Hard Disk Not Detected on Windows 10

A hard drive is a crucial piece of hardware in any computer/laptop. It stores all of the data and files that make up your operating system, as well as any programs and personal files you have. Without a hard drive, a computer would be nothing more than a blank slate. Unfortunately, hard drives are also susceptible to several errors and problems.

One common error is when the hard drive is not detected by your computer. There are three common issues:

  • Hard Drive Not Detected in BIOS
  • Hard Drive Not Detected in Disk Management
  • Hard Drive Not Detected in This PC

Hard Drive Not Detected in BIOS

BIOS, which stands for Basic Input Output System, is software stored on a chip on your computer's motherboard. It is responsible for booting your computer and making sure all the hardware components are working properly. When you turn on your computer, the BIOS loads the operating system from the hard drive and then hands over control to it. It provides a set of utilities that let you configure your system settings, such as the time and date, and change the boot order of your drives. 

In recent years, the role of the BIOS has been increasingly taken over by the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which provides more advanced features and is easier to use. However, the BIOS is still an important part of your computer and you should be familiar with it in case you ever need to troubleshoot a problem. But there are times that your BIOS cannot recognize your hard disk or USB drive.

If your hard drive does not show up in BIOS boot options, it will not be visible to Windows either. You need to take up some manual solutions to fix the hard drive not detected in BIOS.

Hard Drive Not Detected in Disk Management

In addition to BIOS, the hard drive may not show up in Disk Management. Disk Management is a system utility in Windows that enables you to manage storage drives and partitions on your computer. With Disk Management, you can format drives, create and delete partitions, and assign drive letters. You can also use Disk Management to convert between different types of storage drives, such as from a hard disk drive to a solid-state drive. In addition, you can use Disk Management to resize partitions and change the file system on a storage drive. 

To access Disk Management in Windows, type "disk management" into the search box on the taskbar and then select the "Create and format hard disk partitions" result. Then, you can check if your hard disk is recognized in Disk Management.

Hard Drive Not Detected in This PC

This PC is a desktop shortcut that gives you quick access to your computer's main folders and drives. It allows you to view and manage your files, as well as create new ones. This PC can be found in the Windows Start menu, or by searching for it in the search bar. By default, This PC includes your personal folders (such as Documents, Downloads, and Pictures), as well as the system folders (such as Program Files and Windows). 

If the hard drive is recognized in BIOS but not Windows, it's time to get it fixed. In this post, you will learn how to troubleshoot the issue. Before you are going to learn the solutions, figure out the reasons.

Full Guide

If you are faced with this hard drive not detecting the problem, read this article to fix Windows 10 not detecting hard drive but BIOS does.

Why Is Internal/External Hard Disk Not Detected/Recognized

There are a few reasons why your internal or external hard disk might not be detected or recognized in Windows 10. We gather together the most common reasons that make hard drives not show up.

Connection problems: First, make sure that the power supply and data cables are properly connected to the drive.

Incompatible file system: Then, make sure that the hard drive file system is compatible with your computer or laptop.

Drive letter conflict: Your HDD will not be recognized if the drive letter conflicts with other drives.

Outdated hard drive driver: You can try updating the drivers from the Device Manager, or you may need to reinstall them.

Unallocated or not initialized drive: Your drive can't show up if it is uninitialized or showing as unallocated.

Damaged or corrupted hard drive: In some cases, the hard drive may be damaged or corrupted. This can be caused by a virus, physical damage, or a bad sector on the disk.

By troubleshooting each of these potential issues in turn, it should be possible to resolve the problem and access the contents of the hard disk.

How to Fix Hard Disk Not Detected on Windows 10

If you're having trouble getting your hard drive to show up in Windows 10, there are a few potential solutions. First, check that the drive is properly connected - if it's not, fix the connection and try again. If the drive is connected but still not showing up, try formatting it to the NTFS file system. If that doesn't work, try changing the drive letter assigned to the hard drive. If you're still having trouble, try updating the disk driver. Finally, if none of these solutions work, you may need to initialize the hard drive. Read on to get more information.

