[TOPIC] What to do if an HDD or an SSD does not boot?

One day, when you turn on your PC to work, you wonder why it does not start. In this case, there are several causes though, most of the time it is a temporary malfunction and may starts when you turn it on once again. Also, in reality, there are quite a lot of cases where an SD card, external HDD, and USB memory are left inserted and a PC reads them before an HDD of the main unit. Depending on a settings of a PC, if they are inserted, they will be read preferentially, but of course they do not start because there is no OS such as Windows, and they stop with a black screen. (A few years ago, floppy disks were often left inserted in similar cases.) If these are the causes, you don’t have to rush because an HDD of the main body will start normally if you unplug everything inserted in the main body of the PC and turn on the power again. However, if these are not causes, but an HDD or SSD built into a PC does not boot, there is a problem. This content explains such a case.


  1. 1. An internal HDD does not start! An internal SSD does not boot!
  2. 1-1. Case 1: When an OS such as Windows is damaged
  3. 1-2. Case 2: When an HDD or SSD is physically damaged
  4. 2. An external HDD does not boot
  5. 3. Conclusion

・1. An internal HDD does not start! An internal SSD does not boot!
A PC that started up without any problems until yesterday suddenly stopped booting! And no matter how many times I pull out an USB memory and restart it, a message appears on the black screen and I cannot proceed any further. If you have a work that you have to finish today, you’re very impatient. In such cases, there are two causes.

・1-1. Case 1: When an OS such as Windows is damaged
If an OS or files for booting is damaged, the PC may not boot. In this case, there are various causes such as Windows Update failure, power off during booting, accidentally erasing files necessary for an OS operation, and virus erasing files. In some cases it can be recovered by booting in safe mode. If you try rebooting a few times however it does not boot, see a specialist. In this case, fortunately an internal HDD and SSD are not broken, so the data inside can be almost rescued. Although it will take some time, if you reinstall an OS, you will be able to use it again.

・1-2. Case 2: When an HDD or SSD is physically damaged
It’s a little complicated if your HDD or SSD is physically damaged and don’t boot. HDDs and SSDs are consumables and sooner or later break. It’s quite possible that one day it suddenly stops working. In this case, the only option is to replace the HDD or SSD. The problem is the rescue of the data inside. You can re-install an OS and software, however in some cases it is very difficult to rescue the created documents, tables, photos, and other data, and in some cases you can only do it by asking a specialist at a very high cost.

・2. An external HDD does not boot
In some cases, an external HDD or SSD connected to USB will not boot. In this case as well, the worst case is when the HDD or SSD physically fails. The most common cause is defective cables and connectors. In particular, a USB3.0 connector is easy to disconnect and seems to be structurally broken in many cases. If it doesn’t start, firstly check the cable contact or try a different cable. And the next most common cause is an HDD power shortage. Especially in the case of notebook PCs, the power capacity of one USB port may not be enough to secure the required power and may not start. In such a case, use a dedicated cable to supply power from two or more USB ports, or use it with an AC adapter.

・3. Conclusion
There are several reasons why an HDD and SSD do not boot. As explained here, it is very difficult to rescue data due to corruption. Since an HDD and SSD have a limited lifespan, and it is not possible to know when they breaks, it is important to keep a backup at all times. If you save the data in two or more places, such as the main unit and the external device, you can rest assured that the data will remain even if one of them breaks. Let’s make a backup of your data and photos so you don’t lose them.

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