Fix 'Hard Drive Not Showing Up or Detected' in Windows 10/8/7 [2021 New]

Roxanne updated on Dec 22, 2020 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

Sometimes the hard drive is not showing up in This PC but available in Disk Management. Sometimes internal, external, and new hard drives become unrecognized or totally undetected in varying degrees. Based on the specific situation, you will have different solutions to try. In some cases, data loss is unavoidable to fix the problem, turn to EaseUS data recovery software for help. It will restore all your files in only 3 steps.

  • Applies to: Fix used hard drive/SSD, external HDD, and new hard drive/SSD not showing up error.
  • Works on: Windows 10/8/7, Windows Servers
  • Reading Duration: 3-5 Minutes 

Hard drives, be it new or old, internal or external, may not show up in File Explorer or Disk Management on your computer for some reason. If your hard drive suddenly becomes undetectable, don't fret.

Follow through the guide here, learn the causes and apply those practical fixes to make your hard drive showing up again in Windows 10/8/7 without losing any data:

Problems Applicable Fixes
(New) Hard Drive Not Showing Up

Fix 1. Check & Change Hard Drive Connection
Fix 2. Format Hard Drive to NTFS
Fix 3. Recover Data and Create Partition...Full steps

External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

Fix 1. Change USB Cable, USB Port
Fix 2. Format External Hard Drive to NTFS...Full steps

Also Read:

Note that if your hard drive is physically damaged or broken, take the drive to a local repair center or its manufacturer for repair. The fixes on this page can only fix logical errors that caused your internal or external hard drive not showing up. 

Why Is My Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

The reasons for the new hard drive and used hard drive not showing up are various. The specific reasons are as follows:

  • Problematic connection
  • Drive file system is not supported or corrupted
  • Drive letter conflict
  • Hard drive shows as unallocated or Unknown, Not Initialized
  • Hard drive driver is outdated
  • Hard drive is damaged
  • New hard drive is not initialized
  • New hard drive is not enabled in BIOS

But how fix your disk is not showing up error on Windows PC? Continue reading, and you'll know the exact solutions in the next 2 parts.

Part 1. Fix (Old/New) Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 10

Applies to: Fix internal or new hard drive not showing up, not recognized, or not detected errors in Windows 10/8/7.

In this part, we collected 6 ways for you to try. Pick up the right method according to the current state of your hard drive, and follow the tutorial to make your drive showing up again:

  1. #Fix 1. Hard Drive Not Showing Up in File Explorer - Check & Change Hard Drive Connection
  2. #Fix 2. Hard Drive Display as RAW in Disk Management - Format to NTFS
  3. #Fix 3. Hard Drive Shows as Unallocated  - Recover Data and Create Partition
  4. #Fix 4. Hard Drive Has No Drive Letter - Change or Assign New Drive Letter
  5. #Fix 5. Hard Drive Driver Has Yellow Exclamation Mark - Update Hard Drive Driver
  6. #Fix 6. New Hard Drive Not Showing - Initialize New Hard Drive, Create Partition and Enable in BIOS

For the used hard drive, Fix 1, 2,3, 4, 5 are good for you to try. If your new hard drive is not showing up, try Fix 3 and Fix 6. Let's start fixing the hard drive not showing up error on your own now. 

Fix 1. Fix Problematic Hard Drive Connection - Change Disk Connection

Applies to: Fix internal hard drives or new hard drive is not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management error.

Connection issues may result from a problematic cable or loose connection. Here's how to change your hard drive connection and make it show up on your computer:

Step 1. Check the cables. If the power cable or SATA cable is broken, change the cable with a new one. 

Step 2. Unplug and replug in your hard drive via the SATA cable and power cable tightly.

Step 3. Restart your PC to check if the hard drive shows up.

Fix 2. Fix RAW, Unsupported or Corrupted File System - Format Hard Drive to NTFS

Applies to: Fix hard drive not showing up caused by an unsupported, RAW, or corrupted file system. 

When your hard drive is displaying as RAW, or it shows as "*Others" in disk management, it means that your hard drive contains a file system error.

The best solution is to format the drive to a supported file system. Let's see how to format your hard drive to a recognizable file system again:

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

In Windows 7, right-click the Start icon, select "Search". Type disk management and click on it.

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

Note: As formatting will cause data loss, don't forget to turn to data recovery software in Fix 3 to bring back all your hard drive data after making the drive show up.  

Fix 3. Fix Unallocated Hard Drive - Restore Data and Create New Partition

Applies to: Fix hard drive not showing up but displays as unallocated or unknown, new hard drive show as not initialized in Disk Management.

Sometimes, a used hard disk may suddenly become unallocated. It could be accidental deletion, virus attack, or other unknown reasons that cause partition loss on your disk. 

