External Drives FAQs

Can I use any USB cable with my external drive?

We recommend using only the included USB cable with your drive. USB bus power is rather limited, so lower quality cables can provide unreliable power to the drive. This can result in poor performance, clicking and other noise, or complete failure to detect the drive on your system. There can also be similar issues with using longer USB cables, especially those longer than 3ft/1M.

External Drive Troubleshooting Steps

WINDOWS

STEP 1
Check the Power and Data Cable

  • Check that the power cable is securely connected to the external drive and wall socket (applies only to desktop external hard drives).
  • Do not connect the drive through a USB hub, connect it directly to the PC or laptop. Make sure the power adapter is connected directly to a wall outlet, not to an extension cord.
  • Ensure the cable is securely connected to both the drive and computer.
  • If your external hard drive came with with a Y-cable, use both USB connectors to ensure the drive is getting the appropriate power.
  • If you are connecting to a PC, use the USB ports found on the back of the computer. Avoid using USB ports found on keyboards, monitors or the front of the PC.
  • If the problem still continues, try using a different USB port.

STEP 2
Check the Drive Partition in Disk Management

Even though the drive may not be visible on the "Desktop" or in "My Computer," check to see if the drive is recognized in "Disk Management."

  1. Right click on "My Computer" and select "Manage" from the menu.
  2. From the "Computer Management" window select "Disk Management" from the menu on the left.
  3. In "Disk Management" check to see if the drive is visible. If the drive is found, look at the partition for the drive. New drives will be labeled as FAT32 and have a drive letter assigned.
  4. If the drive does not display as "Healthy," or shows the file format as "RAW," then the partition has become corrupt. It could also be corrupt if the bar above the drive is black and shows as "Unallocated."
  5. To make the drive usable again after a partition has become corrupt or lost start by right clicking on the drive in "Disk Management" and select "Delete partition" from the menu. Then right click on the drive again and select "create partition" from the menu. Follow the steps in the partition wizard to create a Primary partition.

    NOTE:  Deleting the partition will cause all data on the drive to be lost. If the partition has become corrupt this may be unavoidable. HGST is not responsible for lost data. It is highly recommended that data be backed up in multiple locations on multiple drives to minimize data loss.
     
  6. After the new primary partition has been created "Disk Management" will display the drive with an NTFS partition. The NTFS partition is unusable on a Mac. If the drive is used on Macintosh and Windows computers, follow the link below to obtain a FAT32 formatting tool which will allow both Windows and Macintosh users to use the drive.

    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

STEP 3
Check the drive status in Device Manager :

  1. Right click on "My Computer" and select "Manage."
  2. From the "Computer Management" window select "Device Manager" from the list on the left.
  3. From the device list, expand the "Disk Drives" category by clicking on the [+] symbol found to the left. If the drive is detected by the system, there will be an entry for your external drive.
  4. If it is not listed under "Disk Drives," expand the "Other Devices" category and see if there is an entry for an "Unknown Device."
  5. Right click the "Unknown Device" and select "Properties."
  6. Under the "General" tab, it will typically display "This device is not working properly" followed by either Code 10 or Code 28.
  7. Code 10 would suggest a potential power supply issue (typically 3.5-inch desktop external drives). If a second external drive with an equivalent power supply is available, try connecting the power supply to the drive.

    NOTE:  Before connecting a power adapter that did not ship with the external hard drive, verify that the power configuration matches exactly with the power adapter that was supplied. Failure to use the correct power supply can result in damage to the unit, injury or fire.
     
  8. If a different power supply is not available, verify the problem by connecting to a different USB port or by connecting to a second PC.
  9. If the same error code is still displayed, create an RMA and return the drive under Warranty.
  10. Code 28 would suggest a driver error.
  11. Expand the "Disk Drive" category in "Device Manager" right click on the drive and select "Uninstall."
  12. Disconnect the external drive, reboot the computer and reconnect the drive when the computer has finished restarting.
  13. If same error is displayed, try connecting it to a second PC to verify the issue.
  14. If the drive fails on the second PC with the same error, create an RMA and return the drive under Warranty.

MAC

STEP 1
Check the power and data cable

  • Check that the power cable is securely connected to the external drive and wall socket (applies only to desktop external hard drives).
  • Do not connect the drive through a USB hub, connect it directly to the Mac. Make sure the power adapter is connected directly to a wall outlet, not to an extension cord.
  • Ensure the cable is securely connected to both the drive and computer.
  • If your external hard drive came with with a Y-cable, use both USB connectors to ensure the drive is getting the appropriate power.
  • If you are connecting to a Mac, use the USB ports found on the back of the computer. Avoid using USB ports found on keyboards, monitors or the front of the Mac.
  • If the problem still continues, try using a different USB port.


