Easy fix to SSD not showing up in Windows 10

Abby Haines updated on Aug 30, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

Is your SSD not showing up in Windows File Explorer or Disk Management? This tutorial describes four cases of Windows 10 not detecting a new (old) SSD, and you can try to fix the issue accordingly. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard when it's necessary to recover data from an inaccessible/formatted Solid State Drive.

SSD not showing up in My Computer 

"I recently installed a Samsung SSD on my Windows 10 computer, but I find it not showing up under My Computer where the other hard drive is present. Is there any way to display the SSD?"

New SSD not showing up in Disk Management

"I got a new M.2 SSD from Intel. When I connected it to my PC, it does not show up in the File Explorer nor Disk Management. I don't know where goes wrong. Please help."

The above users' stories are telling the same thing that happens to a Solid State Drive (SSD), which does not show up as other connected hard drives. In Windows 10, as well as earlier Windows operating systems, an external storage device not detected issue would throw people into unpleasant situations. Therefore, the biggest concern is how to fix the 'SSD not showing up' problem without losing data. 

Next, we list four cases of SSD not showing up in Windows 10, and you can try to fix the issue accordingly. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free when it's necessary to recover data from an inaccessible/formatted Solid State Drive.

Important
Solutions to Case 1 to Case 3 are based on the prerequisite for the SSD not showing up in File Explorer but you can find it in the Windows Disk Management. And the Windows Disk Management solutions can be replaced by third-party free partition manager software as well, like EaseUS Partition Master, including change drive letter and paths, initialize hard drive and format a hard drive partition. The advantage of using third-party software over Disk Management is the ease of use.

Case 1SSD not showing up because the drive letter is missing or conflicting

In case the drive letter of the SSD is missing or conflicting with another disk, Windows OS will be unable to recognize it. It's fine because you can assign a new drive letter for the SSD in Windows Disk Management manually.

To assign a new drive letter, follow the steps: 

  • Step 1: Right-click on This PC, select Manage. Under the Storage section, click Disk Management.
  • Here's an alternative way to open Disk Management in Windows 10/8.1/8/7: press Windows + R keys and type diskmgmt.msc in the Run box, hit Enter.)
  • Step 2: Right-click on the SSD partition and select Change Drive Letter and Paths….
  • Step 3: Among Add, Change, and Remove, click the "Change" button, and then select a drive letter from the list. Click "OK" to assign a new drive letter to the SSD.
  • change ssd drive letter and paths to make it show up in computer

Case 2SSD not showing up because it is not initialized

If you get a new SSD and it won't show up in the Windows Explorer, it's likely in the "uninitialized" state. You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it.

Also, for an old SSD that shows the error 'disk unknown not initialized', the result is the same. In these two situations, to fix the problem, you can try to connect the SSD to the other working computer to check if it reports the same error. Otherwise, you need to initialize the SSD in Windows 10. 

disk unknown not initialized

To initialize an SSD, follow the steps:

  • Step 1: Open Disk Management as taught. 
  • Step 2: Find and right-click the SSD you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk.
  • Step 3: In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the disk(s) to initialize. You can select whether to use the master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT) partition style.
  • initialize ssd to gpt or mbr

Case 3SSD not showing up because the file system is not supported

If the above two methods do not work in your case, we need to think further. One presumption is that the file system has corrupted or Windows does not support the current file system.

As investigated, the relevant file system issues are mainly displayed as 'RAW', 'Free space' or 'Unallocated space'. To fix the file system issue, reformatting the disk would be enough.

Warning
As Disk formatting will completely erase data on it. If you didn't create a data backup before, download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for FREE to recover data from formatted SSD.

Keep Noted: Once the "Trim" is enabled on the SSD, nothing could be done to restore erased data. Hence for the first try, you're strongly recommended to use the free version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan lost data.

Step 1. On the disk map, select the drive X: and click the Scan button.

select your ssd and click scan

Step 2. Search for all lost data by scanning the entire Solid State Drive. You could see more and more data coming up.

scan the lost data on the ssd

Step 3. After the scan, select the wanted files and folders in the results and then click the Recover button. Choose a different location instead of the SSD to keep the recovered data.

select files and click recover

Case 4SSD not showing up because of disk driver issues

Just like a hard drive, most times the SSD is detected but not showing up in My Computer because the disk driver is not installed properly. So, you can try to reinstall the SSD driver to check if it can help to fix the issue. 

  • Step 1:  Right-click on This PC, select Manage. Under the System Tools section, click Device Manager.
  • Here's an alternative way to open Disk Management in Windows 10/8.1/8/7: press Windows + R keys and type devmgmt.msc in the Run box, hit Enter.
  • Step 2: Go to Disk drives. It should list the storage devices that you have connected to your PC
  • Step 3: Right-click the SSD and choose the third option "Uninstall".
  • uninstall driver

Remove the SSD and restart your system. Try to connect the SSD again to check if Windows 10 detects the SSD as normal.

Conclusion

SSD, plus every other form of storage media, is prone to mechanical failure and physical damage. And one truth, lifespan is limit. We need to make further plans to safeguard data on the storage drive. Backup is always a wise choice. It's never too late to take actions to save a copy of hard drive data to another safe location, like a backup drive, cloud or network drive...EaseUS Todo Backup Free can do you a favor.

In conclusion, upon the topic of SSD not showing up in Windows 10, we analyzed four cases in total and showcased the corresponding fixes. In the middle and final repair process, we recommend three assistive tools.

  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard: to recover lost data from inaccessible and formatted hard drive/partition.
  • EaseUS Partition Master: to assign a drive letter, initialize a disk and format a hard drive
  • EaseUS Todo Backup: to back up a hard drive/partition.
 
 

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