What Causes Hard Drive Not Working

What causes hard drive not working? Usually, this issue occurs after the drive has been used for a long time. One of the most common reasons is there are too many bad sectors on the hard drive. If you are using an external hard drive, this issue can be caused by damaged or incorrect connections. So, you should check the cable and ports on other devices or use another cable.

In addition, the problematic hard drive drivers, corrupted partition table, and unsupported file system are also responsible for hard drive not working. How to get hard drive working again? You can try the following methods based on your situations.

How to Get Hard Drive Working Again

After analyzing lots of posts and user reports, we summarize the following 4 common solutions to get hard drive working again. For that:

Solution 1. Check and Fix Hard Drive Errors

Here is a Windows built-in tool that can help you get hard drive working again. You can use it to check and fix hard drive errors. To do so, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Navigate to This PC (Win10) in File Explorer, and then right click the drive that you want to check and select Properties.

Step 2. Locate the Tools tab and click on Check.

Step 3. If this tool detects any hard drive errors, it will check and fix them for you. If not, you still can click on Scan drive to continue test the drive.

Once this process completes, restart your computer and check if you get hard drive working again.

Solution 2. Shield the Bad Sectors

To repair a failed hard drive, you can utilize CHKDSK to shield bad sectors on the hard drive. This special tool can mark the bad sector as unusable. Here’s how to use CHKDSK.

Step 1. Run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2. Type chkdsk e: /f /r command (replace e with the drive letter that you want to check) and hit Enter in the elevated command prompt. Then the drive will be analyzed track-by-track and mark the bad sectors as unusable. 

Tip: Since the corrupted file system can cause hard drive not working, you can type chkdsk e: /f command and hit Enter. This command will repair the file system errors.

Step 3. Exit the command prompt and restart your computer.

In fact, the bad sectors on the hard drive can’t be removed permanently. So, we recommend backing up your hard drive timely and replace it with a new one. 

Solution 3. Reinstall the Hard Drive Driver

As pointed out in the above, the problematic hard drive driver can cause hard drive not working. Once the hard drive drivers get corrupted or missing, the data won’t be able to read and write smoothly. So, you can try reinstalling the hard drive drivers. 

Step 1. Select Device Manager

Step 2. Expand the Disk drives category, right click the hard drive driver and click Uninstall

Step 3. Once the driver is uninstalled completely, reboot your computer and Windows will automatically detect any available drivers and install them. 

Solution 4. Reformat Your Hard Drive

As pointed out in the above, the external hard drive not working issue will happen due to an unsupported file system or RAM file system. How to fix this issue? You need to recover data from the hard drive first using a professional tool, and then follow the steps below to reformat your hard drive:

Step 1. Open the Run dialog box again, and then type diskpart in it and hit Enter.

Step 2. In the command prompt, type the following commands one by one and hit Enter with each command.

  • list disk
  • select disk n (replace n with the disk that you want to reformat)
  • list partition
  • select partition n (replace n with the driver letter that you want to format)
  • format fs=ntfs quick 

Step 3. Follow the same command in the above step to format all partitions on the hard drive. Or you can run the following commands to clean the disk:

  • list disk
  • select disk n
  • clean

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