Fix Hard Drive Not Detected/Recognized in BIOS Without Losing Data

This article provides you with feasible solutions to recover data from a hard drive that is not detecting in PC and BIOS. If your ATA or SATA hard drive fails to show up on your PC or in the BIOS, recover data first with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and follow tips here to repair a hard drive that is not detected in BIOS effectively. Keep going.

Table of Contents

This page covers complete solutions to help you fix hard disk or SSD not detected in Windows 10/8/7 desktop computers and laptops without losing any data.

Internal Hard Disk Drive Cannot Be Recognized by PC in BIOS, help!

"Hi guys, I'm having this problem that my second hard drive in PC fails to show up in PC. I tried some instructions to see whether it can be detected in BIOS, but nothing was found. 

The hard drive even disappeared from BIOS. What can I do? And how about the data saved in the drive? Do you know how to fix such a problem? If you do, please let me know. Thank you very much."

BIOS will not be able to detect a hard disk when the hard drive data cable is damaged or improperly connected. If the serial ATA or SATA drivers are not properly installed, hard disk is not enabled in BIOS, hard drive keeps spinning up, or the hard drive is corrupted, failing or dying, BIOS may also fail to recognize your hard disk.

Are you having a similar problem that your data hard drive fails to show up on your PC or in BIOS? Don't worry! Right here in this article, you'll find quick fixes and advanced fixes to repair your undetected/recognized hard drive in BIOS and a reliable way to restore all precious data. Just follow the guide to get your problems solved right now.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Two quick fixes 1. Reconnect hard drive; 2. Connect the hard drive to another desktop/laptop as a second HDD...Full steps
Three advanced fixes 1. Enable BIOS connection by yourself; 2. update driver; 3. repair hard disk corruption...Full steps
Recover data from disk Create a bootable disk > Boot from the bootable USB > Recover...Full steps

Two Quick Fixes for Hard Disk Not Detected in BIOS

In this part, you'll get two effective and quick fixes for hard disk not detected or cannot be recognized issue in BIOS and help you to re-gain the access to your saved data.

#1. Reconnect Hard Drive to Your PC

Applies to: Reconnecting hard drive helps to define if it's the faulty hard disk cable that prevents BIOS from detecting your hard drive.

When you get a faulty hard drive data cable or the hard disk is not properly plugged to your computer, your hard drive may not be able to show up on the PC even in the BIOS. Therefore, you can directly reconnect the hard drive to your computer's motherboard USB port, to see whether you can access the saved data.

Step 1. Shut down your PC at first.

Step 2. Open your computer cases and remove all the screws with a screw driver.

Step 3. Unplug the hard drive which fails to be recognized by Windows BIOS, and remove the ATA or SATA cable and its power cable.

If the ATA or SATA cable and the power cable are broken, change a new one. If the cables are covered by dust, clear the dust.

Step 4. Remove the hard drive, clear all covered dust, insert the hard drive back to the computer case.

Insert hard drive which fails to be detected in BIOS back to computer case.

Step 5. Reconnect the hard drive to your computer motherboard with the SATA or ATA cable, and plug in the power cable on the drive.

Reconnect hard disk to PC

Remember to connect the hard drive back to your computer correctly and fasten the cables.

Step 6. After this, restart your PC and check if the hard drive shows up in your PC.

If your hard drive shows up and you can access your data on the drive, congratulations. If the hard drive fails to shows up, try the next quick fix to regain access to your disk data.

#2. Connect No Detected Hard Drive to Another Desktop/Laptop as a Second HDD

Applies to: Help you check whether the hard drive itself is damanged.

Another efficient way to access your hard drive is to connect it to another PC or laptop as a second HDD. If you have a second computer at your office or home, try the following tips and access your hard disk data on the new PC:

Step 1. Shutdown the old computer and remove the computer case with its ATA/SATA cable and power cable.

Disconnect hard drive

Step 2. Open the new computer or laptop case.

Step 3. Locate the hard drive slot and insert the hard drive into the slot.

Step 4. Reconnect the hard drive as the second HDD on the computer via the ATA/SATA cable and power cable.

Reconnect hard drive to PC as the 2nd HDD

Step 5. Restart the laptop or computer to check if the hard drive shows up.

If the hard drive shows up, congratulations and you can re-access the data on your disk again.

But if the hard drive is still not recognized, it may have other issues. Or, if the hard drive shows up but you cannot access the data, don't worry. You can move on and try the advanced fixes to get this issue resolved.

You May Also Like: Best Data Recovery Software for Windows - [Top 9].

Three Advanced Fixes for Hard Drive Not Detected/Unrecognized Error in BIOS

If the above quick fixes don't help, don't worry. Try the three troubleshooting tips here: [1] Enable BIOS connection by yourself [2] update driver [3] repair hard disk corruption.

Fix 1. Enable Hard Drive in BIOS

Applies to: Fix HDD not detected in BIOS error directly by enabling hard disk in BIOS.

Step 1. Shut down the PC and restart the PC and press F2/F8/F11 or Delete to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Enter Setup and check the system documentation to see whether the undetected hard drive is turned Off in System Setup or not.

Step 3. If it's Off, turn it ON in System Setup.

Step 4. Reboot the PC to check out and find your hard drive now.

If the hard drive fails to show up on PC, update its drivers in Fix 2.

Fix 2. Update Hard Drive Driver to Make Your Disk Detectable

Applies to: Fix hard drive not recognized due to outdated hard drive driver.

To update hard drive drivers for your computer storage controller, you have three options here:

Option 1. Update hard driver by contacting the manufacturer for help.

Option 2. Download and update hard drive driver from manufacturer's website.

Option 3. Manually update hard drive drivers in the Windows system:

Step 1. Click the Start button, type Device Manager and hit Enter.

Step 2. Select Device Manager, expand categories to find the name of your hard drive and right-click it.

Step 3. Select "Update Driver" and Select "Search automatically for updated driver softwar"e.

update driver

If Windows doesn't find a new driver for your drive, try to find the latest one on the device manufacturer's website.

If the above steps don't work, try reinstalling the drivers: Open Device Manager > Right-click on your hard drive and select Uninstall.

Then restart your PC and Windows will automatically reinstall the drivers on the hard drive for you.

Fix 3. Run CHKDSK CMD to Check and Fix Internal Disk Errors that Make Hard Drive Not Recognized

Applies to: Fix internal errors that cause HDD/SSD not detected or not recognized by PC, not showing up on laptop.

After the hard drive is detected in BIOS, you can try to open it on your PC. If you still cannot open it on the PC, here you can run CMD to repair the internal hard drive error that causes the hard drive undetectable or unreadable by your PC:

Note that this command will erase data while fixing disk errors. So make sure that you recover data with reliable file recovery software before running the command. 

Step 1. Press Win + R to open a Run dialog and type: cmd to open Command Prompt by hitting Enter.

Step 2. Type chkdsk /f x: (x should be the drive letter of your undetectable hard drive.) and hit Enter to run the disk checkup process.

Step 3. Type exit to finish the process when the disk checkup process is finished.

EaseUS CleanGenius is a user-friendly computer fixing tool that is both safe and lightweight. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to fix the damaged file system easily.

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer and complete the installation. 

Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization", and then choose "File Showing" . 

select the file showing option

Step 3. Select the drive with a corrupted file system. Tick the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the tool performs the repairing task. After that, click the "View" button to check the drive.

fix file system

Recover Data from Unbootable, Undetected Hard Drive

Logically, if you have followed through with the above fixes, you should be able to access and reuse all saved data on your hard disk again. However, if the hard drive is a system drive that fails to boot from BIOS, it would be more complex to regain the data.

Suppose your hard drive is the system drive and it failed to boot from BIOS, don't worry. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with Bootable Media is capable of helping you out of this issue and you can follow the steps below to get your data saved on the system disk:

Step 1. Create a bootable disk

Prepare an empty USB. If you have important data on it, copy the data to another device. When you create a bootable disk, the data on the USB will be erased. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will help you create a bootable disk.

Connect the USB drive to PC, launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition. Select the USB drive and click "Create" to create a bootable disk.

create a bootable disk with easeus

Step 2. Boot from the bootable USB

Connect the bootable disk to PC that won't boot and change your computer boot sequence in BIOS. For most users, it works well when they restart their computer and press F2 at the same time to enter BIOS. Set to boot the PC from "Removable Devices" (bootable USB disk) or "CD-ROM Drive" (bootable CD/DVD) beyond Hard Drive. Press "F10" to save and exit.

Step 3. Recover files/data from a PC/laptop hard drive that won't boot

When you boot from the USB, you can run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from the WinPE bootable disk. Select the drive you want to scan to find all your lost files. 

selet the drive

Click "Scan" to start the scanning process.

let the software scan the drive

Recover data from the computer or laptop. After the scan completed, you can preview all recoverable files, select the targeted files, and click the "Recover" button to restore your files. You'd better save all of the recovered data to another place to avoid data overwriting.

recover data from the computer

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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