In such a case, you will need to recover data from the unallocated space first and then create a new volume(s) on the disk to make the hard drive show up. Here is the whole process to make your hard drive showing up again without losing any data:

# 1. Recover Data from Unallocated Hard Drive

Professional hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is capable of performing lost partition recovery, scanning, and bringing your files as soon as possible from unallocated hard drive space.

It will mark the unallocated space in your disk as a lost partition that you can directly select to scan and find everything on the drive:

Step 1. Select and scan hard drive.

On EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select the drive where you lose your data and click "Scan". Wait patiently until this program finishes the scanning, it will find all your lost data on the drive.

select and scan the hard drive

Step 2. Find and preview found files on the selected drive.

Check "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or use "Filter", "Search" to find the lost files on the selected hard drive. You can double-click to open and check the found files.

Preview lost hard drive data

Step 3. Recover and save lost hard drive data.

Select all found lost hard drive files, click "Recover" and browse another secure location to save them. Click "OK" to confirm and finish the recovery process.

recover data from hard drive

Remember to save the found files to another secure location before making the hard drive showing up, and safe to save files again. 

#2. Create a New Partition to Make Hard Drive Show Up

After retrieving all your precious files, now you can create a new partition to make your hard disk show up and usable again on the computer.

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

Step 2. Right-click the unallocated space of your hard drive and choose "New Simple Volume...".

Step 3. In New Simple Volume Wizard, click "Next" to continue.

Step 4. Set the volume size, assign a drive letter to the volume, and set NTFS as the file system by clicking "Next".

Partition the new hard drive

Step 5. Click "Finish" when Disk Management shows it has created a new volume on your hard drive.

Fix 4. Fix Drive Letter Conflict - Change Hard Drive Letter

Applies to: Fix hard drive not showing up in File Explorer error caused by conflicted drive letter or hard drive has no drive letter.

When your hard disk's drive letter is conflicted with the drive letter of one partition on the computer, the hard drive will show as New Volume without a drive letter in Disk Management. Or the hard drive doesn't have a drive letter, it won't show up in File Explorer. 

So the best way to make your hard drive show up is to change its drive letter. Here are the steps:

Step 1. In 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".

Change drive letter

Fix 5. Fix Outdated Hard Drive Driver - Update Disk Drivers

Applies to: Fix hard drive not showing up in File Explorer, hard disk has a yellow exclamation mark in Disk Management.

If your hard drive has a yellow exclamation mark in Disk Management under the Disk Driver section, it means that the drive driver is outdated. It is why your hard drive not showing up in Windows, neither in File Explorer nor Disk Management.

The only solution is to update the device driver, and here are the steps for you to try:

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 "automatically search for driver software online".

Update hard drive driver in Disk Management

Wait for the driver to be updated, then reboot your computer. Afterward, you can check whether the hard drive shows up or not.

Fix 6. Fix New Hard Drive Not Showing Up - Initialize Disk, Create Volume, and Enable in BIOS

Applies to: Fix new hard drive is not showing up in File Explorer issue.

Mostly, if your hard drive is a brand new disk, you need to initialize it first. Then create a new partition on it and enable it in BIOS. By doing so, you'll make your new hard drive showing up on Windows 10/8/7.

Here are the steps to make your new hard drive detectable:

#1. Initialize Disk and Create Volume on 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 the new hard drive

Step 4. Right-click on the unallocated space in your new hard drive and select "New Simple Volume...".

Step 5. Set the volume size, drive letter, and file system as NTFS to the new hard drive.

Step 6. Click "Finish" when the process completes.

#2. Enable Hard Drive in BIOS

If your hard drive is disabled in BIOS, the OS won't be able to detect it, and it won't show up in Windows. Hence, checking whether your hard drive is disabled in BIOS is also necessary.

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".

Choose Intergrated Priphreals in BIOS

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

If it is disabled, change the option to "Enabled".

Enable new hard drive in BIOS

Step 4. Save and exit BIOS.

Afterward, restart your computer and see whether your hard drive is detected. 

Part 2. Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up - 4 Fixes

Works to: Fix external hard drive not showing up or not detected by Windows PC error.

Mostly, when your external hard drive fails to show up on Windows 10/8/7, first, connect your new hard drive correctly to your computers.

Then you can pick up the proper fix to make your external hard drive show up on PC and work normally again:

  1. #Fix 1. External Hard Drive Shows Not Showing Up - Change USB Cable, USB Port
  2. #Fix 2. External Hard Drive Shows As RAW - Format External Hard Drive to NTFS/exFAT
  3. #Fix 3. External Disk Not Detected and Has Yellow Exclamation - Update Disk Drivers
  4. #Fix 4. External Drive Not Detected with Outdated USB Controller Driver - Update USB Hub Root Driver

So the solutions are quite clear now. Just follow the right method to make your new hard drive detestable and show up on your computer again.

Fix 1. Check and Change USB Cable, USB Port to Make External Hard Drive Show UP

Change the connection between the external hard drive and computer, you can make the external disk showing up.

