How to Recover Data from Hard Drive that Shows Up as ‘Unknown Device’

Worried that your external hard drive shows up as 'Unknown device' in Device Manager? No problem; use Hi5 Software to recover data from unrecognized and devices with 'unknown' error. Works with all Windows OS versions including the latest Windows 10. Download a free trial today!

Although hard drives are great for storing data and portability, there are times when you may encounter issues with it. Sometimes, your computer may have trouble recognizing the drive and may show a yellow warning sign along with the message

‘USB device not recognized. One of the USB attached to this computer has malfunctioned and Windows cannot recognize it.'

Now when you proceed to troubleshoot and check Device Manager for the status of this drive, you will again see a yellow warning symbol with the ‘Unknown device’ status. This indicates that the system is unable to recognize your hard drive and access data on it. In order to resolve this problem, let us look at some solutions.

Solutions to resolve ‘Unknown device’ error with external hard drives

Solution 1: Try an alternate USB port

First of all try connecting the hard drive to a different USB port. Chances are that the current USB port may be damaged and hence the error may be produced. So, connect our hard drive to a different USB port and check. If the error persists, let’s try updating drivers to resolve the problem.

Solution 2: Update drivers

  • Click on Windows + X keys and select Device Manager from the menu
  • Find your device in the list and right click on it
  • Then select Update Drivers and click on Search automatically for updated driver software

If this doesn’t help, you can also reinstall the drivers by clicking Uninstall after right clicking on your device in Device Manager. Then restart your computer for Windows to reinstall the drivers again.

Solution 3: Recover data using Hi5 Software

If updating the drivers doesn’t help you resolve the issue, it is a good move to recover data from the hard drive using Hi5 Software and then proceed with other troubleshooting steps. Hi5 software is designed specially to work with inaccessible and unrecognized drives. Once you select the drive for the software to work on, a thorough scan is performed and all partitions along with data are recovered. The unique thing about the software is that it works on a read only feature so your original data remains unaltered. The recovered data will be in the same condition as it was prior to recovery.

Special features of Hi5 Software

  • The software is designed to work with all file systems such as FAT16, FAT32, ExFAT, NTFS etc.
  • Hi5 hard drive recovery can be used irrespective of the storage device data is stored on. It works with USB flash drives and SD cards along with external hard drives
  • Provides a free preview of files before recovery
  • Contains useful 'Sort' and 'Find' features to enable simple and quick search of recovered files

Steps to recover data from hard drive that shows ‘Unknown device’ error

Step 1. First download and install Hi5 Software on your system

Step 2. Open the software and select Recover Drives in the main window

Step 3. Then select Partition Recovery from the 2 options provided for Partition Recovery and Formatted Recovery

Step 4. In the next step, select the drive from which partitions are to be recovered

Step 5. The software scans the selected drive and finds all files in it

Step 6. All found files are listed for you to choose and save in a desired location

Compatibility: The software is designed to work with all versions of Windows OS including Windows 10

In some cases, if there is a problem with your hard drive, you may receive an error ‘Your drive needs formatting. Do you want to format it now?’ But needless to say, formatting deletes all data from the drive. Using Hi5 hard drive recovery software, you can recover data without formatting.

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