What is the issue with my external hard disk - PCB, Platters or simple Disk formatting

One fine day Win 7 displayed “Do you want to scan & fix removable drive G:” prompt. I check marked both subsequent boxes on the prompt and clicked Scan & Fix. After complete execution of the Scan & Fix (after 12 hrs approx) my Portable 1TB WD Elements SE was shown as Unallocated, Not Initialized & Unknown in the Disk Management.

Since then external hard disk is unusable. Even today in Win 10, when connected to USB 2.0 port the LED on the External Hard Disk lights up steadily. Taskbar displays safely remove icon. Disk management displays 2TB of unallocated space even though external hard disk is of 1TB capacity. But, file explorer doesn’t displays any external hard disk. There is no spinning or clicking sound from the external hard disk. Is this an issue that can be fixed by printed circuit board (pcb) replacement or it requires opening up the hard disk drive platters? If I assign a drive letter in disk management and format the drive then can I still recover the data on the drive?
Videos and pictures of the external hard disk drive.


Whenever there is a “ disk unknown not initialized” issue occurs, your hard drive may show unallocated space in Disk Management, and the data on which will be inaccessible, or else there is another situation: there is no disk space shown in Disk Management.

Below are the 2 different methods to resolve the issue:

Method 1. Use Disk Management to fix not initialized error on an external hard drive

  1. Connect the uninitialized external hard drive to your PC.
  2. Press Win + R keys, type: diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  3. Find the uninitialized, unknown external hard drive with I/O device error > Right-click on it and select Initialize Disk.
  4. Then set the disk to initialize and set the disk as MBR or GPT.

After this, you may reboot your PC and keep all changes. Now, your external hard drive will be recognized and read by Windows again.

Method 2. Run CMD to repair I/O device error on not initialized external hard drive

This CMD command would erase all data on the uninitialized hard drive, which you can later restore after repairing the external hard drive not initialized, with the help of any data recovery or partition recovery software:

  1. Press Win+R > Type: diskpart and hit Enter.
  2. Type: list disk and hit Enter.
  3. Type: select disk F and hit Enter; (replace F with the drive letter of an uninitialized external hard drive) .
  4. Type: clean and hit Enter.
  5. Type: convert gpt or convert mbr and hit Enter.
  6. Type: create partition primary and hit Enter.
  7. Type: format quick fs=ntfs and hit Enter.
  8. Type: assign and hit Enter.
  9. Type: exit and hit Enter.

To recover data from such drive you need the help of reliable data recovery software. Here, I suggest you to check out Stellar Data Recovery Professional Software.

Hope it will help!