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Windows Doesn’t Recognize an SSD or Hard Drive: How to Fix It

If Windows does not recognize an SSD or HDD, don’t worry, it is a problem that has, in most cases, a very simple solution. I understand that when this happens the first thing we tend to think about is that the storage drive is It’s defective, and therefore we must return it, but the truth is that in most cases it works perfectly, and the problem comes from the other side.

For what it’s worth, I remind you that even a faulty Windows update can make your storage drives disappear completely. I got quite a scare at the time, but the solution was, in the end, very simple: reinstall windows 10. This problem occurs a posteriori, that is, when we already have units that Windows has recognized without problems, but I want to bring it up because it is important and I think it adds value to this practical.

Before going to see the possible solutions, we must define well when we can understand that Windows does not recognize an SSD or a HDD. Usually this happens when we have said unit physically connected to the equipment, but when we start the system and get to the desktop we see that the unit does not appear, and that therefore we cannot use it.

However, it can also happen that this storage unit is not recognized, not even at the BIOS level. When this happens, it is possible that we find ourselves in a more complicated situation, but even in this case we have several possible solutions It is worth trying before assuming that we are dealing with a defective unit.

Why won’t Windows recognize an SSD or HDD?

The most common reason is very easy to solve, because that unit not formatted, and also not assigned a drive letter. When this happens, the drive does appear as visible at the BIOS level. To solve this problem, we just have to follow these steps:

  • Press the Windows button and type “Disk Management”. Enter the first result.
  • A window will appear like the one you see in the first image. In her, search for the drive that appears identified with unallocated space, and right-click on it. If before that you get a pop-up window where you are given to choose the partition table, check the “GPT” option, as you can also see in the attached image.
  • When we right click, we choose the option «Give simple volume», we mark the NFTS format option, we assign the drive letter and voila, we will only have to wait a few seconds for the process to finish automatically.
  • At the end, we will have the SSD or HDD storage unit available, and we can start using it.

Windows doesn't recognize an SSD or a hard drive

As we can see, when Windows does not recognize an SSD or a hard drive for this reason, we will only have to spend a couple of minutes to finish formatting and assigning the drive letter. This problem is common on OEM computers that come with FreeDOSIn fact, recently I had to help a friend who did not understand why Windows 10 did not show him a 1 TB HDD that he had installed, but curiously it did show a 512 GB PCIE SSD.

If Windows does not recognize an SSD or a hard disk in the dedicated disk management tool, things get complicated, but do not despair, we still have several options. The first thing I recommend is that you look directly whether or not the problem drive is listed in the BIOS.

If it appears, the problem may be Intel RST. If you have it enabled, disable it in the BIOS, start the system again, and once in Windows go back into the disk manager. In case the unit appears to you, you already have it, follow the previous four points and voila, if it does not appear, you should start considering a problem at the hardware level, or that the unit is defective.

Windows doesn't recognize an SSD or a hard drive

In case the unit is not identified in the BIOS either, there is one last option that you should not rule out: an assembly or wiring connection error. What can I say, it would not be the first time that someone told me, alarmed, that Windows does not recognize a new SSD or HDD, that they do not know what to do, and then I open the computer and find that the SATA data cable, the one that goes to the motherboard, it is not connected, or they have forgotten about the SATA power cable, the one that goes to the source.

You should also check your motherboard documentation in case you have connected your new SSD or HDD to a SATA port that, in certain configurations, when multiple storage units are present in the same system, is disabled. If this is the case, you would only have to change the SATA data cable to a connector that has not been disabled. When assembling my new PC I actually had to be very careful with this issue.

Windows doesn't recognize an SSD or a hard drive

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