seagate 1TB external hard drive Unknown and not initialized

Welcome to the community, @plz_help_lachy!

Have you been using the external HDD in other computer and devices? You should check how it will get recognized from another computer/laptop and also attempt to see how it will be detected with a different USB cable. I'd strongly recommend you use your HDD manufacturer's brand-specific diagnostic utility and check the health and SMART status of the drive. You should be able to find it on their official website and you could also refer to some third-party tool alternatives here.

If you have important data on the drive, you might need to contact a professional data recovery company for assistance. They would be your best bet on getting the files back.

Keep me posted with the troubleshooting, though.


Aug 3, 2016
I have also bit locker protected the HDD

My HDD is also making soft beeping noises every time I plug it in. this only just started like 15 mins ago
These beeping noises definitely sound concerning! They might be indicating internal hardware failure on the HDD. If it behaves the same way on multiple systems, I'd strongly recommend you follow my advice and contact a professional data recovery company if you need the files back. Otherwise, use the HDD manufacturer's diagnostic utlity as I already mentioned to check the health and S.M.A.R.T. status.

I'd also recommend you check the warranty on the external hard drive from the manufacturer's official website. If it's still covered, get in touch with their customer support for assistance. You should be able to RMA the product and get a replacement, if it's not out of warranty.

Best of luck! Keep me posted!
I'm afraid that your external hard drive has most probably failed, @plz_help_lachy! :( Unfortunately, there's not much troubleshooting you can do by yourself now. It would only put extra stress on the HDD and it would definitely be very dangerous for your data. Is your drive still covered by the warranty? Have you checked it?
I'd advise you again to get in touch with the HDD manufacturer's customer support for assistance. If the HDD is within the warranty period, they should be able to help you out by replacing the failed hardware, once you RMA it. They can also refer you to some data recovery companies that you can consult with, and hopefully, get your files recovered.

In the future, make sure you always backup your data somewhere else as well. Always remember that "backup" means that you have your data stored in at least two (2) locations. Moving data from your system drive to an external hard drive is not a backup, unless there is already a duplicate of the file on a different drive.

Best of luck! Keep me posted if you have more questions.