FIX: Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Secondary hard drives are an excellent way for you to extend the storage capacity of your PC without having to replace your main hard drive.
  • Issues with unrecognized secondary hard drives are not uncommon, and that's precisely what we will be covering in the article below.
  • This guide is part of a much larger dedicated hub for fixing Hard drive issues, so make sure you save it in your browser since you may have need of it again.
  • For more in-depth troubleshooting guides, check out our dedicated Fix page.
solve Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10

Most of us probably use only one hard disk drive in the computer, but some people who need more space tend to use two, as well.

Some of the users who are using a second hard drive have reported that their computer isn’t able to detect the second one after Windows 10 upgrade. Therefore, we came up with a couple of solutions that will solve the problem.

First thing first, you should open your computer once again and check if your hard disk is properly connected. If you’re not sure what to do, check out this article for additional info.

If everything is connected right, but you’re still facing the issue with detecting your second hard disk drive, try one of the following solutions. The hard drive disappeared after a Windows update? Then you can check out this article for additional info.

What do I do if Windows 10 doesn’t detect the second hard drive?

1.  Check for the driver updates

1.1 Update drivers manually

  1. Go to Search, type device manager and press Enter.
  2. Expand Disk drives, find the second disk drive, right-click on it and go to Update driver software.hard disk drive update windows 10
  3. If there are any updates, follow further instructions and your hard disk driver will be updated.
  4. You can also go to Settings> Update and check if overall updates offer something for your hard drive.

If your computer was able to recognize the second hard disk before the Windows 10 upgrade, there’s a possibility that your current hard disk drivers are not compatible with Windows 10.

1.2 Update drivers automatically (suggested)

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    1. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.
    2. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates.
    3. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.driver updater diagnozing
    4. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC.
      • Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
      • To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver’s name.
      • Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
        driver updater scan finished

Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

If you want to fix this type of issues, it’s crucial to keep your drivers up to date, but downloading drivers manually can be long and tedious process that might affect your PC (if you hit the wrong button).

Therefore you might want to use this Driver Update software that automatically downloads and installs the necessary drivers. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus.

After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.

Windows didn’t find your driver automatically? Don’t worry, we have the solution.

2. Change driver letter and path

  1. Right-click on This PC
    • It’s probably on your desktop, but you can access it from the File Manager, as well.
  2. Click on Manage and Management window will show management windows 10
  3. Go to Disk Management.
  4. Find your second hard disk drive, right-click on it and go to Change Drive Letter and Paths.change drive letter windows 10
  5. Go to Change and choose the letter for your partition from Assign the following drive letter:.assign drive letter wind8apps windows 10
  6. Click OK, close all windows and restart your computer.

Maybe your hard disk is properly connected and works well, but if it doesn’t have a letter by its name, you won’t be able to access it from This PC. So, we’re going to change the drive letter and hopefully, the hard disk will show up again.

Need to see the drive letter before the drive name? These easy steps will help you.

3. Recover damaged Windows hard drive

In many cases, users need their second hard drive in order to recover their data from it. If it is not detected, we recommend you to use a data recovery software.

Paragon Backup & Recovery is an advanced backup and recovery software that allows users to perform complex recovery tasks with ease.

Check now Paragon Backup & Recovery

Recuva Professional version offers virtual hard drive support, automatic updates and premium support as well. This is a recommended solution to quickly fix your issue.

Download Recuva from the official website

If you have some important data on your external HDD, be sure to try one of these tools. If you’re not happy with them, you can find additional ones in the link below.

Looking for some more external HDD recovery software? Here are the best options right now!

FAQ: Learn more about  adding secondary hard drives

  • How many hard drives can I have connected to my PC at a time?

Each hard drive requires one drive letter per partition, and there are 24 drive letters. As such, you can have up to 24 hard drives,  presuming each one has only one partition.

  • Why should I use a secondary hard drive?

The main advantage of secondary hard drives is that while one that is faster, such as an SSD, can be used for computing purposes, the slow ones can be used purely for storing personal data.

  • What do I need in order to connect multiple hard drives to my PC?

Setting aside the 24 hard drive limit, you will also need a power supply of sufficient capacity. If you want to see if your PC can cut it, then use one of the tools listed in this article.

