Power Data Recovery

External Hard Drive Takes Forever to Load

"When I plugged in my HDD cable into the USB port, I open This PC(My Computer), and right click to refresh it, I get to see my physical drive, but it doesn't have any information like the disk space available and the green ribbon will be loading and it just loads forever. When I go to Disk Management, it will load forever as well, as though it is trying to access the HDD but it is not able to."Tomshardware

This example tells you a case about external hard drive taking forever to load. Actually, this issue is quite common and may be caused for some reasons including logical errors, bad sectors, insufficient power, etc.

Usually, the hard drive can be successfully connected to a computer and shown in Windows Explorer but loads forever and finally unresponsive. Moreover, all data stored on the external hard drive becomes inaccessible.

Actually, external hard drive slow and unresponsive issue happens not only in Windows but also in Mac. If you also have such a problem, what should you do? Here in this article, we're going to walk you through how to recover data from this disk as well as solutions to the problem in Windows and Mac.

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Recover Data from Slow and Unresponsive External Hard Drive

External Hard Drive Takes Forever to Load in Windows

When external hard drive infinite loading problem happens in Windows 10/8/7, if you have saved many important files on this disk, the first thing you should do is to restore data from the target disk.

Well then, is there any tool helpful for Windows data recovery? Of course, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is worthy of being recommended.

It is a piece of professional, safe and free data recovery software, enabling you to recover data from different situations including deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus infection, system crash, etc.

Besides, this program allows retrieving lost/deleted videos, audios, pictures, documents, emails, documents, compressed files and so on from a hard drive, USB drive, SD card, digital camera, memory stick and other storage devices. What's more, the inaccessible files on your device can be restored.

If your external hard drive takes forever to load, don't hesitate to download MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition to your computer running Windows 10/8/7 for a try so that the deleted data, as well as inaccessible files on the target disk, can be saved to a safe location. Then do data recovery by following the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Select one feature for file recovery.

Start MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition in Windows 10/8/7 and then this freeware will enter its main interface where four features are offered. Here comes a question: which one is suitable for you to recover data from external hard drive taking forever to load in Windows 10/8/7? This PC is suitable since it is designed to recover data from damaged, RAW, formatted partition.

Actually, this feature is selected by default. Hence, you need to choose the partition containing important files on your external hard drive and click Scan button for a scan.

choose the partition on external hard drive

Before starting a scan, you can use Settings option to make some advanced settings for the scan. In the following small window, MiniTool Power Data Recovery allows you to scan partitions with certain file systems as well as some file types. For example, if you only want to recover word documents, pictures or audios & videos, just unfold the corresponding folder to choose certain types.

make advanced settings for scan

Step 2: Scan your partition.

Now, this software is scanning the selected partition. During the scan process, if MiniTool Power Data Recovery finds files on the external hard drive that takes forever to load in Windows 10/8/7, they will be listed on the left side.

• The scan time is depending on the size of data saved on your unresponsive external hard drive.
• It is not recommended to stop the scan. Just wait patiently until the full scan completes to get the best recovery result.

perform scan operation

Step 3: Choose files you want to recover.

Now, this tool enters the scan result interface where all found data including lost/deleted and existing files are displayed in path section. Here, you can search for desired files in the first partition (the recovery chance is greater than other partitions') or All RAW Files folder.

search for files and select them

In addition, Type option is helpful for you to quickly find the files you want to recover when external hard drive takes forever to load. This option can display found files by file type category, hence, unfold each type to search for your files.

Tip: This software allows you to preview a picture and .txt file smaller than 20MB, helping you check whether it is your needed picture or .txt file.

use type option to quickly find files

Besides, Find and Filter options are helpful to search for files. The former requires you to type the specific file name. And the latter asks you to configure filename/extension, file size, creation/modified time, etc.

use the filter option to filter files

search for files in the filter list

After finding the files you want to retrieve, check them and then click Save button.

Tip: Actually, MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition only helps you to retrieve 1GB data at most. To get more files back from the external hard drive that keeps loading, using the Personal Deluxe which contains the free lifetime upgrade service. And then register it in the scan result to avoid a scan again.

Step 4: Specify a storage path.

In the pop-up small window, select a storage path. Please note that the original place is not recommended and you had better choose another drive to save the recovered files so as to avoid overwriting data.

save recovered files to a place

"My external hard drive takes forever to load in Windows 10 and it forbids me from accessing data. And then, MiniTool Power Data Recovery recovers data on this disk easily and safely."Click to tweet

In addition, you can use Hard Disk Drive feature to scan the slow and unresponsive external hard drive and recover deleted and existing files on it.

