Fix: Internal hard drive won’t show up in Windows 10

7 minute read

There’s a chance that you might encounter certain problems when installing a new hard drive on your computer. Perhaps the most common issue with new hard drives in Windows is that the system doesn’t show them for some reason. So, if your new internal hard drive is missing from Windows, check out some of the solutions listed below.

Hard drive won’t show up on Windows 10

There are many issues that can appear with your hard drive, and speaking of issues, here are some common problems reported by users:

  • Internal hard drive not showing up Windows 10, in Disk Management – If your hard drive isn’t showing in Windows at all, it’s possible that it’s not properly connected. To fix that, enter BIOS and make sure that the drive appears.
  • Can’t see hard drive Windows 10 – If you can’t see your hard drive in Windows 10, it’s possible that your hard drive isn’t properly initialized and formatted. However, you can fix that with ease using Disk Management.
  • External hard drive not showing up – This issue can also appear with external hard drives, and we already covered how to fix problems with an external hard drive on your PC in one of our older articles.
  • Hard drive won’t show up in BIOS, on PC, in File Explorer – In some cases, the hard drive won’t appear in BIOS at all. This is usually caused by your configuration in BIOS or by connection issues with your hard drive.

Solution 1 – Check if the disk is well-connected

First thing first, you need to make sure your hard drive is properly connected to your motherboard and power supply. If you’re already sure in this, skip this solution, and head over to the solution 2. If not, open your computer case, and make sure you attached a data cable to an appropriate port on the motherboard and a power cable to the power supply.

When you make sure your hard disk is connected properly, but still missing from your system, try some of the solutions listed below.


Solution 2 – Initialize Disk

In most cases, all you need to do is to simply initialize your new hard drive, and it should show in the This PC problem, and you’ll be able to normally use it. If you don’t know how to initialize a new hard drive in Windows 10, follow these instructions:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu and choose Disk Management from the list.
    Hard drive won't show up on PC
  2. When the Disk Management window opens, you’ll see all connected hard drives listed. Take a look at the list, and find a drive listed as Disk 1, or Disk 10 (other names are possible, as well). You’ll recognize this drive because it is not initialized, and is listed as unknown, and unallocated.Internal hard drive not showing up Windows 10
  3. Right-click on that partition, and select Initialize Disk from the right-click context menuCan't see hard drive Windows 10
  4. As soon as you initiate the process it will ask you to choose between a Master Boot Record (MBR) or a GUID Partition Table (GPT). We advise you to choose a GPT, but if you want more info about these two, look online for some comparisons. Click OK.
  5. Once you do this, you’ll get back to the main window, where your new drive is going to be listed as Basic and Online, but it will still have unallocated space. To fix that, right-click on the the stripped box, and select New simple volumeExternal hard drive not showing up
  6. Right-click your hard drive and choose New Simple Volume.
  7. Click Next, and assign a drive letter.
  8. Now you just need to format your new drive. For the best results, choose the NTFS file system, and perform a quick format.Hard drive won't show up in BIOS
  9. Finish the process

There you go, after initializing your hard drive, it should start working again. If you’re not too fond of Disk Management, you can use any other third-party disk management software. If you’re looking for a simple disk management application, we advise you to try Mini Tool Partition Wizard.


Solution 3 – Update your drivers

If your hard drive won’t show up in Windows, it’s possible that you have a driver issue. To fix the problem, be sure that your drivers are up to date. This goes for your motherboard and chipset drivers, so be sure to visit the manufacturer’s websites and download the latest drivers for your motherboard.

Alternatively, you can download the missing drivers automatically using third-party tools such as TweakBit Driver Updater.


Solution 4 – Use diskpart command to clean your drive

If your internal hard drive won’t show up, it might not be properly configured. Sometimes, you need to use a single command in order to completely wipe your hard drive and initialize it again.

Before we start, we have to mention that this solution will delete all files and partitions from the selected drive, so it’s best to use it with a new hard drive that doesn’t have any files on it. In case your hard drive has some files on it, it would be best to back up the files to a removable storage or to a different drive.

To clean your hard disk drive, you just need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) from the menu.
    External hard drive not showing up
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter diskpart and press Enter.
    Internal hard drive not showing up Windows 10
  3. When diskpart starts, enter list disk command.
  4. You should now see a list of all hard drives on your PC. Warning: It’s crucial that you select the correct hard drive. In case you select the wrong hard disk, you’ll wipe all your files and lose them, so be extra cautious.Check the size of each drive in order to find the hard drive that is giving you trouble. Select the problematic drive by entering select disk X. In our example, we used select disk 0, but you’ll most likely need to use a different number on your PC.
    Internal hard drive not showing up in Disk Management
  5. After you select the hard drive, double check everything and make sure that the problematic drive is selected. Now enter clean command.
    Can't see hard drive Windows 10

After a few moments, your hard drive will be wiped and all your files will be removed. Now go back to the Disk Management tool and initialize your hard drive, create a new partition and assign a letter to it like we showed you in one of our previous solutions.

Alternatively, you can initialize and format your hard drive right from diskpart. Just start Command Prompt and run the following commands:

  • diskpart
  • select disk 1 (make sure to and select the disk that you just cleaned)
  • attributes disk clear readonly
  • online disk
  • select disk 1 (make sure to and select the disk that you just cleaned)
  • convert gpt
  • create partition primary
  • format quick fs=ntfs label=”data” unit=64k
  • assign letter=“E”

Solution 5 – Check if your hard drive appears in BIOS

Many users reported that their internal hard drive won’t show up in Windows, and this can be caused by various issues. However, you can always check if your hard drive shows in BIOS. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Keep pressing F2 or Del while your system boots to enter BIOS. Sometimes it might be a different keyboard key, so if you’re not sure, check your motherboard manual.
  2. Once you enter BIOS, look for your hard drive.

If your hard drive appears in BIOS, it means that it’s connected and working properly, so the issue is caused by Windows. On the other hand, if the hard drive doesn’t show in BIOS, it’s rather likely that it’s not properly connected.


Solution 6 – Connect the hard drive to a different port or use a different cable

External hard drive not showing up

In some cases, your hard drive won’t show up due to problems with your ports. If you suspect that a port might be a problem, open your computer case and connect the hard drive to a different SATA port on your motherboard.

If switching to a different port doesn’t fix the problem, it’s possible that your SATA cable is broken. To check if that’s the case, you’ll need to get a new SATA cable and try it out. A couple of users reported that they fixed the problem simply by connecting their drive to a different port, so be sure to try that.

That’s about it for our problem with invisible hard drives in Windows 10. In most cases, you just need to initialize it, and we sincerely hope this action will be the only one required. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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