Sometimes PC users encounter an issue where external hard drives keep disconnecting from their devices. Windows sometimes detect the external hard drive when plugging it but after a few seconds, it starts disconnecting and reconnecting every second or so.
Meanwhile, Windows may ask to format the external hard drive before using when disconnecting issue keeps occurring and you cannot open the hard drive at all.
So, here, in this post, you will get to know how to fix external hard drive keeps disconnecting with easy and effective solutions.
Causes Of Getting External Hard Drive Keeps Disconnecting Error
Well, the external hard drive gets to connect to the computer via USB cable/port or Thunderbolt. As we all know that reading any external hard drive on the system generally involves three major parts; they are the external hard drive, the USB port and the USB cable, so it is hard to say which part from these goes wrong.
However, the other related factors for getting this error may be:
- USB cable is too old or broken
- USB port id damaged or wobbly
- External hard drive is corrupted
- Not enough power supplied in the USB hub
- USB 3.0 driver is incompatible o outdated
If your USB devices keep disconnecting randomly then it will make your hard drive completely dead external hard drive. Due t this, you won’t be able to even open and access the files you have on the drive. So, it doesn’t matter anymore, what the cause behind this issue is, you just have to save the files from that drive.
But for that, you have to first fix external hard drive keeps disconnecting error and for that, you have to follow the below fixes.
Methods To Fix External Hard Drive Keeps Disconnecting
Fix #1: Try Some Basic Troubleshoot
This error may take place due to some physical problems. It can be like that USB device tends to be faulty or even the USB port you are plugging with the device into are still failing. In order to fix this possibility, you need to follow the steps below:
Step 1: First of all, connect the USB drive to another computer. If you notice that it’s working on another computer then it is clear that the external device is not faulty at all. However, if it keeps disconnecting regularly then you need to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Connect the USB devices to another different USB port to check if this solution fixes the problem. If this fix is able to fix it, then it is great and if not then you need to move on to the next method.
Fix #2: Turn Off USB Selective Suspend
Suppose if your computer is configured to disable USB devices after some time then it is possible that you may have the USB devices keep disconnecting issues. In order to make sure that you have disabled the settings, you need to follow the steps:
Step 1: You need to press the Windows logo & R on your keyboard simultaneously. Now, you need to type there powercfg.cpl and then press Enter key.
Step 2: Now, on the selected power option, you have to click on Change plan settings.
Step 3: Next, you have to click the option ‘Change advanced power settings’.
Step 4: Next, you have to locate and expand USB settings and there you have to select ‘Disabled’ and then click OK.
Step 5: Lastly, you have to restart the computer and then check if the USB keeps disconnecting issue has been fixed or not.
Fix #3: Update the USB Driver
If the external hard drive keeps disconnecting when copying files or the USB is not working properly on the computer. It might be possible that you are experiencing this error due to USB 3.0 controller driver issues as listed here:
- The USB driver has an issue with some hardware devices that were connected to its port.
- The external hard drive is outdated and a new driver is available.
- External hard drive has been corrupted due to the computer is crashed or it is infected by malware.
- The OS of the computer has been upgraded and it results as an incompatibility with the software. Generally, it happens on Windows 7 where a new USB communication protocol was implemented and is said to be USB 2.0.
Well, if any of the above issues are its reasons then it is better to update the USB driver on your Windows as well as Mac computers. Below, you can look at the simple steps to update USB drivers:
#Update USB Driver On Windows Computer
Step 1: First of all, you have to click on the Windows logo and press Window and R keys together to on the Run dialog box.
Step 2: Next, you are required to type there “devmgmt.msc” and then simply press Enter key so that you can go to the Device Manager window.
Step 3: Now, you have to expand the Disk Drives and search the USB drive in the list.
Step 4: If you notice that there is a red or yellow sign indicating a problematic driver or also if you find a kind of “Unknown device” then you have to right-click and then select the option ‘Update Driver software’ and follow the steps to update USB drivers. If you notice that there is a normal sign then you have to only right-click the external hard drive and select there “Uninstall”.
Step 5: Now, you have to restart the Windows system.
#Update USB Driver On Mac Computer
Step 1: For Mac PCs, you have to first click on Launchpad at the Mac Dock.
Step 2: Next, you have to find the App Store in the menu option and then open it.
Step 3: After this, you have to click on “Updates” and then check if there is a new update available. If so, then update the driver as the wizard said.
Fix #4: Change Power Management Settings For USB Root Hubs
Sometimes, your system may turn off automatically the several devices on the system just to avoid its power consuming. However, it can also turn off the USB devices or the external hard drives sometimes and cause the error ‘external hard drive keeps disconnecting’. To fix this issue, you have to follow the below steps:
Step 1: You have to first press Windows key and R simultaneously and then you have to type there devmgmt.msc and then press Enter key.
