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

By: Ivan Jenic
5 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.

Various factors can cause this problem, so we can’t tell you what was it in your case. But what we can tell you is how to solve the most common scenarios.

So, if you’re new internal hard drive is missing from Windows, check out some of the solutions listed below.

Hard drive is missing from Windows 10

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. Go to Search, type diskmanagement, and click on Create and format hard disk partitions. But before we start using this tool, we must warn you. Do not play around in Disk Management, because if you do something wrong, you may mess up your currently working partitions. So, just follow our guide, which should be pretty straightforward, but don’t experiment with other disks, especially if you’re not sure in what you’re doing.
  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.disk not showing up windows 10 1
  3. Right-click on that partition, and select Initialize Disk from the right-click context menudisk not showing up windows 10 2
  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.
  5. Click OK
  6. 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 volume…disk not showing up windows 10 3
  7. This will launch the New Simple Volume Wizard to guide you through the process of setting up the disk. By default, it will list the whole capacity of your hard drive, so if you want to use all available space, leve it without changes. If you want to reserve some space for additional partitions, just enter the desired space in Simple Volume Size.
  8. Click Next, and assign a drive letter
  9. Now you just need to format your new drive. For the best results, choose the NTFS file system, and perform a quick format.disk not showing up windows 10 3
  10. Finish the process

There you go, after initializing your hard drive, it should be listed in the Disk Management window, and also in the File Explorer, so you’ll be able to normally store data on it. However, if this method didn’t help, or the drive didn’t even show up in the Disk Management window, try some of the solutions from below.

Solution 3- Check BIOS

If your hard drive is not visible in the Disk Manager, you probably need to enable it in BIOS. Some (mostly OEM) computers are programmed to disable unused ports in BIOS, so if you’ve connected your new hard drive to such port, you’ll have to enable it in BIOS to get it working.

Unfortunately, we cannot give you precise instructions on how to enable your hard disk drive in BIOS, because it all depends on your motherboard and computer manufacturer. So, to check out these settings in BIOS, look online for more instructions that apply to your motherboard. Once again, be very careful when in BIOS, because you might mess up your whole system if you do something wrong.

Bonus – Recover your partition

This scenario is a little bit different. We assume your hard drive is actually visible, but it contains no data at all. In that case, you’ve probably formatted it. If you accidentally formatted your hard drive, there’s a good chance that your data is lost forever.

On the other hand, there are some pretty good partition recovery tools for Windows. So, if your disk is formatted, give some of those tools a try. It’s not guaranteed that a partition recovery tool will get your data back, but it might work. To save you from looking online by yourself, we prepared our own list of the best recovery tools for Windows 10, so you’ll probably want to check it out.

disk not showing up windows 10 4

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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 not, there are still some solutions, but they’ll require more effort on your side.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.


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