Hard Drive Not Showing Up or Detected in Windows? Learn How to Fix

Are your hard drives, be it new or old, internal or external, not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management? Follow this guide and you'll learn why your hard drive not showing up and how to make your hard drive showing up again in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data:

Your 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

Why Is My Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

Note: If your hard drive is physically damaged or broken, send it to a local repair center or its manufacturer for repair. Fixes that are shown below only work to fix logical errors that prevent your drive from showing up on computers.

If your hard drive is not detected or not showing up in Disk Management, it may have one of the following symptoms. It could be a connection issue, driver issue, faulty BIOS settings, something else, as shown below: 

Symptoms of Disk Not Showing Up Causes of Hard Drive Not Showing Up
  • The hard drive display is not showing up in File Explorer
  • The hard drive shows Unknown, Not Initialized, including new drive
  • The hard drive displays as RAW in Disk Management
  • The hard drive has no drive letter
  • The hard drive has a yellow exclamation mark
  • Problematic connection
  • The file system is not supported or corrupted
  • Drive letter conflict
  • The hard drive driver is outdated
  • The hard drive is unallocated or not initialized
  • The hard drive is damaged

All these errors can be fixed, and follow the solutions in the next 2 parts to make your internal or external hard drive show up on Windows again.

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've compiled 6 ways for you to try. Pick an appropriate method according to the current state of your hard drive, and follow the tutorial to make your drive show up again:

For the used hard drive, fix 1, 2,3, 4, and 5 are worth trying. 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 by yourself:

Fix 1. Change Disk Connection - Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in File Explorer

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

Connection issues usually result from a problematic cable or loose connection. Here's how to fix 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, replace the cable with a new one. 

Step 2. Unplug and replug 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. Format Hard Drive to NTFS - Fix Not Showing Hard Drive with RAW or Corrupted File System

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.

In this case, the best solution is to format the drive to a supported file system. Here is how to do it:

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 causes data loss, don't forget to use data recovery software in fix 3 to bring back all your hard drive data after making the drive show up.  

Fix 3. Restore Data and Create New Partition - Fix Not Showing Unallocated Hard Drive

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

If a used hard disk suddenly becomes unallocated, it could be due to accidental deletion, virus attack, or other unknown reasons that cause partition loss on your disk. 

In this case, you should recover data from the unallocated space first. And then, create a new volume(s) on the disk to make the hard drive show up.

# 1. Recover Data from Unallocated Hard Drive

Professional hard drive recovery software - Deep Data Recovery can fully scan a lost partition and bring back your files from unallocated hard drive space.

Qiling Data Recovery Software

  • Recover lost Word document, Excel, PPT, PDF, photos, videos, audio, music, and emails effectively
  • Restore lost or deleted data from emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders
  • Repair corrupted JPEG/PNG files, videos, and documents during data recovery 

The software will mark the unallocated space on your disk as a lost partition so you can directly select to scan and find everything on the drive:

Step 1. Select the file types and click "Next".

Select file types that you want to recover

Step 2. Select the drive where you lose your data and click "Scan".

select and scan the hard drive

Step 3. Use "Filter" or "Search" to find the lost files when the scan completes.

Preview lost hard drive data

Step 4. Select all the files you want and click "Recover". Then, browse another secure location to save them.

Make sure to save the recovered files to another secure location before making the hard drive show up and ensuring it's safe to save files again. If you cannot solve this case on your own, you can also turn to experts.

Consult with SalvageData's experts to retrieve data from inaccessible or corrupted data from all brands and formats of digital media.

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

After retrieving all your precious files, you can now create a new partition to make your hard disk show up and be 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, set NTFS as the file system, and click "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. Change Hard Drive Letter - Fix Not Showing Disk with Drive Letter Conflict

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 the drive letter of your hard drive conflicts with another drive letter on the computer, the hard drive will show as New Volume in Disk Management. As a result, 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 to do that:

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. Update Disk Drivers - Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up Due to Outdated Disk Driver 

Applies to: Fix hard drive not showing up in File Explorer, the 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. As a result, the hard drive will neither show up in Windows File Explorer nor in Disk Management.

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

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

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

Most of the time, 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.

#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 for the new hard drive.

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

#2. Enable Hard Drive in BIOS

If the hard drive is disabled in BIOS, the OS won't be able to detect it, resulting in it not showing up in Windows. Hence, checking whether your hard drive is disabled in BIOS is 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. 

You May Also Be Interested In:

If you are having a similar issue on a USB flash drive or external disk, all the provided fixes above can help. Or, you can also follow the links below for help.

USB Drive Not Showing Up External Hard Drive Not Working Top 9 Best Data Recovery Software

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 an appropriate fix to make your external hard drive show up on PC and work normally again:

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

Fix 1. Change USB Cable, USB Port, and Reconnect External Hard Drive

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

Step 1. If the old one is damaged, replace it with a new USB one 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 Deep Data Recovery for help. It will scan and find all your lost files.

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

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 do that:

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. Update Outdated BUS Controller Drivers in External Hard Drive

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 but 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

More Help:

If the above fixes don't fully resolve your issue on the not showing up external hard disk, don't worry. You may get further help from the below-listed tutorial page. Check it out to find the best solution for your issue.

11 Fixes for Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Showing Up

It might happen that a Toshiba external hard drive is not working in Windows, be it not showing up, not recognized, or not showing files. Follow along to identify your situation and fix your Toshiba hard drive.

Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Showing UP

Part 3. Bonus Tips to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Files

Sometimes, a hard drive may not show files although the files exist. Note that the files that are missing on hard drive are still recoverable. Files disappeared could be caused by the following reasons:

To fix these issues, you can follow the following steps:

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

Reliable Deep Data Recovery can help you restore all your 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.

You are now good to use this drive and save files on it again. For more details, check out the article about the pen drive not showing files for help.

The Ending Line

In this guide, we explained to you why your hard drive or external hard drive is 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 encounter the same issue on a USB drive, SD card, etc. These fixes are applicable to resolve this error on USB, SD card, etc., devices.

FAQs About Hard Drive Not Showing Up

In addition to new or used hard drive not showing up issue in File Explorer or Disk Management, we will try and answer some of your most asked questions about these issues. 

If you have any questions, the following should answer them for you:

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

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

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

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

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

Similar to the solutions provided on this page, when a new hard drive is not detected or recognized on Windows 10, you should mainly follow 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?

Similar to hard drive not showing up on Windows computer, the reasons why your hard drive is not showing up on Mac are pretty much the same.

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

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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