  1. Change Disk Connection
  2. Format Hard Drive to NTFS
  3. Change Drive Letter
  4. Update Hard Disk Driver
  5. Initialize Hard Drive
  6. Enable Hard Drive in BIOS

Fix 1. Change Disk Connection

If your hard drive cannot be recognized because of any loose connection or a rat bite. Then, check that all the connections of the hard drive are made properly. Make sure no cuts in the wires.

Fix 2. Format Hard Drive to NTFS

If the hard drive not showing up error is caused by an unsupported, RAW, or corrupted file system, you can change the file system to NTFS to fix the error.

Step 1. In Windows 10/8, Press Windows + X keys, and click "Disk Management".

Step 2. Find and right-click on your hard drive, and select "Format".

Step 3. Set the file system as NTFS, tick "Perform a quick format", and click "OK" to start formatting the drive.

format hard drive to fix hard drive not detected

Fix 3. Change Drive Letter

If there is another drive in the system with the same letter, the hard drive will not be detected. Therefore, you can make the hard drive show up in Windows 10 by changing the drive letter in Windows 10.

Step 1. Open Disk Management, right-click the hard drive marked as New Volume or the partition doesn't have a drive letter. 

Step 2. Select "Change Drive Letter and Paths". In the new window, click "Change".

Step 3. Assign a new drive letter to your external or internal hard drive and click "OK".

fix hard drive not recognized by changing drive letter

Fix 4. Update Hard Disk Driver

This method applies to hard drives showing up in Disk Management but not in File Explorer.

Step 1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Manage".

Step 2. Click "Device Manager" then expand "Disk drives".

Step 3. Find and right-click the problematic external or internal drive and select "Update driver".

Step 4. Click "Search automatically search for driver software online".

update hard disk driver

Fix 5. Initialize Hard Drive

When it comes to a brand new hard drive or an unallocated disk, try to initialize the disk and create a volume on a new hard drive.

Step 1. Right-click "This PC" (in Windows 10) and choose "Manage".

Step 2. Go to "Disk Management", right-click your new hard disk, and choose "Initialize Disk".

Step 3. Select the disk and choose MBR or GPT as its partition style, click "OK" to start.

initialize hard drive

Then, follow the on-screen instructions.

Fix 6. Enable Hard Drive in BIOS

Your hard drive can't show up if it is disabled in BIOS. Thus, enabling the drive in BIOS might help.

initialize hard drive in BIOS

Step 1. Restart your computer and press F2 or Del until you enter BIOS.

Step 2. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to choose "Integrated Peripherals" and hit "Enter".

Step 3. Use the arrow keys to select "USB Controller". Change the option to "Enabled".

Full Guide

Here, we've collected effective fixes to help you. Follow along to fix the hard drive not showing up in Windows 10.

How to Fix External Hard Disk Not Detected

One day, you go to access your external hard drive, and it's not showing up. You check all of the usual places it could be, but it's just not there. So what gives? Your external hard drive may have simply stopped working. However, there are a few other potential causes for this problem. It could be that the external hard drive is not compatible with your computer. Another possibility is that the external hard drive is not turned on or properly connected to your computer. If you're still having trouble, it's best to consult with a professional to troubleshoot the problem. In the meantime, here are a few tips to try if your external hard drive is not appearing on Windows 10/8/7. If you are a Mac user, fixing an external hard drive not showing up on Mac is also easy.

Case 1. External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

Symptom: The external hard drive is not detected in This PC, but it is showing up in Disk Management.

The below methods will guide you through making your external hard drive visible and accessible on your computer. Try each solution to ensure you don't miss any details.

Method 1. Connect to a Different Port

If you're having trouble connecting your external hard drive to a different port, there are a few things you can try. 

  • First, unplug the external hard drive from its current port and then plug it into the desired port. 
  • If the external hard drive still isn't being detected, try restarting your computer. 
  • Once your computer is back up and running, replug the external hard drive into the new port. 

