How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Windows 10

Tech Ornate

Tech Explained, Windows

Whether internal or external, new or old, hard drives can suddenly stop showing up in your computer’s File Explorer or Disk management. If this happens to you, don’t panic! This is one of the most common issues users face with Windows 10. This problem is caused by various factors ranging from a minor inconvenience to a serious matter such as malware infection. In addition, Windows 10 won’t boot your device in some situations, and you might lose access to all your files. 

If your hard drive is not showing up on Windows 10, fix it as soon as possible. This article will show you ways on how to troubleshoot this issue and other tips that will help solve if your external or internal hard drive is not showing up on Windows 10. 

How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up On Windows 10

There are many reasons why your hard drive is not showing up on your computers, such as physical reasons and system problems. However, there are various methods you can try to fix this issue. Here are some of them: 

Check For Any Physical Problem

Before checking and modifying any system settings, make sure that your hard drive has no physical problem. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Ensure that your hard drive is connected to the computer and receiving power. 
  • If you use an external USB hard drive, disconnect it from your computer and try a different USB port. If it’s not directly connected to your computer and you’re using a USB hub, try to connect it directly. 
  • If you’re having problems with your internal hard drive, check if the data and power cables are correctly connected to your storage device, power supply, and motherboard. Make sure that your computer or laptop is turned off and unplugged before checking. 
  • Try connecting the device to another computer and ensure that the device is not the problem. 

Enable The Hard Drive In BIOS

In some cases, the hard drive is disabled in BIOS, which is why your firmware cannot detect the storage. Here’s how you can enable this setting: 

  1. Remove and reconnect your hard drive to your computer. Make sure it is plugged in properly. 
  2. Restart your computer and on reboot, press the F2 key to enter BIOS. 
  3. Once you’re in BIOS, enter Setup. Next, use the arrow keys in your computer and choose Integrated Peripherals, and press Enter. Then, select the USB Controller and check if this setting is disabled. If it is, change the option to Enabled and save your settings. 

Note: If you can’t access your BIOS during startup, your device might be using UEFI firmware. You can access it by typing change advanced startup options on your windows search bar. 

Update Hard Drive Drivers

  1. Right-click the Start menu and choose Device Manager. Alternatively, you can type Device Manager on your search bar to open it. 
  1. In the Device Manager, expand the Disk drives category and look for your hard drive. Right-click on your hard drive and click Update Driver
  1. Next, select Search automatically for updated driver software.

Note: If you can’t find your hard drive in the Device Manager, you can’t update your driver using the method above. Instead, you need to visit the official support site of your laptop or hardware manufacturer and manually download the latest driver of the product you are using. 

Enable The Hard Drive In Device Manager

If your hard drive is not showing in Windows 10, chances are it is disabled, and you will need to enable it using the Device Manager. Follow the steps below to allow it to: 

  1. Search the Device Manager from your system or right-click the Start menu and choose Device Manager.
  1. Expand the Disk drive category and look for your hard drive. Then, right-click the hard drive and choose Properties
  1. Click the Driver tab and select Enable Device. Next, click OK

Once you’ve completed these steps, your hard drive should now show up on your File Explorer and be accessible on your computer. 

Change The Hard Drive Letter

In some cases, changing the drive letter can help fix this issue. Below are the steps to change it: 

  1. Launch Disk Management by opening Run by pressing and holding Windows + R  keys. Type in diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
  1. Look for your hard drive, right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  1. Next, click Change. You will be directed to another dialogue box. 
  1. On the Change Letter and Drive Path window, click the drop down menu beside “Assign the following drive letter” and replace the old letter on your hard drive by assigning a new one. Click OK to save all your changes. 

Troubleshoot Using The Control Panel

  1. Press and hold Windows + S keys and type in the Control Panel and press Enter.
  1. Look for Hardware and Sound and click View devices and printers.
  1. Right-click on your hard drive and click Troubleshoot.
  1. Run the troubleshooter and click Apply to fix it if it finds any issues or errors. 
  2. Restart your computer and see if this solved the problem. 

Initializing New Hard Drive

If your new hard drive is now showing up, you need to initialize it first. Here’s how:

  1. Open Run by pressing and holding Windows + R keys and typing diskmgmt.msc. Click OK.
  1. Look for the hard drive you want to initialize and click Initialize Disk. Ensure that the disk is online. If it’s not, right-click the disk first and select Online before initializing it. 
  2. On the Initialize Disk popup box, choose the correct disk to start initializing it. Then, click OK to accept the recommended partition style, or you can change it depending on your preference. 

Format Hard Drive

If none of the methods above work and you’re willing to clear all the data in your hard drive to make it usable again, you can format and remove any corrupted files that cause it not to show up on your computer. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open Disk Management by pressing and holding Windows + R keys and typing diskmgmt.MSC. Click OK.
  1. Right-click on your hard drive and choose Format. This will reset your hard drive so you can start using it again. 

Important note: Only do this method if you’re willing to delete all of your files on your hard drive. Otherwise, try the solutions mentioned above if you want to save all your data. 

Final Thoughts

It can be frustrating if your hard drive is not showing up on windows 10, especially if all of your important files are saved in this storage. But, no need to worry anymore. These methods can surely help you fix this issue so you can access your files in no time. 

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