How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing up in Windows 10

Aug 21,2019 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

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Windows 10 is built to have smarter and faster responses when processing commands and requests. For example, when you plug in a new hard drive, it will automatically perform the necessary actions to integrate the new device to other components of the system. However, it does not follow that this process is invulnerable— sometimes, the system fails to detect the hard drive.

OVERVIEW OF THE ERROR “HARD DRIVE NOT SHOWING UP”

There are a few scenarios that a Windows user might encounter when they install a new internal hard drive:

Internal Hard Drive does not show up in Windows Disk Management

If the new drive cannot be found when using the Disk Management feature, the physical installation might have failed. You can try opening the BIOS menu and locate the drive from there.

Can't see the hard drive in Windows 10

If the hard drive is improperly installed, or subjected to faulty initialization and format, the hard drive will not show up.

External hard drive does not appear

External hard drives may also not be included in the list, especially when the drive becomes corrupted or damaged.

Hard drive won't appear in File Explorer, BIOS or PC

If the internal hard drive is nowhere to be found, the problem may be due to a connection issue.

FIXING THE “HARD DRIVE NOT SHOWING UP” ERROR

1. CHECK IF DISK IS CONNECTED PROPERLY

a. It’s important to double check the connections from your hard drive to the PC. Ensure that the cables connecting the hard drive to the power supply or motherboard are in place. If data cables are switched or misplaced, the system cannot detect the hard drive.

If you do not know how to check wires, do not attempt to plug/unplug any connected cables on the drive. Rather, have an expert look at your computer.

2. INITIALIZE DISK

a. Press Win + X and choose the Disk Management selection.

b. On the Disk Management window, you will see a list of all connected hard drives to the PC. Choose the drive that is unallocated and unknown. Right click on it and select Initialize Disk.

c. A prompt will ask you whether you want the hard drive to have a GUID Partition Table (GPT) or Master Boot Record (MBR). Select one and click OK. (GPT is usually recommended, but you can read up about these two online before choosing).

d. The window will redirect to the Disk Management window. Select the initialized hard drive (listed as Online and Basic) and right click. Choose New Simple Volume. Click on Next.

e. Assign a drive letter.

f. Format the drive in the simple volume by following the wizard. Most users prefer NFTS file system. Perform a quick format.

g. Restart your PC.

3. UPDATE DRIVERS

a. On your search bar, type Settings and click on Update & Security.

b. Choose Windows Update and then click the Check for updates selection.

c. Wait for update to complete. If an update is published in the Windows Update service, updates will be downloaded and installed automatically.

4. RUN DISKPART COMMAND

a. Launch Command Prompt.

b. On the command line, key in diskpart and hit Enter.

c. Type these commands one by one and click Enter key after each one:

list disk

select disk

clean

d. When prompt says command is executed successfully, close Command window and restart your PC.

Note: make sure that you are running diskpart on the correct hard drive to make sure that no data is wiped.

5. CHECK BIOS

a. Reboot your PC. When the Windows logo appears, click F2 or DEL a few times to enter BIOS interface.

b. Check whether the hard drive is in the list of all connected drives. If it does not appear, it could probably be because the hard drive is not connected properly.

6. CONNECT THE HARD DRIVE IN ANOTHER PORT

A hard drive malfunction may be caused by faulty wiring or damaged ports. Connect your hard drive to another SATA port on the PC’s motherboard. If after doing this, the hard drive remains undiscoverable, the problem may be on the cables. You can try replacing old cables with new ones and check to see if the drive is now listed as a connected drive.

If you do not have any prior knowledge about hard drive cables and ports, do not attempt to do this method on your own. It would be better to approach an IT expert who knows their way around computers to avoid damaging your system further.

CONCLUSION

The hard drive is an important component of your PC. If it is damaged, corrupted, or missing, you should avoid saving files or running programs before having it fixed. Using faulty drives may result in data loss or worse, system failure.

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