Method 2. Update the Driver

You may also need to update your external hard drive's drivers. You can usually do this through your computer's Device Manager.

Method 3. Run a Troubleshooter

Windows has a hard drive troubleshooter that may do you a great favor.

  • At the start search Command Prompt. Right-click the first result and click "Run as administrator".
  • Type the command: msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
  • Click "Advanced" and select "Apply repairs automatically".
  • Click "View detailed information" to see an overview of the scan.

If you're still having trouble, try contacting the external hard drive's manufacturer for more support.

Case 2. WD External Hard Drive Not Recognized

Symptom: WD external hard drive not recognized but the light is on.

WD external hard drive not recognized is a common problem that can be fixed with a few simple steps.

Step 1. Check the Connection

First, check to see if the WD external hard drive is properly plugged into the computer. If it is, then unplug it and plug it back in. 

Step 2. Check the WD Hard Drive

Next, check the WD external hard drive for any physical damage. If there is physical damage, then the WD external hard drive will need to be replaced. 

Step 3. Format the WD Hard Drive

Finally, format the WD external hard drive to fix any logical errors that may be causing the WD external hard drive not detected error. 

format WD external hard drive

Formating the WD external hard drive will erase all data on the WD external hard drive, so make sure to backup all important data before formating.

Full Guide

Fix WD External Hard Drive Not Showing Up/Working with Light On.

Case 3. Seagate External Hard Drive Not Working

Symptom: Seagate external hard drive not showing up, not detected, external hard drive light blinking but not working, not recognized in Windows 10, USB not showing up, etc.

Like WD hard drives, Seagate external hard drives are a great way to store large amounts of data, but sometimes they can stop working correctly. One common issue is that the drive is not working. This can be frustrating, but there are a few things you can try to fix the problem.

  • Try a different USB port on the computer.
  • Connect the drive to a different computer.
  • Switch to a new cable if the current one is damaged.
  • Try a different power outlet. (Desktop Drives)
  • Verify if the drive's light is on. (Light off indicates the power adapter is not connected to power.)

Full Guide

Read this full guide to troubleshoot Seagate external hard drive not working.

How to Fix SSD Not Detected/Showing Up

Things could be a little bit different if you are using an SSD. A solid-state drive (SSD) is a type of storage that uses flash memory to store data. Unlike a traditional hard drive, there are no moving parts in an SSD, which makes it more durable and increases performance. SSDs are available in different form factors, including 2.5-inch drives and M.2 drives. They can also be used as boot drives or data drives. Most modern laptops and PCs come with an SSD, although they can be more expensive than traditional hard drives. When it comes to SSD not showing up in Windows 10, follow the solutions below.

Case 1. SSD Not Detected/Showing Up in BIOS

If your SSD is not showing up in BIOS or showing up in Windows, it's likely because of one of the following issues: 

  • The SSD is not properly connected to the motherboard.
  • Check your SATA cables and make sure they're plugged in securely.
  • The SATA mode is set to the wrong setting in BIOS.
  • Check your BIOS settings and make sure the SATA mode is set to AHCI (not IDE).
  • There's a problem with the motherboard itself.

If you've tried all of the above and your SSD still isn't appearing, there may be an issue with the motherboard. Try resetting the BIOS or replacing the motherboard.

Full Guide

Still have problems? Read this guide to fix SSD not showing up in Windows 11/10.

Case 2. M.2 Not Showing Up

M.2 is a type of SSD (solid-state drive) that is newer and faster than the traditional SATA SSDs. M.2 drives are not always compatible with all motherboards, and they can sometimes be difficult to install. If you're having trouble getting your M.2 drive to show up in BIOS or Windows, there are a few things you can try. 

Configure Your M.2 SSD

First, make sure the M.2 drive is properly installed in the motherboard. Restart the PC and press F2/Delete to access BIOS. Expand "SATA Configuration" and choose "Configure SATA Configuration as IDE". Then, save and exit.

configure m.2 SSD

Use a Different Motherboard

You can try using a different M.2 drive or motherboard. M.2 not showing up can be a frustrating problem, but there are ways to fix it.

use a different motherboard

If the M.2 SSD is not showing up in disk management, you can update your driver, apply Hardware and Device Troubleshooter and assign a drive letter.

