tools to perform hard drive data recovery without effort.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Why is my drive not being detected?

Over the years, external hard drives have played an increasing role during work because these portable devices can save and transfer large capability files conveniently. But have you been bothered by no data to recover detected?


I have an external hard drive, and it worked fine until last night. Today, I connected my external hard drive to the HP laptop, which appears in the system. But it shows no data in it. Could anyone tell me the possible reasons behind this issue and how do I resolve it? Thanks.

- A user from xda-developers


Those users whose Seagate external hard drive files are not showing up might ask these questions: Why is my PC not detecting my hard drives? Furthermore, what would be the solution if the hard disk is not detected?

Possible factors of undetected external hard drive

You’d better get an overview of the following possible causes of external hard drives not showing up first. Then you’re ready to learn how to recover data from undetected hard disks.

✍Poor connection: Your external hard drive might not be activated with sufficient power if the ports fail to receive direct power from the motherboard. Besides, malfunctioning USB ports or improperly connected cables also cause external hard drive access denied.


✍Hidden devices: Windows OS will automatically prevent users from accessing hidden files, folders, or drives using File Explorer.

✍Missing drive letters: Both desktop and laptop PCs only can recognize disks with assigned drive letters.

✍Outdated/corrupted device drivers: Drivers are in charge of interacting between your hard drives and PCs. Outdated/corrupted device drivers could disrupt communications.

✍Corrupted file systems: If there’re bad sectors/errors on your external hard drives, you will be prompted to recover corrupted hard drives because damaged documents cannot be opened.


✍Incompatible file systems with Windows OS: If the file system of your external hard drive cannot work with your Windows PC, its operating system will not detect this drive.

✍Viruses or malware attacks: Viruses can lead to files being deleted automatically in Windows 10/11 computers or format your entire drive.

How to recover data from undetected hard disks & external hard drives?

Although you’ve figured out why there’s no data to recover detected, are you wondering how to recover data from undetected hard disks? Please scroll down to find approaches.

Solution 1. Show hidden devices via Device Manager

Sometimes, your Windows OS might have detected your connected external hard drive. Although it’s hidden from you, Device Manager also can help you show hidden devices. Please ensure a good connection between your external hard drive and your PC.

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to the computer. Then open Device Manager by typing it in the search box.


Step 2. Click View > Show hidden devices after entering the main interface.


Solution 2. Assign a drive letter to make the drive recognized by Windows OS

As mentioned above, the Windows operating system can discourage you from accessing unlettered drives because drive letters are identifiers of volumes. At this point, you may have no choice but to seek help from Disk Management to recover hidden partitions in Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11 computers because only this system utility can help you execute advanced storage tasks.


No data to recover detected? Please refer to the following steps to address this problem.

Step 1. After connecting the external hard drive to your PC, press “Win + R” and type “diskmgmt.msc” in the Run box. You can press “OK” or hit “Enter” to open the Disk Management utility.


Step 2. Right-click on your connected external hard drive and click the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” button.


Step 3. Select “Add” to assign a new drive letter to this unlettered external hard drive.

Step 4. Select the “Assign the following drive letter” option. You’d better ensure your chosen new drive letter is not the same as all the existing drive letters.


Solution 3. Enable the USB Root Hub to make the external hard drive access denied

If you never activated your USB Root Hub, your Windows computer naturally will not recognize the connected external hard drive. So how to recover files from external hard drive not detected? Please read further.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Then open Device Manager by entering it in the search bar.


Step 2. Expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers and right-click on your chosen USB Root Hub. Then click the “Properties” button.


Step 3. Under the Power Management tab, uncheck “Allow the computer to turn off this device to power” and click “OK” to save your modifications.


Solution 4. Update device driver via Device Manager

As stated earlier, an outdated device driver is responsible for no data to recover detected. Besides, it might be one of the reasons why your Seagate external hard drive light blinks but not working.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Then open Device Manager by entering it in the search bar.


Step 2. Go to Disk drives and right-click on your connected external hard drive. Then select the “Update driver” option.


Step 3. Select the “Search automatically for drives” option.


Solution 5. Format the inaccessible external hard drive

In general, if Windows PC cannot support the file system of the connected external hard drive, it’s not surprising that your PC cannot detect it. In this scenario, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can be an excellent choice for you to format and alter the file systems of your desired partition.

Step 1. Download and install its free demo version on your Windows. Then connect the external hard drive to this PC.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. After seeing all the partitions, right-click on your connected external hard drive and select the “Format Partition” option.


Step 3. Choose a file system you want and click the “OK” button.


Please remember to “Apply” it and wait patiently.

Solution 6. Run CHKDSK to repair corrupted file systems of undetected drives

If the file system of your drives or disks is corrupted, there’s no data to recover detected. So how to recover data from undetected hard disks? The answer is utilizing CHKDSK.


Does CHKDSK fix corrupt files? Of course, it’s possible because CHKDSK is designed to check a volume’s file system and file system metadata for logical and physical errors.

To correct volume errors, you need to use the /f, /r, /x, or /b parameters. Let’s show how it works.

Step 1. Type “cmd” in the search bar and click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 2. Type “chkdsk” in the window.


Step 3. Type “chkdsk d: /f” or “chkdsk d: /r” as you need.


Solution 7. Perform a full scan to remove detected viruses & threats

No data to recover detected? Perhaps it might be the presence of viruses or malware on your PC. Specifically, harmful viruses or malware could cause your files automatically delete themselves from drives. Therefore, you’re advised to perform a full scan to delete malicious threats from your computer.

Step 1. Open Windows Settings by pressing the “Win + I” buttons, then go to Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Step 2. Click the “Scan options” button.


Step 3. Choose “Full scan” and click “Scan now” to start the scanning process. Please wait patiently.


Further reading: How to perform hard drive data recovery with ease?

After detection, some users are lucky to get their needed files back. But for other users, it might be not so lucky because of data loss.

So how to recover files from external hard drives in Windows 10 computers with ease? Especially for users who have never taken precautions like backups.

To some degree, there’s no better way than using reliable data recovery software like MyRecover to find deleted & lost files on external hard drives.  

Highlights of MyRecover:
Powerful features: Recover deleted & lost MS Office files, folders, compressed files, photos, videos, audio, and hundreds of file types from HDD, USB, SD cards, etc   
Easy-to-find: During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, you can search your desired folders by Path, Filename, Date, etc.   
Convenient: Retain the original Path, Filename, and Format for the deleted files.
Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computer to perform hard drive data recovery!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer. After launching MyRecover, hover the mouse over your external hard drive and click Scan.


Step 2. You can quickly locate your desired files or wait to view all the deleted & lost files after the scanning process.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and select the files/folders you want. Then click “Recover x files” to start Windows data recovery.


Wrapping up

No data to recover detected? Please get possible factors and the corresponding fixes for this issue from the above content. Nevertheless, if files are missing after detecting your external hard drives, you’re supposed to restore files from backups or use MyRecover.

Moreover, it’s time for you to cultivate a good habit of making backups via free backup software for Windows if you’ve realized that only regular backups are the best data loss prevention measure.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.