Many users complained that their external hard drives are connected but not showing on computer or File Explorer the Windows 10/8/7. Some reported that the USB or external hard drive is not showing up on My Computer or File Explorer but showing in Disk Management. Others said that external hard drive shows in device manager but not disk management. To fix these external hard drive issues, this troubleshooting post will be helpful for you.
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Case 1: External hard drive shows up in disk management but not file explorer
You may experience that your USB or external drive has been connected to the computer, but it is not showing in File Explorer or My Computer, but shows in Disk Management instead. Under this situation, it will be regarded as an unknown disk and shows the capacity to be 2048 GB in the Disk Management. To fix the problem, please try following methods.
Tip: If your external hard drive shows in device manager but not disk management, you can directly move to the case 2.
1. Assign a Drive Letter to the USB/Hard Drive
Sometimes, the drive might not have been assigned a drive letter by Windows so that USB or external hard drive cannot show on File Explorer but in Disk Management. In this case, you can try to assign a drive letter to the USB or external hard drive in Disk Management.
STEP 1. Navigate to 'Control Panel'> 'System and Security'> 'Administrative Tools”.
STEP 2. Choose 'Computer Management”. Provide an administrative passcode, if asked.
STEP 3. In Disk Management, find out the unlabeled hard drive and right-click on it to choose 'Change drive letter and paths...'
STEP 4. Click 'Add'> 'OK' to pick out the available drive letter.
STEP 5. If the drive letter does not show on the drive, check if the drive is offline. If it is, right-click the disk number and select Online. And then, follow the instructions again.
If you can't finish the operation in Disk Management, you are able to run 'cmd' to change or assign the drive letter.
Open Command Prompt. (CMD) and type 'diskpart'.
At the DISKPART prompt, enter 'list volume”. ( mark down the number of the simple volume whose drive letter you want to assign)
At the DISKPART prompt, enter 'select volume n[volume's number]' (Select the volume whose drive letter you want to assign)
At the DISKPART prompt, enter 'assign letter=N' (N stands for the drive letter you want to assign)
2. Make sure that the hard drive is enabled and online
Make sure the hard drive is enabled
If the drive has been disabled, the disk will be invisible in File Explorer. When the disk is disabled, follow the steps below to Enable it:
STEP 1. Press 'Windows'+ 'R' on the keyboard to activate run box.
STEP 2. Type 'devmgmt.msc' on the run box to open 'Device Manager”.
STEP 3. If a drive is disabled, the disk drive will be marked with a down arrow. Locate the hard drive you want to enable.
STEP 4. Right-click on it and choose 'Properties'> 'View'tab.
STEP 5. Click on 'Enable Device' button > 'OK”.
STEP 6. After that, check if the down arrow is still there.
Make sure that the drive is online
Sometimes, an external hard drive connected but not showing because the drive is offline. To be detected by Windows, you can follow steps below to check the current status of the disk.
Go to 'Control Panel'> 'System and Security'> 'Administrative Tools'.
Choose 'Computer Management', and locate your disk in 'Disk Management'.
Right-click on it and select 'Online'.
3. Update drivers for USB or external hard drive
When your USB/external drive does not show on file explorer on Windows 10/8/7, you can try to update its driver in Device Manager. As we know, an update is created to fix some glitches for the previous version so as to make USB or external drive showing on My computer again.
STEP 1. Press 'Windows'key + 'R'and enter 'devmgmt.msc' on the run box.
STEP 2. Open 'Device Manager'> Click the 'Scan for hardware changes' icon on the menu.
STEP 3. Right-click on the inaccessible USB/external hard drive and choose 'Update Driver Software....'.
STEP 4. After the update is finished, restart your PC and check if the device is accessible.
4. Recover data from hard drive that is not showing
When external hard drive issue occurs, an external hard drive is not showing files though they still exist. If any important data is in the USB/external hard drive when external hard drive shows up in Disk Management but not File Explorer, you can employ data recovery to retrieve your data before formatting it. Here we highly recommend you FonePaw Data Recovery which is capable of recovering data from USB/ external hard drive, supporting Window 10/8/7. To recover data from hard drive, you just need few simple steps.
STEP 1. Run FonePaw Data Recovery, and then, select the file types you need.
