USB 3.0 External Hard Drive not Recognized in Windows 8.1

After upgraded my computer to Windows 8.1 RTM, I plug my Seagate Backup Plus 4TB USB 3.0 external hard drive and it is not recognized. The Disk Management also doesn’t show it. Using other HDD and different USB port get the same problem. Then I run the Troubleshooter and it found “USB Root Hub Driver (xHCI) has a Problem. Reinstalling driver might fix.” Apply it but it doesn’t fix the issues.

The problem might be caused by the USB. I try connecting with the USB 2.0 printer and devices without any issues, but notice that many USB 3.0 controllers aren’t compatible with Windows 8.1 OS yet. So you can’t find it in File exploer after plugging in.

How to fix USB 3.0 External Hard Drive not recognized in Windows 8.1
* Make sure the drive isn’t faulty or broken.
* Disable the “fast-startup” feature in the Power settings
1. Press Windows + X from keyboard, and select Control Panel from the menu.
2. Go to Hardware and Sound > Power Options.
3. Click “Choose what the power buttons do” in the left-side panel.
4. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable
5. Scroll to the bottom, uncheck the Fast-Startup option, and click Save button.
6. Restart your tablet or PC.
* If the above tips are still not working, the simple way is to downgrade to Windows 8.0.


4 thoughts on “USB 3.0 External Hard Drive not Recognized in Windows 8.1

  1. I was using 3.0 hard disk in 3.0 port but after a restart of window it stopped detecting it.
    I did what was told above. It totally worked. Thanks a lot.
    You are just ‘Einstein’ of computers..!!

  2. After reading pages of comments on potential solutions, this fix is the only one that worked. Whatever this QuickStart feature does, it also affects the power allocation and firmware communication to the usb chipset. Thank you so much for this hotfix!!!

  3. so this is the deal – 9 months ago i bought a Dell vostro 5470 laptop (win 8) and a Seagate backup plus 1TB portable drive. ever since, every time I try to do the simplest thing such as listening to music or watching a movie played from the Seagate, the Hard Drive disconnects and reconnects, making the movie stop and the songs on the Itunes bump. Dell does NOT have a clue what the problem is. I got a technician to replace the motherboard twice and the internal Hard Drive once. all of the computer’s usb ports are usb 3.0. i tried re installing windows 8 and downloading all of the computer’s drivers and nothing helped. can’t a man sit around at his house and listening to music peacefully anymore?!
    please please please help me out!

  4. Incredible, I searched all over and tried a bunch of suggested crap. It worked immediately after restart.
    WD My Passport 1TB. Now recognized.
    Thank you!

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