Just launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery and then choose this feature. Then, you will see all detected hard disks. And you need to choose the external hard drive to scan. After finishing the scan, select files you want to recover and then save them to a safe location.

choose external hard drive to scan

Recover Data in Case of External Hard Disk Taking Too Long to Respond Mac

If you are a Mac user and find external hard drive takes long time to load Mac, the first thing you should do is to get data back from your Mac. Here MiniTool Mac Data Recovery is your good option.

It has an ability to recover deleted/lost/existing data from an internal/external hard drive, memory sticks, USB drive, pen drive, memory card, etc. What's more, this freeware is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 and above.

And it supports HFS, HFS+, FAT32 and exFAT file systems. Now, get MiniTool Mac Data Recovery in your Mac and start to recover data safely and effectively.

Step 1: Run this data recovery software to its main interface where four modules are for you to choose. Which one should you use? Here Damaged Partition Recovery is suitable if your external hard drive keeps loading for a long time. This feature is specialized in restoring data from damaged partition.

MiniTool Mac Data Recovery main interface

Step 2: Choose your target partition and click the Full Scan button, then you may take some time to scan your drive if much data is saved on it.

Tip: Similarly, you can use Settings option to configure scan so as to only scan some file types on certain partitions

choose a partition to scan

Step 3: Later, MiniTool Mac Data Recovery will complete the scan and list all found files including deleted, lost and existing data. Please search for your needed files, check them and click Save.

check needed files to recover

Tip: MiniTool Mac Data Recovery Demo Edition has 1MB data restoration limit. Thus, to get more data back, you should ask an advanced edition for help. Just get it and then make a registration in this result interface to avoid a scan again.

Step 4: Finally, specify a safe path for the recovered files. Note that you had better save files on another drive to avoid overwriting data.

specify a storage path for recovered files in Mac

Solved - External Hard Drive Takes Forever to Load

After finishing data recovery from the external hard drive taking forever to load, now it is time to fix this issue. Here, we will respectively walk you through the solutions to this problem in Windows and Mac.

Fix External Hard Drive Takes Long Time to Load in Windows

Boot Your Computer into Safe Mode 

Sometimes you can fix some disk problems after a startup. To boot into safe mode, different operating systems have different ways. Here this post shows you details: How to Start Windows in Safe Mode.

Use Different Cable 

You can remove the slow and unresponsive external hard drive from the target computer. And plug it into another computer using different cable or via SATA interface. If the hard disk taking too long to respond issue still occurs, try the next solution.

Reinstall Drive Letter

  1. Click Win + R, type mscin the pop-out window and hit Enter.
  2. Device Manager is turned on. Then you can check if there is a yellow mark concerning this drive. If there is, right click on it to choose Uninstall, reboot your PC and let Windows install the new

uninstall external hard drive and reinstall it

Tip: If it isn't under Disk Drives, it can be listed under Universal Serial Bus controllers. And it can have a little x on the icon and somehow become disabled on your computer. Right-click it to re-enable.

Run CMD to Check and Fix External Hard Drive Errors

Sometimes your external hard drive takes forever to load due to the disk errors. To fix this issue, please open Command Prompt and then type chkdsk /f g: (g is the drive letter of your external hard drive). Or check disk errors in Windows Explorer.

Format the External Hard Drive as New

Formatting is a good way to fix many disk problems. When external hard drive infinite loading issue occurs, you can try to format it. Go to Disk Management, right click on the target drive and choose Format. And then specify its file system, cluster size, and volume label.

Note: This way can erase disk data, thus, back up important files before formatting.

Replace the Incapable Disk

If all those ways are useless, perhaps this external hard drive gets damaged physically. You can only replace this damaged disk with a new one.

Solved External Hard Drive Takes Long Time to Load Mac

If your external hard drive keeps loading for a long time in Mac, you can also restart this Mac, remove & plug the target disk to another Mac and format this external hard drive.

In addition, you can use Disk Utility to repair disk. In Mac, there is a tool called Disk Utility, enabling you to repair some disk issues.

  1. Just click Go menu, select the Utilities folder and open Disk Utility.
  2. Select the external hard in the left pane and enter First Aid tab to click Repair Disk.

repair external hard drive using Disk Utility

Tip: Sometimes you may get Disk Utility can't repair this disk error and this post shows you the solutions.

Bottom Line

External hard drive takes forever to load in Windows and Mac? Now it is your time to recover data from this target disk and then take measures to fix this issue.

Should you have questions when using our software or any suggestions of this issue, please let us know by sending your idea to [email protected] or leaving a comment below.