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Hard Drive Not Showing up in Windows 10

While it can be fixed, “hard drive not showing up in Windows 10” error is a distinct problem. Your computer needs a hard drive to store local information, files, software installations (including Windows), and many other important things that will allow you to run your computer. When Windows 10 isn’t recognizing your hard drive, it’s time to get it fixed in order to continue installing the operating system. If you’ve already been running Windows 10 and it suddenly doesn’t recognize your hard drive, that’s another problem altogether. These are issues we’ll talk about here.

How Do I Fix Windows 10 When It Doesn’t Recognize My Hard Drive?

Hard drives, whether they or new or old, internal or external, can suddenly begin not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management. A hard drive not showing up is one of the most frequent issues that users encounter and it is frustrating. It’s also scary because you don’t have access to your files. This problem can range from being minor to being a serious issue. The good news is, we can show you some ways here that might help you solve the problem of a hard drive not showing up in Windows 10. Let’s first determine where the problem lies.

Here’s one instance where you might encounter the Windows 10 hard drive not showing right-clicking "This PC" and selecting "Manage." Go to "Disk Management" and find the hard drive missing or showing up as not initialized and unallocated space. If you see your hard drive here, then the issue may be in the not show up in File Explorer for one or more reasons, such as the device status is unknown or not initialized or the disk space is unallocated. Let’s try these steps to initialize disk:

  1. Right-click "This PC" (in Windows 10) and choose "Manage."how to fix hard drive not found on windows 10
  2. Go to "Disk Management" and right-click your new hard disk. Choose the "Initialize Disk."disk management
  3. In the dialog box, select the disk you wish to initialize and choose the MBR or GPT partition.

Also, try to create partitions:

  1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Manage" > "Disk Management."
  2. Right-click the unallocated space and choose "New Simple Volume."new simple volume
  3. In New Simple Volume Wizard, click "Next" to continue.
  4. Follow the wizard to specify the volume size, assign a drive letter to the volume, and then format the partition.

If your new hard drive is not detected by or Disk Manager, it could be because of a driver issue, connection issue, or faulty BIOS settings. These can be fixed. Connection issues can be from a faulty USB port a cable; The might be outdated. Incorrect BIOS settings mean the new hard drive is disabled in BIOS. Let’s examine ways to fix these issues and see if we can get you on the road again.

First, check the connection between the computer and the hard drive. This is usually the quickest fix. Connect your hard drive with SATA cable instead of a USB cable to start with. Also, change the cable port to see if this makes a difference. You can connect your hard drive to another computer to see if the issue is still there too. This will let you know if the problem is with the hard drive or your computer or cables.

Update those drivers. You can do this manually, don’t worry. Since your hard drive isn’t detected, you can’t update as you normally would by right-clicking the device and choosing "Update driver." Instead, visit the official site of the hardware support center and download the driver that matches the product you purchased.

You can also try enabling the hard drive in BIOS. Restart your computer and press the BIOS key per your computer’s instructions. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard and choose "Integrated Peripherals," then hit "Enter." Use the arrow keys to select "USB Controller." If it is disabled, change the option to "Enabled." Save the settings and restart to see if the issue is fixed.

What if your hard drive doesn’t show up in Windows 10 without an error warning? You get this problem a lot with used hard drives. Right-click “This PC” and choose “Manage.” Select “Disk Management.” Can you see the disk? Is the hard drive only not showing in File Explorer? This could be because there is a drive letter conflict, unallocated space, or a driver error. 

Changing the drive letter might help. In Disk Management, right-click the volume and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths." In the new window, click "Change." Here you can assign a new drive letter to your USB and click "OK." This should fix the problem.

A used hard drive can suddenly produce unallocated space. Unallocated space cannot be used to store data. To use the space, you need to create a partition(s) on it. Generally speaking, the space on a used hard drive won't all be unallocated space. There are reasons for this. Accidental deletion, virus attacks, or other reasons can cause partition loss on your disk. You simply need to do data recovery from the unallocated space, then create a new volume(s) on the disk to use it again.

To recover data from the unallocated space:

Right-click on your C: drive in Disk management and click Extend Volume. You should be able to just click Next through the screens. If Disk Management won't let you do it because it is your system OS partition, you can download and install one of many programs designed to do this. MiniTool Partition Wizard is best.

After you have retrieved your files, you need to create a new partition. In “Disk Management,” right-click the unallocated space and choose "New Simple Volume." Simply follow the wizard to complete the process. If this doesn’t work, again, update drivers. Drivers are potentially a problem for many things if they are not up to date.

If your hard disk is not detected by disk management, there could be problematic connections, outdated drivers (again), or a damaged hard drive. If, after checking connections updating drivers, and running through all of these steps in this article, it’s very possible you just have a bad hard drive.

It’s also possible the disk is just not formatted. If this is an external drive, it may need to be formatted. You can do this by right-clicking on the external in “Disk Management” and find the “Format” option.

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