I have an external 500GB HDD. It has Mini-B USB port and tonight I bought a new cable for it. Now, I'm testing the cable (and the hard drive). When I plug it into my pc, the HDD's light turns on but my Xubuntu doens't recognize it.

There is no "sdb" in the "/dev" directory. I checked it by Gparted, testdisk, fdisk, ... but none of them could find the device to check it. I even checked the "dmesg" but there was no sign of my HDD.

How can I understand if the hard drive is dead or just the cable is broken?
(Totally how can I get if the HDD (or any other devices like coolpads, ...) is identified by linux?)


Try looking for the hard disk in "Disk" section. If not then I would recommend using Trinity Rescue Kit Available here!

or follow link


If still problem persists Try changing the cables ( buy after testing the cable first ) if none of the above works then probably you should consider that it is dead. Lastly try it with a Windows PC as Well.


Maybe try another USB Cable? Try finding the Device via the lsusb command, this could give you a hint if the Controller is dead, but to be sure, open up your external HDD and connect the HDD inside directly to your PC.


3 things are possible

  1. Your replacement cable doesn't have the necessary pinout/cabling for the necessary power draw

  2. The external hard drive enclosure's electronics are damaged

  3. The hard drive it self is dead

Easiest way to know if your data is safe is to open the enclosure and plug the hard drive into another enclosure (if using a laptop) that works or connect it directly to a SATA cable and power cable inside of a PC.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.