Why do external drives with issues prevent any hard drive utilities from functioning?

Ever since external, USB connected drives became a thing, they always had this problem where the drive would completely disable any kind of hard drive accessing or correcting programs from running at all.

Why is this?

I currently have a non-functional WD Elements 4TB drive that I am trying to recover files from, but whilst the drive is connected to the computer - ANY computer - no hard drive accessing programs will work whatsoever. Windows explorer, Windows disk management, Wd’s own disk utilities or even third party disk recovery software will completely cease to function.

And the very SECOND the USB cable to the external drive is removed, BOOM… Everything works perfectly as if nothing was ever the problem. ALL programs of every kind function instantly and exactly as they should. But the moment that cable is reconnected to the USB port, suddenly, nothing that accesses hard drives will work. Nothing.

The programs will either not open at all or will permanently be stuck in the ‘not responding’ state forever, until the USB cable is unplugged.

It is rare that such issue is directly related to the hard drive. Ensure that the computer system is configured for optimal performance. It is recommended to connect the hard drives directly to the computer’s USB port and not the USB hub, try out different USB cables and USB ports. Connect the drives to a different PC to isolate the issue.