Drive Unrecognised After Cancelling External Hard Drive Format in Windows

Cancel Hard Drive Format

I was formatting a USB external hard drive (with NTFS). I had unchecked quick format, which meant it took ages on the large hard drive. I cancelled the format, however, the hard disk (HDD) was then not recognised by Windows (this was Windows 7 but probably also applies to Windows 8 and Windows 10).

I rebooted. I even tried to use Linux to create a new partition on it with fdisk or parted,but Linux didn’t recognise the drive either! I was getting worried, I even tried a different USB cable.

Fix Unrecognised Hard Drive

Finally, I simply unplugged the power from the external drive and put it back in again. Windows 7 recognised the drive again and helpfully asked if I wanted to format it - which I did.

Let that be a lesson to anyone who reads this (or finds it using Google): don’t slow format a large drive formatted with NTFS unless you can wait a long time. However, I guess most of you reading this already have the problem?