10 Fixes: External Hard Drive Keeps Disconnecting

How To Fix An External Hard Drive That Keeps Disconnecting

The hard drive disconnection error is common in Windows and Mac, no matter what hard drive you use. When an external hard drive disconnects, it might indicate something more serious.

If your hard drive disconnects from the computer every few seconds after you plug it in, this article will guide you on how to prevent your hard drive from disconnecting.

Solutions to Fix An External Hard Drive That Keeps Disconnecting

  1. Connect to a Different USB Port
  2. Try Connecting it to Another Computer
  3. Update USB Drivers
  4. Disable USB Legacy Support in BIOS
  5. Turn off USB Selective Suspend
  6. Stop Your PC From Turning off Mass Storage Device
  7. Uninstall & Reinstall USB Drivers
  8. Connect External Hard Drive to USB 3.0 Controller Drivers
  9. Reformat Your External Hard Drive
  10. Data Recovery Service Provider

Steps To Fix External Hard Drive Keeps Disconnecting Issue

1. Connect to a Different USB Port

Most of the time, the problem lies in the USB port, which can easily get wobbly or damaged upon excessive use. Therefore, the foremost thing you should do if you encounter such a problem is to switch to another USB port. 

After connecting to a different USB port, if the problem is solved, it means that the issue was in the USB port. If not, something else is causing the problem.

Note: Sometimes, the problem can also be a faulty USB cable you use to connect your hard drive to the computer. Therefore you need to make sure that it’s completely fine as well.

2. Try Connecting it to Another Computer.

If you have a non-branded External HDD, there is a high chance that the problem may be in the hard drive. Hence, it is also an excellent option to check the hard drive on another Laptop or Desktop as it can help you identify whether the problem is in the hard drive or the computer. 

If the hard drive works on the other computer, the problem might be in your operating system.

3. Update USB Drivers

If you have outdated USB drivers, it can be the reason why your hard drive keeps disconnecting. So update your driver first by following these steps:

  • Press Windows + R and then type this command in the search box devmgmt.msc and select the OK button.
Run Command
  • In The Device Manager, locate the Disk Drives option and expand it.
Device Manager
  • Now right-click on the drivers and select the Update Driver option.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  • After the driver is installed, restart the computer and see if the error is resolved or not.

4. Disable USB Legacy Support in BIOS

Another thing that might help you in this problem is disabling USB legacy support in BIOS. So follow the steps below:

  • Press Windows + R to open Device Manager.
  • Expand the disk drive option.
  • Now select your hard disk drive and double-click on it.
  • Go to the Policies Tab from the properties window.
  • Select the check box beside the Better Performance option to Enable It.
  • Then below the Write-Caching Policy, checkmark the Enable write caching on the device option.
Enable Write Catching on the Device
  • After this, select the OK button to save the changes you made.
  • Now return to the Device Manager and locate the Intel USB 3.0 Extension Driver after expanding the Universal Series Bus Controller.
  • Right-Click on the Intel USB 3.0 Extension Driver and select the Uninstall Driver option.

5. Turn off USB Selective Suspend

If the above methods don’t work, you can try to resolve the issue by turning off USB selective Suspend. For this, you need to follow these steps:

  • Use Windows + R to open the Run command.
  • Type Control Panel and select the OK button.
  • Go to the Power Options.
  • After opening the power options, click on the checkmarked power plan and select the Change Plan Settings option.
Power Plan
  • Now, click on the Change Advanced Power Settings option.
Change Advanced Power setting
  • Expand the USB Settings and double-click the USB Selective Suspend Setting option below.
  • Click Enabled to open the drop-down list and select the Disabled option.
USB Selective Suspend Setting
  • After this, select the Apply and OK buttons to save your changes.

6. Stop Your PC from Turning off Mass Storage Device

Another reason your hard drive keeps disconnecting is that your computer is cutting off its power supply. Due to this insufficient power supply, the Hard Drive disconnects from the computer. To prevent your computer from doing this, follow the steps below:

  • Open the Device Manager by pressing Windows + R and putting in the following command devmgmt.msc.
  • Find the Universal Serial Bus Controller Section at the bottom of the list and expand it by double-clicking it.
Universal Serial Bus Controller
  • Now expand the USB Mass Storage Device to open its properties.
  • Go to the Power Management Tab in the Properties window.
Power Management
  • You will find the Allow The Computer To Turn Off This Device To Save Power Option here. Disable it by Unchecking the Checkbox.
  • Now press the OK button to save the modifications.
  • Follow the same steps for all the USB Root Hubs.
  • Restart your computer, reconnect the hard drive to the USB ports, and see if the issue is resolved now or not.

7. Uninstall & Reinstall USB Drivers

Sometimes the USB drivers get corrupt and don’t work properly even after updating, which can cause your USB devices to disconnect. Reinstalling the USB drivers can help in this case. Follow these steps to reinstall your USB drivers:

  • Press Windows + R and type in the following command devmgmt.msc to open the device manager 
  • Double-click on the Disk Drives to expand it, right-click on the external device, and select the Uninstall Device option.
  • A warning window will pop on the screen; press the Yes button to confirm the uninstallation.
Uninstall driver
  • Restart your system and see if the problem is fixed now.

8. Connect External Hard Drive to USB 3.0 Controller Drivers

USB 3.0 controller driver is one of the best ports to connect your external devices. So if your external device keeps on disconnecting, insert it into a USB 3.0 slot and then check if the issue is resolved now or not.

Note: Make sure that USB 3.0 COntroller Drivers are up to date; otherwise, you may face some problems connecting the external device.

9. Reformat your External Hard Drive

In case the above methods don’t work, the last thing you can do to resolve this issue is to reformat your external hard drive. To do this, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Launch This PC folder on your computer.
  • Locate the hard drive and right-click on it.
  • Select the format option from the menu.
  • Enter the data below the File system, Volume Label, And Allocation Unit-Size Fields.
  • Now in the format options, checkmark the Quick Format checkbox.
  • After this, click the OK button to reformat the external hard drive.

Data Recovery Service Provider

If nothing else works and the problem is with your hard drive, you should take help from a data recovery service provider to recover your data rather than trying to repair the hard drive. Repairing the hard drive can sometimes cause data loss, which you would never want.


Being unable to connect your external hard drives to a computer can be annoying, especially when transferring essential data. There are many reasons why a hard drive can fail to connect or disconnect from a Windows or Mac computer. However, if you will try troubleshooting the problem with the methods mentioned above, you will hopefully be able to solve the issue.

Meet the Author

Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.