STEP 2
Check the Drive Partition using Disk Utilities

  1. Click "Go" on the top menu bar, then choose "Utilities" and open the "Disk Utility" application.
  2. If the drive is not on the desktop or if "Disk Utility" is showing that the drive is formatted in a file system that is not recognized by the Mac OS, the drive can be formatted so the the Mac OS will recognize it.

STEP 3
Check System Profiler

The Mac System Profiler will show you whether the external drive is physically detected by the Mac.

  1. Click on the "Apple Menu" in the top left corner of your desktop.
  2. Select "About this Mac" and then click on "More Info" to open the System Profiler Application.
  3. When the System Profiler opens click on "USB" in the left menu under the Hardware category.
  4. If the drive is still not visible, try connecting it to a second Mac to verify the issue.
  5. If the drive fails on the second Mac, create an RMA and return the drive under Warranty.

How can I prevent File Corruption on my external drive?

The most common cause of file corruption is disconnecting the drive while it is in use. The easiest way to avoid this is to only disconnect the drive when the computer is shutdown or by using the safe remove/eject option in your computer. Using safe removal allows the computer to stop any background processes that maybe accessing the drive. Safe Removal is an option in all versions of Windows and Mac for USB and FireWire drives. Many computers do not have a safe remove option for the eSATA connection. For eSATA it is recommended that the computer be shutdown before disconnecting.

How do I copy files to my HGST external hard drive?

Windows

  1. Open "My Computer"

    NOTE: Depending on your version of Windows, “My Computer” can be found either on the desktop or in the “START” menu.

  2. You will see both your main internal hard drive (the C: drive) and the HGST external hard drive listed.

    My-Computer

    NOTE: If you have multiple internal hard drives or other external hard drives connected through the USB or FireWire ports on your computer they will also appear in “My Computer”


  3. Double-click your HGST external hard drive's icon to open it.

    HGST-Drive-Window

    NOTE: You can also copy files to the drive by right clicking on the file you wish to copy and going down to ìsend toÖî and selecting the HGST external hard drive in the drive letter list.


  4. Drag and drop any files you wish to copy onto the HGST external drive into this window.
  5. A status bar may appear on the screen showing the progress. When it is complete this window will disappear.

    NOTE: You can verify the files copied by opening the file(s) in the HGST external hard drive by following steps 1-3 above.

Macintosh

  1. Double-click the HGST external drive icon on your desktop to open the drive.

    mac-drive-icon

  2. When you double-click the icon, a folder will appear showing all of the files and folders contained inside the HGST external hard drive.

  3. Drag and drop any files you wish top copy onto the HGST external drive into this window.

    mac-drive-window-open

A status bar may appear on the screen showing the progress. When it is complete this window will disappear.

mac-drive-copy-dialog

NOTE: You can verify the files copied by opening the file(s) in the HGST external hard drive by following steps 1-3 above.

How do I find the hard drive on my system?

In Windows, the drive should appear under My Computer as another hard drive shortly after being connected.

On a Mac, the drive should appear on your Desktop shortly after being connected.

If your drive does not appear in the appropriate location, please consult the Troubleshooting guide.

How to format my drive for Mac only (HFS+)?

WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process. ? Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

If you wish to keep the information that is currently on the external hard drive, you will need to copy the contents of the external hard drive to another location before proceeding.

Follow these steps to format your drive for use on the Mac:

  1. Connect and power the drive
  2. Open Mac HD on your desktop
  3. Open Applications
  4. Open Utilities
  5. Open Disk Utility
  6. On the left you should see the hard drive listed. It should show the drive size with a second indented line beneath it that shows the volume of the drive.
  7. Click Erase at the top of the screen.
  8. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for the volume format option.
  9. Change the name of the drive if desired.
  10. Click Erase at the bottom of the screen. You will receive a warning and will need to click Erase again.

When the process completes, the drive will be ready for use.

How to format my drive for use in Windows and Mac (FAT32)

Only FAT32 format is supported by both Mac and PC.

FAT32 has only a few limitations. Those limitations include the following: All individual files must be smaller than 4GB in size to be able to be copied to this drive, and all file names must follow the Windows naming convention. That is, you can only use the letters and characters that are acceptable when creating Windows files. Apple/Mac allow for some extra characters when creating file names but these extra characters in the file names will not work with FAT32. 

WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process. ? Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

Follow these steps to format your drive:

  1. On your Mac, connect and power the drive
  2. Open Mac HD on your desktop
  3. Open Applications
  4. Open Utilities
  5. Open Disk Utility
  6. On the left you should see the hard drive listed. It should show the drive size with a second indented line beneath it that shows the volume of the drive.
  7. Click "Erase" at the top of the screen.
  8. Select MS DOS(FAT) File System for the volume format option.
  9. Change the name of the drive if desired.
  10. Click "Erase" at the bottom of the screen. You will get a warning and will need to click "Erase" again.

The drive will be formatted as FAT32 when completed.

How to format my drive for Windows only (NTFS)?

If you expect to have files greater than 4GB you will need to change your drive format to NTFS. Microsoft provides a utility called “Convert” which allows you to change the format to NTFS with your files in place. You can find instructions for Convert at this link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb456984.aspx

If you would rather re-format your external drive, proceed as described below.

WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process. 
 Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

Follow these steps to format your drive for Windows: 

  1. To remove the existing disk partition, right click on My Computer (Computer for Vista) and select Manage.
  2. On the next screen select Disk Management.
  3. Find the listing for the external hard drive in the lower middle portion of the window.
  4. Right-click on the box to the right of the drive listing (Disk X) and select Delete Partition.
  5. A message will ask you to confirm that "All data will be lost." Be sure you wish to do this. If so, then click on Yes.
  6. Once complete, the box will show "Unallocated".
  7. To create a new partition, right-click on My Computer (Computer for Vista) and select Manage.
  8. On the next screen select Disk Management.
  9. Find the listing for the external hard drive in the lower middle portion of the window.
  10. Right-click on the box to the right of the drive listing (Disk X) and select New Partition.
  11. Accept all of the default parameters.
  12. The formatting will start and will be busy until complete. You can monitor the progress in Disk Management.

Once the formatting is complete, the external hard drive is ready for use.

How to format the XL3000 for use on Windows XP 32bit

Following these steps will allow you to convert the 3TB external drive
for use in Windows XP 32bit.

WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process.
Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

Although the software should only detect the 3TB drive, it is recommended that other external drives be disconnected from your system prior to running this utility.

  1. Click here to download the XL3000 Format Utility to your desktop.
  2. Launch the utility by double clicking on the icon (XL3000_Formatv1_0.exe)
  3. Click OK on the warning message when you are ready to proceed.

    xl3000_format_1


  4. If you would like to label the drive, type the desired name into the Volume Label box. Click Start to begin the process.

    xl3000_format_2


  5. Click OK on the warning to begin formatting.

    xl3000_format_3


  6. This screen will show while the process is running. It may take up to 10min to complete.

    xl3000_format_4


  7. Once the process completes you will receive a message that it has completed. Click OK and the drive will appear under My Computer ready for use.

    xl3000_format_5

If I format my drive for Windows in NTFS only will my Mac see the drive?

Yes, however you will only be able to read from the drive not write to the drive.

My drive is connected, but it does not appear in My Computer

Start by verifying the cables are securely connected to the drive. If the USB cable that came with a Y-Cable, connect both to USB ports found on the back of your computer. This will ensure your drive is getting the appropriate power.

If the drive is still unrecognized, check to see if the drive appears in Disk Management. To open Disk Management, right click My Computer and choose Manage. Disk Management is found on the left under Storage.

WinXP_Manage

In Disk Management, drives are listed as Disk 0, Disk 1, etc. Disk 0 is assigned as the primary hard drive on your computer (the c: drive). Depending on the number of drives or partitions on your system the external drive will commonly be identified as Disk 1 or Disk 2.

NOTE: In the event you have multiple drives attached to your system, it can be helpful to look for the drive capacity.

  1. If the drive has a letter assigned, minimize the Disk Management window and open My Computer. If the drive letter appears in My Computer, the drive is properly recognized by the system.

    WinXP_DiskManagement

  2. If the drive letter you identified in Disk Management is assigned to a drive other than your HGST external hard drive you will need to manually set the drive letter.

To manually assign a drive letter, bring up Disk Management and right click on the capacity of the drive.

  1. Choose Change Drive Letter and Path from the menu.

    WinXP_ChangeDriveLetterMenu

  2. Select Change and select an available letter from the drop box.

IMPORTANT: Choose a drive letter that does not already appear in My Computer.