STEP 2. Next, click on 'Scan' button after selecting your USB/external drive.
STEP 3. Select out the files you want to recover.
STEP 4. Finally, click on 'Recover' button to finish data recovery.
STEP 5. After that, you can keep on formatting your inaccessible USB/external hard drive.
Case 2: External hard drive shows up in Device Manager but not Disk Management or File Explorer
Unlike case 1, USB or external hard drive sometimes is invisible in File Explorer or Disk Management, but it can be detected in Device Manager, for example, an external HDD won't show up in explorer, but it shows in Device Manager. To fix the issue, several methods can be listed below.
1. Make sure the USB or external hard drive is available. If it is not showing up in Disk Management or File Explorer, you can try to plug it into other USB port of your computer. What's more, you can connect your external drive to other computers to check if it works.
2. Partition and format the external hard drive.
Usb Compliance Hard Disk Controller Driver
Go to 'Computer Management”. > Right-click on black bar of the invisible drive to choose 'New Partition...'> Follow the instruction to finish the Partition.
Right-click on the drive and select 'Format”.
3. Disable and re-enable the USB controller.
Navigate to 'Device Manager”. > Find 'Unknown USB Device' and right-click on it. > Choose 'Uninstall”.
After restarting your PC, enable the USB controller again.
Now, your issue - external hard drive not showing Windows 10/8/7 has been resolved. To manage the data on USB/external hard drive, read here:
Errors: No Drives Were Found. Click Load Driver to Provide a Mass Storage Driver for Installation
During the process of installing Windows OS on a specified HDD or SSD, you may surprisingly find that the hard disk is not detected during the Windows installation, with either of the following error messages coming along.
'We couldn't find any drives. To get a storage driver, click Load driver.' 'No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation.'
However, clicking 'Load Driver' doesn't solve the problem at all. What's the next move then? Have you found viable solutions to troubleshoot hard disk not detected in Windows 10 or Windows 7 installation even it's normally connected to the computer?
|Workable Solutions||Step-by-step Troubleshooting|
|6 Solutions to Fix Hard Drive Not Detected||Method 1. Use a Different SATA Port...Full steps|
Method 2. Load RAID Driver for RAID Disk...Full steps
Method 3. Check the Hard Drive in BIOS...Full steps
|Bonus Tip: Free Partition Manager to Enhance System Performance||Launch EaseUS Partition Master on your PC > Free up space...Full steps|
How to Fix Hard Disk Not Detected in Windows 10 Installation
Even though Windows 10 or Windows 7 installations include almost all disk drivers, the 'No drives were found. Click load driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation' issue occurs from time to time and you find no way to out. When you encounter Windows 10 install not detecting hard drive or Windows 7 couldn’t find any drivers to get storage driver problems, try the practical six ways below.
Method 1. Use a Different SATA Port
If you are using a desktop computer, try using a different SATA port and see if that helps at all. Sometimes they come with two different controllers.
Method 2. Load RAID Driver for RAID Disk
Windows 10 install not detecting hard drive mostly occurs on RAID disk. In this case, you need to load RAID drivers manually to fix the issue.
Step 1. On the Windows Setup windows, you will see Where do you want to install Windows? And there is no hard drive detected. Click 'Load Drivers' at the bottom left of the screen, then click 'Browse' to choose the device driver.
Step 2. Go to your computer or storage device to find and load an available RAID driver.
Step 3. After the device diver has been loaded, Windows 10 installing will successfully detect the hard disk. Then, follow the onscreen instructions to install Windows.
Method 3. Check the Hard Drive in BIOS
Otherwise, take some time to check if hard drive shows up in BIOS, especially you're installing an operating system from a bootable USB or CD/DVD disc.
By holding and pressing F2, you'll enter BIOS settings. See if the hard drive showing up there. Click solution to repair hard drive not showing in BIOS.
If not, check your BIOS settings for the following parameters:
* SATA configuration -> Enhanced
* Configure SATA -> AHCI
Method 4. Check the Status of Your Hard Drive
Step 1. Press Windows + R and the window will pop up.
Step 2. Input devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
Step 3. Choose Disk Drives and right-click the hard drive.
Step 4. Click Properties and check the status of your hard drive. If it is Ok, showing 'This device is working properly'.
