Welcome to the community, bdrobot!
How is the external detected in Disk Management and Device Manager? Some screenshots would be really helpful. I'd strongly recommend you to use your HDD manufacturer's diagnostic tool to test the health and check up on the SMART status of your external. If you're unable to find this utility on their official website, you can also refer to some third-party testing tools
. I'd also suggest you try connecting it to a different computer to see how it will get recognized there. If you have a spare USB cable, I'd also swap it to see if the external drive's performance will improve. Make sure you update your USB hub controller drivers from the motherboard/computer manufacturer's website, instead of Windows Updates.
Keep us posted.