Step 2: Next, you have to click twice on USB Controllers and then the very first item of USB Root Hub.
Step 3: After this, you have to simply click the box before allowing the system to turn off the device in order to save the power whether it is checked or is unchecked. Next, you have to click the option ‘OK’.
Step 4: You have to repeat this fix for ALL the USB Root Hubs in Device Manager.
Fix #5: Reformat The Drive
Even after trying the above solution, you are still standing with empty hands then don’t worry, try this another solution to resolve external hard drive keeps disconnecting error.
#Reformat External Hard Drive On Windows
In order to reformat the external hard drive on Windows, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: First of all, you have to open ‘This PC/My Computer’ on the desktop and then look for your USB drive in the list shown on the right side and then right-click on it.
Step 2: Now, you have to click on the option ‘Format’ in this context menu and then fill in the file system, volume label and allocation unit size as the Wizard asked.
Step 3: After that, you have to check the ‘Perform a Quick Format’ box and then click “OK” to reformat the hard drive.
#Reformat External Hard Drive On Mac
in order to reformat external hard drive on Mac, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: First of all, you have to go to the option Launchpad, then Utilities and then Disk Utility.
Step 2: Next, you have to find the external hard drive in the sidebar (left) and then select it. After this, click ‘Erase’ at the top menu of the Disk Utility.
Step 3: After this, you have to fill in the name and then select an option for format for your drive. Next, simply click on the option ‘Format’ to complete the wizard.
Fix #6: Check For External Hard Drive In System Information (Works For Mac)
This solution works in Mac systems only. Sometimes the USB hub doesn’t offer much power to the USB devices and such a device will not be recognized by the system. In that case, you can check if the preferred hard disk is supplied with enough power in just a few clicks and you will soon get the results. To do so, you need to follow the below steps:
Step 1: First of all, you have to click on the Apple logo located at the upper left corner of the desktop.
Step 2: Next, you have to choose About This Mac option and then choose System Report option where each and every information about the Mac system is listed.
Step 3: After this, you have to click on USB under Hardware option found in the left side and there you will see the USB devices connected to this Mac.
Step 4: Now, there you have to search ‘USB external hard drive’ in the list and there you can see the power available for this USB hub and also the required power for the hard drive.
Step 5: You can calculate if this external hard drive is consuming too much power from the USB port. Suppose, if the required power is higher than the available power then you need to connect that hard drive to a different USB hub or even eject the unnecessary USB devices.
Fix #7: Disable USB legacy support in BIOS
Last, but not the least, you can once consider to repair external hard drive keeps disconnecting by disabling USB legacy support in BIOS. It will work on both PCs having USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. So, to do so, you need to follow the below steps:
Step 1: First of all, go to the Device Manager option and then open the target external hard drive under the list of Disk Driver.
Step 2: After this, you have to go to the Policies tab and then check Better Performance and then check Enable write caching on this device and then finally go to the Save these changes.
I hope, all these fixes will help you resolve USB devices keep disconnecting error. After fixing the issue, you can easily perform external storage data recovery and keep it safe at another place as a backup option.
Ultimate Solution To Recover Data From External Hard Drive
Well, after fixing the external hard drive keeps disconnecting error, it is quite vital to first recover data from external hard drive and for this, you can try External Hard Drive Recovery Tool. This tool is specialized in recovering lost or deleted media files from any kind of digital devices, like external hard drives, pen drive, SD card, CF card, microSD card, memory card and more. This tool has the ability to restore lost data from different digital devices on both the operating systems – Windows as well as Mac systems. You can download and install External Hard Drive Recovery Tool as per your requirement from the below buttons.
Steps To Recover Lost Media Files From External Hard Drives
Step 1: Select Desired Location
Firstly, select the drive, external media or volume from which you want to recover deleted media files. After selecting, click on 'Scan'.
Step 2: Preview Recovered Media Files
Next, you can preview the recoverable media files after the scanning process is completed.
Step 3: Recover Media Files
Lastly, you can select the images, audio, video files you want to restore and click on 'Recover' option to save them at the location you want.
Well, I hope that you will be able to fix USB devices keep disconnecting error with the help of above manual fixes. However, due to this reason, you may lose all your saved data on that external hard drive. So, at that point, it becomes quite important to recover deleted media files from USB drive.
And for that, you can try External Hard Drive Recovery Tool which has the ability to restore lost data from external hard drive or USB drives. So, do not miss to try all the fixes mentioned above and the recovery solution as well.
Alex is an expert technical writer with 7+ years of experience. His in-depth knowledge about data recovery and fascination to explore new DIY tools & technologies have helped many. Alex has a great interest in photography and loves to share photography tips and tricks with others.