Windows 10 unable to access external hard disk

  1. Posts : 95
    Windows 10

    Windows 10 unable to access external hard disk


    I wonder if anyone can assist at all?

    I use external hard disks for storing music and other media multimedia content, as well as for moving data between PCs. Earlier today though, all of a sudden, Windows was unable to access the drive the PC in question referred to as G:\.

    Numerous attempts to use G:\ on the PC failed, and I was also unable to have another machine access the drive. The icon for the drive would simply not appear in Windows File Manager. Consequently, I was unable to run CHKDSK in any PC mode because Windows could not access G:\.

    Checking the logs of the PC in question, I did find this message:

    Windows 10 unable to access external hard disk-screenshot-2021-08-04-040452.jpg

    Presuming the on-line scan referred to is Windows Defender, I tried an on-line scan but it seems that these only look at the C:\ of a PC.

    So, I either have to replace the disk in question, or can anyone suggest what might be a way forward?


    Mr Morgan.
      My Computer

  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,187
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1237


    What does it look like in Disk mgmt?
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of - TenForumsTutorials

    Last edited by Try3; 04 Aug 2021 at 02:23.
      My Computer

  3. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 32,606
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H1)

    Presuming the on-line scan referred to is Windows Defender
    No.. you're not checking for viruses etc- but the integrity of the file system- not Defender's job.

    See e.g.

    - assuming the disk is in fact accessible which it seems it may not be.

    If you are able to either see or allocate a drive letter, then check the disk using e.g. Hard Disk Sentinel (download functional trial, excellent appraisal right on its GUI).
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 95
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    To provide some more details based upon the replies above:

    The drive (G:\) in question does display in Hard Disk Sentinel but HDS will not allow any type of test to be run, as can be seen below:

    Windows 10 unable to access external hard disk-hds-04-08-2021-15-29.png

    Disk Management in Windows itself is displayed below:

    Windows 10 unable to access external hard disk-wdm-04-08-2021-15-40.png

    G:\ is simply not present: however, at one point it was visible but Windows was unable to initialise it.

    As G:\ does not even appear in Windows Explorer, can I regard the drive as dead?
      My Computer

  5. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 32,606
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H1)

    Very much looks like it... I hope it meets an environmentally friendly end..!
    Of course it could be the interface electronics rather than the physical drive inside for what that's worth..

    Some ideas (from item 3 in this article) - assuming it's a HDD
      My Computers

  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,588
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909

    As for the "interface electronics", I had USB 2TB die a couple months ago and it was easy to take out of its case and is now happily working in a drive dock as backup storage, only the interface had failed without warning.
      My Computers

  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 32,606
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H1)

    Perhaps something like this so-so video:
    How to open Seagate Expansion Portable Hard Drive - YouTube
      My Computers

  8. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 7,026
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H1

    Hi @Mr Morgan

    Before you rip open your external disk, try this drive cleanup.

    Download v 1.6.1 of the from Drive Tools for Windows (Roll down on this page till you see DriveCleanup V 1.6.1) Unzip it to a folder, say drivecleanup.

    You will have two folders Win32 and x64 each containing DriveCleanup.exe for 32 bit and 64 bit respectively.

    all USB storage devices from your system (except your Keyboard and mouse) and reboot. Disconnect internet/network.

    Right click on the DriveCleanup.exe and run as administrator. (Use the DriveCleanup.exe file appropriate for your bit version of Windows.).

    After the clean up act, reboot, plugin your external drive and check whether it shows up.

    ( When you plug in your USB devices after this cleanup, these will be installed afresh. What you have done is to remove all non-present devices and drive letters associated with them and start with a clean slate.)
    Last edited by jumanji; 05 Aug 2021 at 03:43.
      My Computer


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