Summary: Toshiba external hard drive is not accessible in Windows? Access to an external hard drive is denied by computer? Read this page and learn how to fix inaccessible Toshiba external hard drives and recover lost data from inaccessible external hard drives with iBoysoft Data Recovery.
Hi, I really need help with my Toshiba External Hard Drive!!! I have a lot of valuable, and irreplaceable files on there - I am a student and most of my work is on it because of transferring between college and home. Yesterday I tried to open some files from my hard drive on my home laptop - which is Windows 8, but my nightmare started! Even though my Toshiba 1 TB external hard drive is visible (icon), I could not access/open it. This pop-up message would say "E:\ is not accessible. Access is denied." How can I deal with this? I can't lose my data in it, help me please.
When it comes to the external hard drive of Toshiba, people admire its powerful ability to store data. But sometimes, they will also be frustrated by the trouble above if the external hard drive is not accessible in Windows suddenly. In different situations, your drive becomes not accessible may because:
"The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".
"The parameter is incorrect".
"The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable".
As a matter of fact, what means most for you probably is not the drive itself but the invaluable data on it. You may be at a loss when your Toshiba external hard drive is not accessible, but this page provides 7 feasible solutions to such error without losing any data for you and you're likely to find the best one for yourself.
- Table of contents
- 1. Possible causes for Toshiba external hard drive not available issue
- 2. How to fix Toshiba external hard drive not accessible on Windows?
- 2.1: Reconnection
- 2.2: Check for the driver updates
- 2.3: Uninstall and refresh the inaccessible external hard drive
- 2.4: Repair the inaccessible external hard drive via CHKDSK Command
- 2.5: Change the Drive letter of this external hard drive
- 2.6: Recover lost data and reformat this hard drive
- 2.7: Ask data recovery services for help
- 3. Read more: File system of inaccessible Toshiba external hard drives
There are quite a lot of reasons that make your external hard drive not accessible on Windows. It could be a file system corruption in your external hard drive so that the OS cannot recognize the drive or can't locate where is your data. It is possible that your Toshiba external hard drive becomes unavailable because of virus attacks, power failure, and unsafe ejection, etc.
There is a chance that the external hard drive becomes not accessible due to faulty connections which include a faulty USB port, unstable power, etc. You can safely remove and reconnect your Toshiba external hard drive to another USB port, try to plug it slowly into the USB port, or you can even connect it to a Mac computer.
If the drivers on your Windows are outdated, the peripheral devices like external hard drives could become not accessible. Please have a quick check for the driver updates.
Step 1: Type Device Manager in the search box of the Start menu and press Enter.
Step 2: Expand Disk drives and right–click the Toshiba external hard drive, then choose Update Driver Software. If there are any driver updates, follow the further instructions as the wizard asked and your hard disk driver will be updated.
Typically, normal users don't have to use Device Manager to uninstall devices or driver packages. While in some cases, you might need to use Device Manager to troubleshoot problems when you encounter devices problem on your Windows computer.
Step 1: Type Device Manager or "devmgmt.msc" in the search bar on the Start menu.
Step 2: Find your Toshiba external hard drive in the Disk drives list and right-click to choose "Uninstall".
Step 3: On the Confirm Device Removal dialog box, click OK to start the uninstall process. When it's finished, you can right-click on "Scan for hardware changes" and see if your access to this hard drive is still denied by your computer.
If the solutions above didn't fix your issue and your Toshiba external hard drive is not accessible still, the file system may be corrupted. Firstly, you can try to repair it through CHKDSK command or chkdsk.exe, short for "check disk". It is a Windows utility that can check the integrity of your hard disk and can fix various file system errors like bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors, etc.
Step 1: Type "cmd" in the search box and press Enter.
Step 2: Right-click it and choose and choose "Run as Administrator".
Step 3: Type "chkdsk *: /f" (you need to replace * with your Toshiba external hard drive letter) into the Command Prompt window and press Enter.
This process usually takes some time and if CHKDSK repairs your drive successfully, your external hard drive will be accessible after restarting the computer. But if it failed and you received the message "CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives", it could be a file system issue and you need to continuing reading.
If your external hard disk becomes not accessible because of file system corruption, you can try to fix it by changing drive letter. This process will endeavor to load and repair the file system of your drive, but Windows has a good reason for giving you a stern warning before it changes a drive letter.
Tips: DO NOT apply this solution to your drive C: because it will make Windows itself be at loss.
Step 1: Right-click on "My Computer/Computer/PC" icon on the desktop and choose "Manage".