That would be all, if you have any comments or suggestions, reach for the comment section, below. Also, If you have any other Windows 10-related issues you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • This didn’t work for me. But I got it sorted another way, but I had a few extra things that made it possible.
    1. Firstl,y I had another computer that could read the hard drive (actually my sons), so I used that to copy the contents I wanted to keep to another hard drive (an external hard drive in my case).
    2. I then put the undetectable hard drive into an external hard drive caddy (I dismantle one I had and just changed the hard drive over).
    3. I then turned on the computer with the issue and plugged in the USB external hard drive (with the undetectable drive inside). The computer could see the drive.
    4. I deleted the drive partition in Disk Manager and converted it to a GPT partition, formatted it then deleted the partition and converted it back to an MBR partition and formatted it again.
    5. I shut the computer down and put the unreadable hard drive back into the PC.
    6. Turned the PC back on and it found it in Windows 10.
    Number 4 in the steps may sound strange, but I actually tried putting the hard drive back into the PC between each step, but only found it worked after I did all of that. My (unbacked) conclusion is that something from the original install or configuration making it invisible was sitting in the MBR.
    Anyway, it’s taken me many days to work this one out, so hope it saves you time.

  • SOLUTION: Reboot it a couple of times and that worked for me.

    I have a dell 3010 and decided to use a 180GB SSD as my main hard disk for the performance benefit and to use my original 1TB as a data drive. (It still has its bootable partition) I backed up an image of my C drive and reimaged it to the SSD Drive. Both drives show in the BIOS when attached but only 1 of the 2 will ever boot and show up in Computer management/Disk Management. I have tried different sata ports on the motherboard and no matter what I do only 1 drive will ever show in disk management or file explorer. Anyone else ever figure this situation out?

  • I have a dell 3010 and decided to use a 180GB SSD as my main hard disk for the performance benefit and to use my original 1TB as a data drive. (It still has its bootable partition) I backed up an image of my C drive and reimaged it to the SSD Drive. Both drives show in the BIOS when attached but only 1 of the 2 will ever boot and show up in Computer management/Disk Management. I have tried different sata ports on the motherboard and no matter what I do only 1 drive will ever show in disk management or file explorer. Anyone else ever figure this situation out?

  • Solution #1 Worked!!
    BIOS did recognize my 2nd 1TB HDD and Device Manager also recognized the drive, BUT it didn’t want to appear in “My PC” thus I couldn’t see, access or use it.

    Although my drive did not appear in the listed drives in the “Disk Management”, there was an area within this that did recognize that I had another drive, and indicated that it was “unallocated”. Right clicked, create a “simple volume” for the drive, change the drive letter, and BAM, good to go!

  • So you’re telling us that the solution to Windows 10 not detecting the drive is to change the drive letter for the drive that is not detected?

    The drive is not detected, therefore you can do nothing with it! It does not show up in the Disk Manager. If it did, our problems would be over.

  • I thought, by the name of the article, I had found exactly what I was looking for. I have Windows 10 on a SSD and added a 2TB HDD for extra storage, but the drive doesn’t show up anywhere. Windows isn’t detecting I have a 2nd drive… not, “well it’s there but we just need to give a drive letter…” Windows isn’t detecting a 2nd drive. Might want to rename this article to “How to assign a letter to your HD”.

  • OMG, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Just THANKS! You helped me soooo much, hahaha. I passed weeks trying to figure out why my Windows 10 wasn’t recognizing my second hard drive after doing some partition changes, and seeing your post I automatically realized what I was missing in the whole situation: to assign the disk a LETTER! lol

    • Eduardo, how were you able to assign a letter to a Hard drive that windows doesn’t even see? I’m not even seeing the drive in the disk manager.

  • I just spent over an hour, very frustrated because of this problem. I’m building a new computer. My primary SSD drive was formatted by Windows 10 installation. Then I added my 2nd drive. This same irritating problem others mention — going to Disk Management it showed up, but Windows Explorer (now, apparently, “File Explorer”) … nothing. I remembered having this problem years ago when I built a computer, remembered that there is a simple solution, but couldn’t find it. The new drive was also recognized in my BIOS.

    OK, here’s what worked for me. I went back to Disk Management. But, instead of right-clicking on the square on the left that describes the drive, I right-clicked on the wide text box to the right of it. Since the square looks like the place to click, and actually responded to a right click with a drop down menu, it just didn’t occur to me to click in the wider text box. When I did, it let me “create simple partition” (or something like that), do a quick format, and VOILA’ it started working and now is just peachy.

    Before I found this solution, Disk Management said the whole drive was “unallocated”. So I thought it might need to be partitioned (even a partition of one, which shouldn’t even be called a partition), but couldn’t find where to do it.

    I can’t be the only one who’s had this problem, and it seems weird that it was so hard to find the answer (which, again, I’d already known from a prior build, but had forgotten). I also am feeling that Microsoft should only have one drop-down box per drive in Disk Management, that would provide all of the options.