  1. Click OK to assign the drive letter and close the window.

  2. Once assigned, the drive should appear in My Computer with the letter you have selected.

  3. If the drive is listed as Unknown or Unallocated in Disk Management, the drive is not properly formatted for use with this computer. If the drive was used with a Mac or another non-windows device it may be using an incompatible format.

    WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process. 
 Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

    1. If the drive shows Unknown, right click on the word Unknown and choose Initialize. Follow the wizard, accepting the defaults. The drive should now be labeled Unallocated.

    2. If the drive shows as Unallocated, right click on the word Unallocated and choose New Partition (2000/XP) or New Simple Volume (Vista/Win7). Follow the wizard, accepting the default settings. Clicking finish will begin the format process. The format will generally take 10-15min, but can vary depending on drive size. When the format is complete the drive can be found under My Computer labeled New Volume.

      If you wish to change the name of the drive, right click on the for the drive icon and choose rename from the menu.

My External Drive has failed. How do I return it under warranty?

If your drive is in warranty you can submit a replacement request online at http://www.hgst.com/support/warranty-rma/start-rma.

The HGST online RMA application has simple to follow steps designed to get

  1. Select the type of drive: Bare Hard Drive, External Drive, or G-Technology
  2. Select your country and enter the serial number from the drive label, click continue.
  3. The next page will tell you if the warranty is valid based on the serial. If the drive is still under warranty click continue. If it is not, please contact support for additional assistance.

When you complete the online RMA application you will be sent an email confirmation with information on how to pack and ship your drive back to HGST.

My External Hard Drive is not recognized by my computer

Start by verifying the cables are securely connected to the drive. If the USB cable that came with a Y-Cable, connect both to USB ports found on the back of your computer. This will ensure your drive is getting the appropriate power.

If the drive is still unrecognized, check to see if the drive appears in Disk Management. To open Disk Management, right click My Computer and choose Manage. Disk Management is found on the left under Storage.

WinXP_Manage

In Disk Management, drives are listed as Disk 0, Disk 1, etc. Disk 0 is assigned as the primary hard drive on your computer (the c: drive). Depending on the number of drives or partitions on your system the external drive will commonly be identified as Disk 1 or Disk 2.

NOTE: In the event you have multiple drives attached to your system, it can be helpful to look for the drive capacity.

  1. If the drive has a letter assigned, minimize the Disk Management window and open My Computer. If the drive letter appears in My Computer, the drive is properly recognized by the system.

    WinXP_DiskManagement

  2. If the drive letter you identified in Disk Management is assigned to a drive other than your HGST external hard drive you will need to manually set the drive letter.

To manually assign a drive letter, bring up Disk Management and right click on the capacity of the drive.

  1. Choose Change Drive Letter and Path from the menu.

    WinXP_ChangeDriveLetterMenu

  2. Select Change and select an available letter from the drop box.

IMPORTANT: Choose a drive letter that does not already appear in My Computer.

  1. Click OK to assign the drive letter and close the window.

  2. Once assigned, the drive should appear in My Computer with the letter you have selected.

  3. If the drive is listed as Unknown or Unallocated in Disk Management, the drive is not properly formatted for use with this computer. If the drive was used with a Mac or another non-windows device it may be using an incompatible format.

    WARNING: Any data on the drive will be erased in this process. ? Please backup any data on the drive before proceeding.

    1. If the drive shows Unknown, right click on the word Unknown and choose Initialize. Follow the wizard, accepting the defaults. The drive should now be labeled Unallocated.

    2. If the drive shows as Unallocated, right click on the word Unallocated and choose New Partition (2000/XP) or New Simple Volume (Vista/Win7). Follow the wizard, accepting the default settings. Clicking finish will begin the format process. The format will generally take 10-15min, but can vary depending on drive size. When the format is complete the drive can be found under My Computer labeled New Volume.

      If you wish to change the name of the drive, right click on the for the drive icon and choose rename from the menu.

Why can’t I eject/safely remove the drive?

If everything is closed this means there is something running in the background that is still interacting with the drive. It could be Antivirus, Backup software, or another utility that monitors your system. This is not caused by the drive itself. If you cannot determine what is running, it is safest to shutdown the computer before turning off or disconnecting the drive.

Why is my External HGST 3TB drive not listed or visible in My Computer on my Windows XP system?

The drive may need to have the partition cleaned, then initialize the drive as MBR (Master Boot Record) in "Disk Management" this will allow you to format the drive utilizing the full capacity.

For more information on the HGST XL3000 3TB External drive click here

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