Step 2: In the left sidebar, select "Disk Management" under Storage.
Step 3: Locate the inaccessible hard drive by disk information and right-click on it to choose "Change Drive Letter and Path…".
Step 4: Follow the wizard to finish the drive letter change process.
What if changing drive letter didn't make any difference? Will you lose data? The answer is NO, in that it just repairs the file system of your Toshiba external hard drive but do nothing to your data. And if it failed, you can just change the letter back for good.
As you probably have googled, some people said you can fix this inaccessible external hard drive by reformatting if its file system was seriously corrupted. It's true but the most important thing is, reformatting will not only solve your problem but also "dissolve" your data on this drive. Therefore, to avoid losing any significant information, you’d better recover lost data firstly with reliable data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery.
iBoysoft Data Recovery can recover lost data from RAW USB drives, RAW SD cards, RAW memory cards, etc. And it can recover documents, emails, videos and other files from formatted/unreadable/inaccessible drives. Moreover, data recovery is supported in NTFS, exFAT and FAT32 formatted hard drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, etc. This software is compatible with Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003.
Part one: Recover lost data from inaccessible Toshiba external hard drive
Step 1: You can download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery on your Windows computer.
Step 2: Select the Toshiba external hard disk from the Drives list and click "Next" to scan for data on this drive.
Tips: If the external hard drive or the partition is not shown, you can click on "Find More Partitions" to find it out.
Step 3: You will see the scanning result in the left sidebar and you can preview them to ensure the condition of these files.
Step 4: Choose files you want to get back and click "Recover" to recover them. Remember to save them to another healthy drive.
Part two: Reformat this inaccessible external hard drive
Reformatting is a process that assigns a new file system. After recovering data from your Toshiba external hard drive, you're safe to reformat it by the following three ways.
1. Reformat with DiskPart command
Step 1: Click on Start button, type "cmd" in the Search box and then press Enter.
Step 2: Right click "cmd.exe" and choose "Run as Administer".
Step 3: Type "diskpart" in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.
Step 4: Type "list volume" and press Enter. According to the list information, check which volume is inaccessible. (For example, volume 1)
Step 5: Type "select volume 1" and press Enter. You need to change "1" with the inaccessible volume number.
Step 6: Type "format fs=ntfs" and press Enter. (you can replace ntfs with other Windows file system, like exFAT, FAT32)
Step 7: Type "exit" and press Enter.
2. Right-click to reformat
If you are not confident in using Command Prompt or think it is too complex, you could reformat the inaccessible Toshiba hard drive simply by right-clicking your Toshiba drive that is not accessible by Windows.
Step 1: Find your Toshiba external hard drive in My Computer/Computer/PC.
Step 2: Right-click this external hard drive and choose "Format".
Step 3: Give your external hard drive a name and fill in other necessary information like file system, allocation unit size.
Step 4: Check the "Quick Format" box and click "OK" to format it.
3. Reformat with Disk Management
Sometimes, you will receive the error "Windows was unable to complete the format" because there is no partition on your external hard drive. Under this circumstance, you need to partition it first with Disk Management.
Step 1: Type Control Panel in the search box and press Enter.
Step 2: Click Control Panel.
Step 3: Click Administrative Tools.
Step 4: Click Computer Management.
Step 5: Click Disk Management.
Step 6: You will see a lot of information, including storage ability, disk condition, etc. in the interface. Just locate your inaccessible Toshiba external hard drive according to the drive information and right-click to choose "New Simple Volume…" to partition this drive.
Step 7: Fill in a name, select a file system you prefer to and set the cluster size for this drive by following the wizard. Then this Toshiba external hard drive will be usable again.
However, if you are not so lucky that none of the solutions mentioned can help you fix the Toshiba external hard drive not accessible issue, your hard drive could have some hardware errors that software is unable to do anything on. Then you can only turn to the local lab for help, but usually, it will take a lot of money.
A filesystem or file system is the methods and data structures that an operating system uses to keep track of files on a disk or partition, i.e. the way that the files are organized on the disk.
When your hard drive is not accessible on Windows computers, usually, you may see the drive marked as "RAW" in Disk Management. The so-called RAW file system means that the external hard drive has an unrecognizable file system for the operating system, thereafter, no storage capacity will be detected by the operating system.
If your external drive is not accessible in Windows 10/8/7/XP, the most efficient way to fix this should be reformatting this drive with a new Windows file system like NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. While for those have no copy of data backup but don't want to lost data, the most feasible solution should be performing data recovery from this inaccessible Toshiba external hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery before reformatting it.