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Fix 'Hard Drive Is not Showing Up or Recognized' in Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Sep 21, 2018 by Abby Haines to Resource

Summary

Is your hard drive, new hard drive or external hard drive not recognized or showing up on computer or disk management? Here, we create some troubleshooting tips to teach you how to backup or recover data on not recognized hard drive/external hard drive and how to display or find missing external hard drive on the computer in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista.

Sometimes, when you plug in your external hard drive or USB devices, you may find that it is completely not recognized or showing up on your PC. The problem occurs frequently and can finally result in data loss.

Until now, hard drive not showing up issue has made trouble for a large number of users. In view of this, we've collected some troubleshooting fixes on this page to teach you how to find the missing hard drive, new hard drive or external hard drive on Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista computer without losing any data. 

Read on and find the right solution to resolve your cases with ease.

Case 1. Fix new hard drive is not recognized by PC 


When a brand new hard drive is not showing up or not detected by PC, please follow guidelines here to resolve this issue:

Step 1. Connect or reconnect your new hard drive to the computer 

1. Plug the SATA cable and Power cable into the new drive.

Connect new hard drive to PC.

2. And plug the SATA cable to your motherboard.

Reconnect new hard drive to PC.

3. Power up the computer and you'll see that the new hard drive is not showing up.

If the new hard drive doesn't show up, don't panic!
Your new drive is not dead. You'll just need to follow Step 2 and initialize the drive.

Step 2. Initialize new hard drive

1. Go to the start menu and right-click on Disk Management.

Open Disk Management to initialize new hard drive.

2. Find your new disk which is shown as Unknown, right-click on it and select Initialize Disk.

Initialize new hard drive.

3. Select the partition style for the selected disk - MBR or GPT, then click OK.

Complete to initialize the new hard drive.

Step 3. Create partitions on the new hard drive and make it recognized by PC

Then you can create new partitions on the unallocated space on your new drive:

  1. 1. Open Disk Mangement.
  2. 2. Create partitions on the new hard drive and make the drive show up on PC
  3. Right-click on Unallocated space > New Simple Volume > Click Next to set partition size and drive letter, file system etc > Finish.

There, you can see your new hard drive shows on the computer and you can use the drive to save files and data as you want.

Case 2. Fix hard drive is not showing up in Windows PC/Disk Management


▶ First. Check if the hard drive shows up in disk management

When you find your hard drive is not showing up in Computer or This PC, you need first open the Disk Management tool and check if it shows up there. 

  • Press Windows Key + R > Type diskmgmt.msc into the Run dialog > Press Enter

Check if the external hard drive shows up in disk management

▶ Second. Make hard drive recognized and show up on PC without data loss

Now you can follow on and find the right fixes to your problem:

Fix 1 - Hard drive displays in Disk Management, not in PC

If you see your hard drive listed in the Disk Management window but it doesn't appear in your Computer/This PC window, in this case, you can follow the next two steps to fix this issue:

Step 1. Recover data on not recognized hard drive

When the hard drive fails to show up in My Computer or This PC, you won't be able to access the saved data. To find and restore your precious data, you'll need professional hard drive data recovery software for help.

To save your time and energy, here we'd like to recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Notice
This data recovery tool only works when your hard drive can be detected by the Disk Management.
If your hard drive doesn't show up in Disk Management, please jump to Fix 2 for help.
  1. 1. Launch EaseUS data recovery software
  2. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC.
  3. Select the hard drive disk and click "Scan".
  4.  
  5. 2. Scan and find existing and lost data on the hard drive
  6. A quick scan will start first to search all the lost and existing data on the disk.
  7. And after that, a deep scan will automatically launch in order to find more files.
  8.  
  9. 3. Select found data and restore
  10. Choose the lost files and click "Recover" button to retrieve them back from the hard drive which is not recognized or showing up.
  11. Here, you'd better save all the recovered files on a different drive or device in case of data recovery failure.

Backup or recover data on not recognized external hard drive

Step 2. Format hard drive to make it show up on the computer again

1. Press Windows Key + R, type diskmgmt . msc into the Run dialog, and press Enter.
2. In the Disk Management, right-click the hard disk partition you need to format and then choose Format.

Format not showing up hard drive.

3. In the pop-up window, you can set file system and cluster size and then click OK.

After this, you should be able to view and use your hard drive in This PC or My Computer again.

Fix 2 - Hard drive is not showing up in disk management nor computer

If you don't see the hard drive in disk management nor My Computer/This PC, please try the following methods to make it recognized by your PC again:

Step 1. Update disk driver to make Windows recognize the hard drive

1. Right-click on This PC/My Computer and choose Properties.

Update hard drive driver.

2. In the taskbar on the left, click device manager and next to USB controller click "+".Then you'll see a yellow exclamation mark.
3. Right click and choose update driver software.

Update device driver of your hard drive which fails to show up in PC.

4. Then click automatically search for driver software online...

Update hard drive driver to make it recognizable.

Step 2. Change drive letter to avoid collisions

After updating the drive driver, please change the drive letter of your hard disk to avoid collisions which may cause your drive undetectable by PC.

1. Press Windows Key + R, type diskmgmt.msc into the Run dialog, and press Enter.
2. Locate your external hard drive, right-click and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
3. Assign a drive letter for the drive and click OK button to save all the changes.

You can view and check your hard drive on Windows 10/8/7/Vista PCs again. 

Case 3. Fix external hard drive is not showing up/recognized by PC


If your computer has a problem to detect or display your external hard drive in My Computer or This PC, don't worry. Please refer to steps here for help:

Step 1. Change external hard drive USB port, cable or connection

  1. 1. Check if the USB cable of your external hard drive is working fine. If not, change it.
  2. 2. Change USB port to see if the computer can read your external hard drive.
  3. 3. Connect your external hard drive to another healthy computer to see if can be read or displayed.

Step 2. Update external hard drive driver

You can directly follow Step 1 in Case 2 for a tutorial guide to update the external hard drive driver.

Step 3. Recover data from the external hard drive that was not recognized

After Step 2, you should be able to view and see the external hard drive in Disk Management by then. 

If the external hard drive shows up in Disk Management, but not in This PC, relax and you can restore data from the drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

If the external hard drive is still missing, refer to recover data on not recognized external hard drive and make it recognizable again.

Step 4. Format the external hard drive to NTFS

After following Step 1, 2, 3, you can now use Disk Management and format it into NTFS to make it available for saving data again.


Ending Line-

These are all the solutions for a new hard drive, a hard drive or an external hard drive is not recognized or not showing up error. You can try the one which works best for your case to display or find the missing external hard drive/hard drive in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista.