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

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

This article provides you with feasible solutions to recover data from hard drive which 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.

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.

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:

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.

Click to copy

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

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Recover Data from Unbootable, Undetected Hard Drive

Logically, if you have follow through 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 which 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 "Proceed" 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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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 to better 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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