Ubuntu – External HDD works on desktop but not recognized on laptop


My 1 Tb external HDD is not seen by my laptop but woks fine on my desktop.

Laptop is running Ubuntu 18.04.2

Desktop is running Xubuntu 18.04.2

HDD also works on Windows and Mac machines, so the issue is with the laptop, not the HDD.

On the Laptop:

lsusb shows the HDD is listed as a device.

fdisk -l does not list the HDD

gparted does not see the HDD either.

USB memory sticks work and automount as expected.

My problem seems a little like this guys problem, but I'm not sure if I understand his solution, or if it would work for me:

How can I successfully mount my external HDD on my laptop?

Best Answer

  • The laptop USB ports probably don't supply enough power for the external USB drive, especially if it's >1TB.

    Another possibility is that if the external drive is USB 3.x, and the laptop only has USB 2.x ports, that the external drive's USB 2.x backwards compatibility isn't working correctly.


    • use a USB 3.x port if the external drive is USB 3.x

    • check if the BIOS supports "legacy" mode for USB

    • plug an AC adapter into the external drive case, if available

    • use a POWERED USB hub between the laptop and the external drive

    • use a special USB "Y" adapter such that the external drive connects to two USB ports on the laptop... one for signal and power, and the second for additional power

    Update #1:

    Current BIOS is version F.48. Version F.49, released May 19, 2019, is available here.

  • Related Question