To maximize the storage and memory of a computer’s system, users opt to have a second hard drive to accommodate more programs, games and files. After upgrading to Windows 10, the computer might fail to discover the second hard drive, leading it to become unusable.
Hard disks are physical components and therefore need to be checked up so that the cables and ports are connected properly. If the connections are properly in place, the root problem might be solved by a different solution.
What causes the second hard drive to be undetected? One main reason is the connection issue mentioned above. It could be one of the few things: damaged port or cable, disconnected power supply, or connection from the second hard drive to its corresponding connections with other parts.
One other reason is an unknown and unallocated second hard drive. The disk is marked as “unknown, not initialized” as listed in Disk Management. This makes it undiscoverable in File Explorer, too. Also, if the hard drive has no partitions yet, the disk will not show up on File Explorer.
If the partitions within the second hard drive is outdated, or if it is not labeled with a drive letter, then it will not be detected by the system.
Changing the drive letter can help identifying the second hard drive. Since a hard drive with an unassigned drive letter causes it to become undetectable, you will not be able to access it on the File Explorer.
a. On your keyboard, press Windows icon + R simultaneously to launch Run. Type in diskmgmt.msc in the dialogue box and tap OK to run the Disk Management option.
b. Right-click on the drive you intend to assign a new drive letter to (example, “F”) and click Change the Drive Letter & Paths, and select Change.
c. Choose Assign following drive letter: and choose an available letter from the dropdown options on the right.
d. Click Yes on the prompt that appears.
You can use third-party software to automatically search, update and install drivers. Alternatively, you can also look for driver updates in the manufacturer’s website. If you have Windows Updates turned on, updates can be pushed and installed automatically so the drivers are up-to-date.
a. To update drivers manually, open Device Manager and expand on the drive you wish to update.
b. Right click on the drive and choose Update Driver.
c. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software. Otherwise, click Browse my computer for driver software if you have the driver installed in your PC.
Alternatively, you can also manually update driver software. Just go to Device Manager> Disk Drives and right click on second hard drive. Select Update Driver Software.
If the second hard drive is identified and listed in Disk Management, it is possible to access it in File Explorer. Disk Management lists all connected hard drives on the PC, including those that are unallocated and unknown (including new hard drives).
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.
The BIOS is the computer’s failsafe way to save the PC from complicated errors that lead to a system failure. It can be accessed using a specific key, usually the F keys or the DEL key. If you want to know the specific key to access your PC’s BIOS, refer to your manual or the manufacturer’s website.
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.
It’s always frustrating when your computer encounters errors unexpectedly. When you have a second hard drive, always make sure that cables are properly attached. Physical health is as important as software maintenance. Also, regularly scan your hard drives and optimize them to prevent any errors from damaging your hard drives.