USB hard disks are very popular to backup files. Recently USB-C boxes are now available in the market which afford use with the Apple MacBook in the studio directly.
These hard disk boxes are typically $10-$13 postage paid and come with a USB-A to USB-C cable to allow the enclosure to be used with older machines.
USB-C however has advantages with power delivery not seen with USB-A. USB-A with BCC 1.2 does have more then the typical USB 3,0 900 mA current. BCC 1.2 affords 3A of current for charging mobile devices.
USB-C cables are now available but in time they will be universal, USB-C is mandated for USB 4.0 when it arrives in a few years.
7-ZIP is still the tool of chose for a free archive tool. 7-ZIP is also open source which makes it easier for multiple people to maintain it over time.
Many report problems with their USB hard disk. For this reason its not a bad idea to but several of the hard disk enclosures to have spares. The reason is that the USB logic board is more likely to be faulty. It takes only a few moments to swap the disk. USB cables are low cost and they work fine with 2½” disks, The enclosure simply protects the hard disk from being damaged by excessive handling and it also keeps it dust free.
It is not wise to use the USB disk as primary storage. If you need more storage get a NAS unit and connect it to the access point which is designed for a more demanding workload.
If the disk is known to be working then check it in the Windows Disk Manager and see if the drive is recognized. It may need to be partitioned and formatted again. If that does not work you may need a new enclosure to try again, Trying a different USB port or machine can also be attempted.
The WD Lifeguard tools are another option to check the health of the USB hard disk.