Computer Help forum


External hard drive not recognised!

by beccymay / February 19, 2015 10:52 PM PST


So I've got a buffalo 2 TB external hard drive with it's own power cable that until my friend plugged it into her Mac worked fine. Now when I plug it into either of my windows 7 laptops or my TV it isn't recognised.

What I've tried:
Does not show up in my computer
Does not show up in disk management
Does show up in device manager with "device cannot start code 10" error. I uninstalled the drivers, restarted computer and reinstalled, no luck.
Ran skndsk in command prompt, no luck!

Is there anything I can do to get this eternal hard drive working again? It was running perfectly fine until it was plugged into a Mac, now I get nothing from my laptops, I don't have a Mac to test if it will work on that. The lights come on and I can hear it thinking so I know it's not totally broken, please let me know as I have so much stuff on there I don't want to lose!


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All Answers

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That's a clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 19, 2015 11:01 PM PST

If it worked in the Mac I worry if it's on some PC with iffy USB front ports or USB 3.0 ports. There's some issue about Apple formatting but the CODE 10 points me to port issue and of course drivers for the USB ports.

I'd boot up Linux Mint (latest version) from USB or DVD (no install, just go with the live version) as a test since it's going to support apple file systems and the drivers are usually sufficient as well for a test. No Linux skills required as I noted before at

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by beccymay / February 20, 2015 10:35 AM PST
In reply to: That's a clue.

Hello Bob,
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!
I have tested the hard drive on my other laptop (Toshiba Satellite) and I am having the exact same problems.
I am currently downloading LinuxMint, I have an ISO program so do I need to put it on a USB or CD to boot it? I don't really know anything about OS things etc.. I am only half tech savvy!

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Good so far.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 20, 2015 11:48 AM PST
In reply to: Hello!

I'm half way to taking a bet it's some Apple file system issue. The live version of Linux Mint usually can see those drives. We'll see soon.

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Hello again
by beccymay / February 20, 2015 5:01 PM PST
In reply to: Good so far.

Hello again Bob,

So I booted up Linux Mint (the newest version) and that all went well and it worked but then when I plugged the troublesome hard drive in, nothing Sad It didn't show up at all.

I think my only true hope now is going to be to try and reformat it. Do you know any good recovery programs I can try, I will have to get a new External Hard Drive to try and recover all the data too but that's okay, as long as I can try to rescue what's on the busted one before I reformat it!
Thanks again

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Re: recovery
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 20, 2015 5:47 PM PST
In reply to: Hello again

With the given situation: not showing in Disk Manager, error 10, on 2 PC's (while other externals are fine on the same 2 PC's) this is NOT a DIY operation. It's time to accept the loss of your data or find (and pay) a trusted data recovery company like or

This (again) proves that an external disk is less reliable and less safe to store things on than an internal disk. I use to say an external disk is not meant for data storage, only as one of your backup devices or to transport data between machines that are not in a LAN.


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It's true
by beccymay / February 21, 2015 8:45 AM PST
In reply to: Re: recovery

You're right about it being unreliable haha

Thanks for the tip on the recovery programs, I've got to wait until I can get this new one to give the recovery a go but hopefully I can save what is on there.

Thanks again for your advice! Good to know there are kind people on these forums willing to help out!!

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Re: drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 19, 2015 11:07 PM PST

What happens if your friend plugs it into her Mac again?
What happens if you plug it into another Windows PC?
What happens if you plug another external disk into this PC?


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Tried Both
by beccymay / February 20, 2015 10:27 AM PST
In reply to: Re: drive


So unfortunately I can't test on her Mac (or any Mac) anytime in the near future.
Other USB drives work fine on both my Windows laptops (Acer and Toshiba)
I tried plugging the troublesome External hard drive into my other (Toshiba) laptop as well today and have the same problems - Not showing in My Computer or Disk Management, Showing in Device Manager with the same exclamation mark and code 10 error

Thank you Happy

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