Question HDD 3.5 not showing up using usb adapter with 12v power supply


Oct 10, 2016
Hi, (think I've posted this question in correct place)

My friend has got an old 3.5 4tb hdd that he used on his old pc for storing films/music ect and wanted to format it to use in his new build just for extra storage.

I was going to format it for him but he decided to try do it himself and something has gone wrong.

He did it buy using a usb adapter which has an external power cable that plugs into a power socket (which gives efficient power to spin up and work 12v I believe 3.5 hdd need as usb on it's own isn't sufficient enough to power it as far as I know)

Basically from what he told me he plugged it in and he heard the sound of a device being connected and it showed up on the list of storage devices.
He then went to disk management where it also showed up but before he could start the formatting process it started a repair which got to 99% then crashed and his pc shut down.

When he turned his pc back on and plugged the hdd back in it made the connected noise but no longer showed up in this pc with his other storage drives or on disk management.

I then told him I'd take it to try on my pc, but I have the same problem it makes a connected noise but doesn't show up on list of storage drives or in disk management, but it does in bios.
It also no longer spins up but it did before it crashed, so I know the adapter did work unless it suddenly broke but it was a good quality product and was brand new so probably that's not the problem unless the drive has genuinely just died.
I'm abit stumped as what to do next as I've never had this problem.

Could I just plug it in directly to my motherboard with the sata cable ect to my motherboard and format it that way if that would make it show up.
I've always plugged it in through sata to format drives rather than an external usb sata adapter.

Sorry for long description of the problem I just couldn't find anything online other than people having similar problems in terms of it not showing up on lists of drives but it showing up in disk management which isnt this problem as it doesn't show up in either for me.

Any help greatly appreciated.
The thing about adapters for sata-usb is that they're very picky when it comes to the order of actions from the user in order to function properly and be detected by OS:
  • Make sure USB cable is disconnected and on/off switch are set in off position.
  • Plug the AC adapter in mains
  • Push the power switch to ON.
  • Wait some seconds to the hdd has spun up.
  • Insert USB cable (to computer).
And remember - Do not under any circumstances move the hdd while it spin, it is more likely than not that it will cause the hdd to malfunction.
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