Method 5. Boot from Windows 10 Install Media
Microsoft also provides a method about boot from the Window 10 Install Media. You can take these steps to fix the issues 'drive not showing up when Windows 10 install'.
Step 1. Choose Install Now > Accept License Agreement > Choose the installation type and click 'Custom Advanced'.
Step 2. Press Shift + F10.
Input each command and press Enter: DISKPART > list volume > select disk* > clean > convert mbr > create partition primary > active > format quick fs=ntfs >exit
Then you can install Windows again.
Method 6. Ask Help from the Manufacturer
Since the manner of installing or reinstalling Windows OS happens so frequently that most personal PC or desktop manufacturers have built-in checking tools for quick troubleshooting and repair. For example, Dell Online Diagnostic Tool, Lenovo Diagnostic Software for Hard Drive Quick Test, etc. So if you're their customers, feel no hesitate to ask help from the manufacturer and learn how to use tools to fix hard drive not detected issues alright.
Bonus Tip: Free Partition Master to Enhance System Performance
You can enjoy the exciting features of the latest system after successful Windows 10 installing. Furthermore, to enhance system performance and let software and hardware cooperate to achieve an optimal operating state, it’s necessary for you to have free partition management software, which enables you to organize and optimize your hard drive to extend your computer's life and capableness.
EaseUS Partition Master Free is a versatile partition management program that provides one-stop partition and disk management solutions, for instances:
- Resize/move partitions by sliding the partition left and right or enter the exact partition size you want, such as increase C drive to speed up your computer (move space from D drive to C drive supported by paid version)
- Create, format, delete, copy, and merge partitions
- Clone an entire disk to another even the destination partition is smaller than the source
- Convert file system from FAT32 to NTFS, convert MBR to GPT, convert dynamic disk to basic disk and vice versa, and so on
- Completely wipe out all the data on hard disk permanently
Now, download this ultimate Windows 10/8/7 disk management tool and follow the simple steps below to resize and move your partitions.
Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master on your PC.
Step 2. Free up space to extend partition.
If the hard drive has enough unallocated space to extend the target partition, jump to Step 3, and continue. If not, free up space first:
- Right-click on a partition next to the target partition and select 'Resize/Move'.
- Drag the partition ends to free up space, leaving enough unallocated space behind the target partition, click 'OK'.
Step 3. Extend partition.
- Right-click on the target partition and select 'Resize/Move'.
- Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition.
Step 4. Keep all changes.
- Click the 'Execute Operation' button and click 'Apply' to keep all changes.
Windows 10 Install Not Detecting Hard Drive FAQs
1. How do I fix no device drivers found?
Fixes for No Device Drivers Were Found:
Solution 1. Switch to a USB 2.0 Port
Solution 2. Set the partition where you want to install Windows to as Activeewe
Solution 3. Create a New Disc
Solution 4. Enable the xHCI hand-off Option in BIOS
Solution 5. Change everything to legacy and set the boot device to your DVD or USB
2. Where do you want to install Windows 10 no drives were found?
To fix 'No drives were found. Click load driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation', do it in the following way:
Step 1. Click 'Load Drivers' at the bottom left of the screen, then click 'Browse' to choose the device driver.
Step 2. Choose and load an available RAID driver.
Step 3. After Windows 10 installing successfully detects the hard disk, follow the onscreen instructions to install Windows.
3. Where do you want to install Windows 7 no drives were found?
Fix: No Hard Drives Found in Windows 7 Installer:
Usb Compliance Hard Disk Controller Drivers
Solution 1. Format the hard drive using diskpart in command prompt.
Solution 2. Load the hard drive storage controller drivers from a USB into the Windows setup.
Solution 3. Change the boot controller mode in BIOS.
Solution 4. Reset BIOS.
Solution 5. Use a different SATA port.
4. How do I install drivers for my hard drive?
The basic steps to install drivers for a hard drive are:
Step 1. Configure the drive as a master or slave device (PATA only).
Step 2. Mount the drive in the chassis.
Step 3. Connect the data cable to the drive and to the PATA or SATA interface.
Step 4. Connect a power cable to the drive.
Step 5. Restart the system and run the BIOS Setup.
Step 6. If you are also installing a PATA or SATA interface card or RAID adapter, configure that card per the maker's instructions and attach the cables to it.