Full Guide

You can learn the details about how to fix M.2 SSD not showing up in BIOS or Disk Management.

Case 3. NVME Drive Not Showing Up

NVME (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a newer interface for connecting SSDs to computers. Compared to the older SATA interface, NVME offers several advantages, including lower latency, higher data transfer rates, and more efficient use of CPU resources.

NVME SSD not showing up

However, due to its relatively new nature, NVME drives are not yet compatible with all computers. In some cases, an NVME drive may not be detected by the BIOS or may appear as a generic storage device. There are a few things that can be tried in order to get an NVME drive working properly.

  • First, make sure that the motherboard supports NVME and that the correct BIOS settings are enabled.
  • Additionally, it may be necessary to install special drivers or firmware for the computer to properly detect and use an NVME drive. 

With a little bit of effort, it is usually possible to get an NVME to drive up and running on most modern computers.

Full Guide

This guide provides you with tried-and-true solutions for you to fix NVME SSD not detected errors. Keep reading.

How to Recover Files from a Hard Drive That's Not Showing Up

Believe it or not, it's often possible to recover lost data. This is because when a file is deleted, the computer doesn't actually remove the file from the hard drive. Instead, it simply marks the space as being available for new data. As a result, the original file is still present on the drive, albeit in a fragmented state.

1 - Recover Files from a Hard Drive with Data Recovery Software

With the right software, it's often possible to piece together these fragments and recover the lost data. In some cases, however, the file may be overwritten by new data and lost forever. However, if you act quickly after realizing a file is missing, there's a good chance you'll be able to recover it.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard makes it possible to recover data from a hard drive, external drive, SSD, USB, SD card, and more. With it, you can restore data from any device with simple clicks. Follow the steps below to recover data from a hard drive that's not showing up.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7


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Step 1. Select the hard drive where you lose your data and click "Scan".

Step 2. Use "Filter" or "Search" to find the lost files when the scan completes.

Step 3. Select all the HDD files you want and click "Recover". Then, browse another secure location to save them.

recover data from hard drive

2 - Recover Files from a Hard Drive with Data Recovery Services

While data recovery software can be a helpful tool in recovering lost data, it often has its limitations. A data recovery service can provide a more comprehensive solution, particularly when data loss is the result of physical damage to a storage device. Besides, it can also provide expert assistance in cases where data loss is the result of software corruption or virus infection. In short, a data recovery service can offer a more complete solution when data loss occurs, helping to minimize the frustration and expense associated with lost data.

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS, and corrupted virtual disk file
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat hard drive and repair raw drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT-protected partitions

How to Monitor Your Hard Drive's Health

If you don't keep an eye on your hard drive, it can fail without warning, leaving you without access to your files. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to monitor your hard drive's health and avoid data loss.

Option 1. Run a Regular Scan

One of the most important things you can do is to run regular scans of your hard drive using an anti-virus program. This will help to identify any potential threats to your hard drive's health and allow you to remove them before they cause any damage.

Option 2. Use the SMART Tool

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, and it tracks things like disk temperature and error rates. If the SMART tool detects an issue with your hard drive, it will usually give you a warning so that you can take steps to back up your data before the hard drive fails.

Option 3. Turn to the Manufacturer

The manufacturer will also give you an expected lifetime for the disk-based on how often it's used. If you're regularly copying large files or if you have a lot of small files that get added and deleted frequently, then your passes/fails count will decrease faster than normal.


To sum up, there are several potential reasons why a computer might not detect a hard disk. It could be that the disk is not properly connected, the disk is damaged, or there is a problem with the computer's BIOS settings. In most cases, however, the problem can be resolved by simply restarting the computer. If the problem persists, however, it is recommended that you seek professional help.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Written by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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