When I insert my external hard drive my computer freezes. By freezes I mean :

  • I can't open the hard drive, when I try to windows explorer freezes and it forces me to end process, when I do that whole laptop goes into a freeze mode till I remove the hard drive.
  • I can't create a new folder on the desktop for example (idiot example but it explains the issue), when I do nothing happens, if I remove the hard drive the folder gets created, as if everything I do after plugging the USB cord of my HDD goes on hold.
  • When I open the diskmgmt and then plugging my HDD and refresh it, it becomes not responding till I remove the HDD.
  • All tools that try to read the HDD (in order to scan it, get from it information... etc) freeze and stop working till I unplug the HDD

Any idea what's wrong with my poor HDD? How to troubleshoot it?

  • Did you already test your HDD in other machine? Also test the HDD with other USB cable. If those steps didn't work probably that your HDD could be damaged, then you must try to run some diagnostic app like Crystal Disk Info.
    – Jorge Luiz
    May 28 '20 at 13:52
  • Either the HDD is mechanically damaged (most likely) or the external case has an issue. To determine if the HDD has physical damage, you'll need to use smartctl -a /dev/<disk> via either a Linux PC or an Ubuntu Install USB (easiest - download the Ubuntu Desktop ISO, create a bootable USB via Rufus, Boot the USB, choose Try Ubuntu) > sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install smartmontools > determine disk via ls /dev | grep sd > smartctl -a /dev/<disk> _(where <disk> is sda, sdb, etc. After the S.M.A.R.T info, it will list when the damage occurred
    – JW0914
    May 28 '20 at 13:58
  • I'll try these comments and get back to you! May 28 '20 at 14:10

The first thing I would do is try the external HDD in another port to see if that helps; if unsuccessful, try the following:

  1. Run the following, where E: is the external HDD volume label:
    ChkDsk E: /f /r
  2. Try uninstalling the external HDD and USB mass storage device from Device Manager
    • External HDD is listed under Disk Drives and USB mass storage device under Universal Serial Bus Controllers
    • To see these items listed in Device Manager when the external HDD is disconnected:
      Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices
  3. Restart the computer, then reconnect the external HDD
  • Please use correct markdown when creating an answer... see the formatting toolbar or help icon.
    – JW0914
    May 28 '20 at 14:09
  • I'd already tried those, they didn't work. May 28 '20 at 14:11

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