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Question External Hard Drive Not Working After Laptop Shutdown

Jul 3, 2020
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Hello Everyone,

I have an external hard drive that is no longer working ever since my laptop went to sleep as it ran out of battery. First it would give me the error "A device which does not exist was specified". But now I am able to access the drive, albeit incredibly slowly. It doesn't pop up automatically when plugged in, and causes windows explorer to hang randomly, and I am unable to launch Disk Management or other similar software to try and diagnose the problem, as the softwares do not load while I have the hard drive plugged in. A similar problem also happens when I tried inserting a different external hard drive. Might anyone have a clue as to what is going on?
 
Jul 4, 2020
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Hi,

I think you should install Antivirus and scan your PC with, then you can connect the external hard drive, and scan it as well.

You can run sfc /scannow command to check all the system files.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
I wonder if the 5v circuit that powers USB has been damaged or the breaker tripped (not all PC's use breakers)

First make sure the USB ports aren't flagged in device manager as having an issue.

Then you can try shutting down the laptop, removing the charging cord & battery, and then holding down the power button for a full minute. Reassemble it and then try the externals.
 
Jul 3, 2020
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In device manager, sometimes they are undetected, and sometimes they are flagged as having a problem and not recognised. But it does work occasionally if I re-plug it several times, but it is still very slow and laggy. I don't have any issues with other USB devices like my mouse and changing ports doesn't work for my external hard drive too.
 
Apr 28, 2020
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There could be various reasons for your external hard drive to become unresponsive or undetected at some times. The external drive may be detected by the system if you connect it to another PC.

You can try the below options to resolve the issue:
  • Use an Antivirus & Anti-Malware tool and scan your drive/system
  • Run CHKDSK scan
  • Re-install the disk drivers
Hope this will help.
 

tomsmith23

Reputable
Dec 14, 2015
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In device manager, sometimes they are undetected, and sometimes they are flagged as having a problem and not recognised. But it does work occasionally if I re-plug it several times, but it is still very slow and laggy. I don't have any issues with other USB devices like my mouse and changing ports doesn't work for my external hard drive too.
As you said, the external drive shows in device manager with flagged as having problem ( Yellow exclamation mark ). Then i would suggest you to do right click on the drive and click on the recommended fixing suggestion.
 

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