Step 1. Change a new USB cable if the old one is damaged and connect the drive to the PC.

Step 2. Change the USB port if the external hard drive doesn't show up, and reconnect the drive to the PC.

Step 3. Switch and connect the external hard drive to another computer.

If nothing shows up, it's the external hard drive itself having a detection issue on your PC. Try the following 3 fixes to make the drive show up again.

Fix 2. Format External Hard Drive to NTFS/exFAT

If the external hard drive displays as RAW or "*Other", it won't show up correctly on your computer.

Step 1. Keep the external hard drive connected to the PC.

Step 2. Open Disk Management and right-click the external hard drive with the RAW or unknown file system.

Step 3. Select "Format" and set "NTFS" or "exFAT" for the external hard drive. 

Step 4. Select "OK" to finish the formatting.

If you lost files after formatting the external hard drive, turn to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help. Let it scan and find all your lost files.

Fix 3. Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing UP with Yellow Exclamation - Reinstall Disk Drivers

Applies to: Fix external hard drive not showing up and has a yellow exclamation mark in Disk Management.

When the external hard drive has an outdated drive driver, it won't show up in File Explorer. It appears with a yellow exclamation under the disk driver section.

The only solution is to update the device driver, and here are the steps for you to try:

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon and choose "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand "Disk drives" and find your external hard drive.

Step 3. Right-click the problematic external drive and select "Uninstall device".

Step 4. Click "OK" to confirm. Restart your computer and reconnect the external hard drive to your PC.

Reinstall external hard drive driver

Fix 4. Fix Outdated USB Controller Drivers in External Hard Drive - Update USB Drivers

Applies to: Fix external hard disk not showing up or not detected by Windows PC.

If you notice the external hard drive works with one computer while fails to be detected by another, you can try to update the USB Controller driver of the computer in which the hard drive is not showing up.

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

Step 2. Click "Device Manager" then expand "Universal Serial Bus Controllers".

Step 3. Right-click "USB Root Hub (USB3.0)" and select "Update driver".

Step 4. Choose "Search automatically for updated driver software" and restart your computer.

Update USB port driver

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Part 3. Related Issue: Hard Drive Not Showing Files

Instead of not showing up in Windows at all, a hard drive may not show files though they still exist. This problem is less serious than the hard drive missing in Windows since the files are always recoverable. Files on a hard drive or another storage device may disappear due to three reasons:

  • Files are hidden by malware or a virus
  • Files are deleted accidentally
  • The computer does not recognize the file system of the hard drive

To fix these issues, you can follow the steps below for help:

Step 1. Recover hidden or removed files from the hard drive.

Reliable EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you restore all the hard drive files in only 3 steps, as shown in Fix 3 Part 1.

Step 2. Run antivirus or malware clear software to remove all viruses and malware.

Step 3. Format the hard drive to restore its full capacity and set NTFS as its file system.

Now, you are good to use this drive and save files on it again. For more details, read the article about the pen drive not showing files for help.

The Ending Line

On this page, we explained why is your hard drive or external hard drive not showing up on Windows PC. We also provided solutions and fixes to help you make the used external or internal hard drive, and new hard drives show up again without losing any data.

Sometimes, you may also encounter the same issue on a USB drive, SD card, etc. These fixes are also applicable to fix this error on USB, SD card, etc., devices.

FAQs About Hard Drive Not Showing  Up

Besides offering solutions for New or Used hard drive not showing up issue in File Explorer or Disk Management, this page also discusses the causes of hard drive not recognized error. In this part, we will continue to unveil some top concerned questions on Google and leave a brief answer below each question. 

If you have the same doubts, read on, and find the answer here now:

1. What do I do if my internal hard drive is not detected?

As shown on this page, there are many ways that you can try to fix the internal hard drive not detected issue.

For a new hard drive, you can first initialize the disk and then create partitions on the drive. 

For a used hard drive, you can try these tips as shown on this page in Part 1:

  1. 1). Change the hard drive letter;
  2. 2). Recover lost partition data, and create new partitions;
  3. 3). Update hard drive driver;
  4. 4). Check hard drive connection, enable it in BIOS.

2. How do I get Windows 10 recognized a new hard drive?

Be it similar to the provided solutions on this page, when a new hard drive is not detected or recognized on Windows 10, and you may also mainly try the following tips:

Check new hard drive connection > Initialize new hard drive and create partition > Update drive letter > Enable it in BIOS.

3. Why is my hard drive not showing up on Mac?

Being it similar to hard drive not showing up on Windows computer, the reasons why your hard drive is not showing up on Mac are caused by the same issues.

Here is a list of why a hard drive is not showing up on Mac:

  • Hard drive connection error
  • Settings in Desktop, Finder
  • USB port issue
  • Hard drive corrupted
  • macOS and firmware is outdated
  • ...

For a step-by-step guide, you may follow Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac to troubleshoot the hard drive not detected on Mac issue and make the drive detectable again.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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