How to Troubleshoot A Hard Disk Is Not Detected?

Are you facing an issue that a hard disk is not detected? This article will provide the best solution to troubleshoot a hard disk not detected.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 14, 2021 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions


We know that the CPU is the brain of a computer. However, not everyone knows that while the CPU is the brain to functioning a computer, the hard disk is the body of it. The mind can't be useful without the body, and this is what this article deals with. What if your internal hard disk is not detected? Some of you might simply restart the system, while some would care to reinstall the software. Here, we take a look at the factors that are behind the scene where the hard disk is not detected and how to solve this issue.

Generally, an ATA or SATA port is set to auto-detect. If one finds that their hard disk is not detected by the system BIOS, the following steps (not in any particular order), can be used to isolate the issue.

Hard Drive Is Not Enable in the BIOS

To access the BIOS of your system, you should be aware of the settings of your device. Different systems have different methods of accessing the BIOS. Every system displays a brief message about entering the system setup soon after the power has been turned on. System Setup is often called the" System BIOS" or "CMOS Setup".

If the hard disk is not detected, it could be because it is turned off in the system setup. There are mother manufacturers that tend to disable the unused ports in the BIOS by default. One has to enter the BIOS to verify their current status.

If a second hard disk is not detected after being connected, it could require to be enabled by turning it ON in the BIOS.

Accessing BIOS in Windows 10:

The latest versions of Windows come with greater processing speed, and therefore pressing a key on boot cannot prove to be helpful. Therefore, you can't enter BIOS; we recommend you follow the given steps to access the BIOS if the hard disk is not detected.

  1. Start with navigating to the settings. Click on the start menu icon can help you get there.

hard drive not detected 01

  1. You then have to select Update and Security.

hard drive not detected 02

  1. Move to "Recovery" from the left menu.

hard drive not detected 03

  1. You then have to click on "Restart" under the advanced startup. This reboots your computer to a special menu.

hard drive not detected 04

  1. Choose Troubleshoot.
  2. Move to the advanced options.
  3. Select UEFI Firmware settings and finally click on Restart.

Faulty Cables Within The Motherboard

There is a chance that the cables within the motherboard have become faulty. Therefore your hard disk is not detected. You can start by inspecting the motherboard and hard disk connections for misaligned or bent pins. Please note that the folding, crimping, pinching, or creasing data cables are often responsible for the wires breaking inside the insulation. However, in the same scenario, the exterior of the cable would appear normal. If you are unsure about the condition of your data cable, we recommend that you replace it.

Often, certain SATA cables can fall out of their connection. One can check the condition of their SATA cables and ensure they are tightly connected to the SATA port connection.

If replacing the cable doesn't cause the problem to cease, the issue where the hard disk is not detected lies elsewhere.

The hard disk is not detected as the drive is not spinning up

This can arise when the drive is not receiving enough power to function and hence doesn't spin up. You can check for this issue by performing the following steps:

How to confirm whether the hard drive is spinning up or not?

If you cannot determine whether the drive is spinning or not while fixing the scenario where the hard disk is not detected, here are a few steps:

If this doesn't fix the problem, you might have to get in touch with the manufacturer.

How to Recover Data from Undetected Hard Drive?

Some users have lost their important files and folders due to the unrecognized hard drive. And they are anxious about retrieving the data. Here if you have met the same problem, you can download Wondershare Recoverit data recovery software to your Windows or Mac computer. Only if your data has not to be overwritten, can you regain the photos, videos, audios, emails, and documents immediately.

Here are the features of Recoverit Advanced:

Download the application and follow the steps to get back your data

Step 1 Select the Hard Drive

select the unrecognized hard drive

Step 2 Scan the Disk

select the unrecognized hard drive

Step 3 Preview And Recover The Files

preview the recovered data

Video Tutorial on How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up

Recent Videos from Recoverit

View More >


The case where the hard disk is not detected is a hardware issue and requires you to have an understanding of BIOS. While using Windows 10, accessibility of BIOS might seem difficult and for that very reason, I have attached the steps that one can follow to reach the BIOS when the hard disk is not detected. Windows 10 has been causing a few troubles for the hard disk owners and therefore, we have listed out a series of methods to get you going.

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2 Comment(s)
Roger Wilco
ON 2020-05-08 11:25:38

are you still having this issue?

TRUTH tshoma
ON 2020-04-28 08:09:24

hi, i would like to get help with my hard drive. i recently bought a new hard drive and replaced the one that was initially on my pc, i then bought an HDD box to use my old hard disk as an external. now when i connect the disk it doesn't show on file explorer and on disk management it shows the drive but also says no media instead of online, and i can't set new volumes on it or format it, the only thing i can do is change the letters. please help me out

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