How to Fix SSD Not Showing up in Windows? (A detailed tutorial)

By Connie | Posted to Data Recovery Tips on August 25th, 2020 |

Summary: This article is suitable for fixing SSD not showing up in Windows that is caused by almost all reasons. Firstly, it will help you analyze the reasons why your SSD doesn't show up in Windows, and then offer you the systematic fixing methods step-by-step.

Many SSD users, such as Samsung, WD, and Plextor SSD users, sometimes can't find their SSD in File Explorer. What's wrong? If it's a new SSD, commonly caused by it is not initialized by the manufacturer. If it's not a new SSD, the reasons are different. Read below to get all solutions for SSD not showing up in Windows.

Where does the SSD not show up Possible problems Solutions
SSD not showing up in File Explorer 1. New SSD is not initialized
2. SSD is offline
3. SSD drive letter is missing
Check & fix in Disk Management. Full steps...
SSD not showing up in Disk Management 1. SSD driver issues
2. Connection issues
Check & fix driver issue in Device Manager. Full steps...
Check & fix connection issues in BIOS and hardware. Full steps...
SSD not showing up in Device Manager Connection issues Check & fix in BIOS and hardware. Full steps...
SSD not showing up in BIOS Hardware issues Check & fix interface, data cable, SSD problem. Full steps...

Step 1: Check your SSD in Disk Management

Can't find SSD in File Explorer? Go to Disk Management to have a further check. Right-click 'This Computer' and select Manage to open Computer Management panel. Then, choose Disk Management. At there, you will find that your SSD may show up as the following conditions:

Case 1: Your SSD is prompted 'Not Initialized' in Disk Management

A new SSD can be used and displayed in 'File Explorer' after being initialized, partitioned, and formatted. But for a SSD you have stored data, you can recover the data on it with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows before doing these operations.

After recovering the data on the SSD, you can go on with the following operations.

How-to Initialize, partition, and format the SSD (also for hard drives):

1. Right-click the SSD and click Initialize Disk in Disk Management.

2. Select a partition option: Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT) and click OK.

Note: MBR is suitable for hard drives less than 2TB in size, while GPT is better for hard drives over 2TB in size.

At this time, the SSD becomes an unallocated space, and you should partition the SSD.

3. Right-click the unallocated SSD and choose New Simple Volume and click Next.

Assign a volume to an unallocated SSD

4. Select a size for the volume and click Next.

5. Specify a drive letter for the new SSD and click Next.

6. Choose a file system (NTFS is recommended) and Default in Allocation unit size, and type a name for the SSD in Volume label.

7. Check Perform a quick format and click Next and Finish.

Case 2: Your SSD shows 'Offline' in Disk Management

The SSD won't show up in 'File Explorer' as it shows 'Offline' in Disk Management. But it is easy to make the SSD back online: right-click the SSD and click Online to bring the SSD reactive.

Change the Offline SSD back to Online

Case 3: Your SSD shows 'RAW' partition, 'Unknown', 0 bytes, or doesn't show its capacity correctly

Why? Because the file system of the SSD is not supported or recognized by the operating system in Windows. You can reformat the SSD with a supported system.

Recover files from RAW partition

Attention, please! Reformatting will erase data on SSD. If you need the files on the SSD, you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows to recover files on it before formatting.

How-to Reformat the SSD:

1. Right-click the SSD in Disk Management and click Format.

2. Choose a file system like NTFS and exFAT.

3. Check Perform a quick format and click OK.

Quick format the SSD in Windows

Case 4: Your SSD shown as a 'Unallocated' space in Disk Management

Your SSD indicated as a 'Unallocated' space for it doesn't have any volume. You need assign at least a volume to the SSD to make it back to normal. And if the SSD has stored data, you'd better recover it first, and then assign a volume to it.

Fix disk is unknown, not initialized, unallocated in Windows 10/7/8

How-toAssign a volume to your unallocated SSD:

1. Right-click the unallocated space of the SSD.

2. Choose New Simple Volume and click Next.

3. Ensure the default letter for the new volume is selected and click Next.

4. Ensure the default options are checked and click Next.

5. Click Finish to create the new volume.

6. Format the new volume.

Case 5: Your SSD shows without a drive letter

Once the SSD drive letter is missing, you cannot access the SSD by 'File Explorer'.

How-toAssign a drive letter to the SSD:

1. Right-click the SSD and select Change Drive Letter and Paths....

2. Click Add and choose Assign the following drive letter:.

3. Select a drive letter and click OK.

Your SSD is also not displayed in Disk Management? You should check it in Device Manager to confirm if it is a driver issue.

Step 2: Check your SSD in Device Manager

Device Manager is a place where you can find all detected devices on your PC, including your SSD. Right-click 'This Computer' and choose Manage to open the Computer Management panel. Then, select Device Manager on the left-sidebar.

Case 1: Your SSD doesn't show up in Device Manager

One situation is your SSD is hidden. You can select Disk drives and then click View on the top of the left corner. Then, click Show hidden devices.

Show hidden SSD in View in Device Manager

If you still can't find your SSD in Disk drives, you can check if it displays in Other devices in Device Manager.

Case 2: Your SSD is found in 'Other devices' in Device Manager

The SSD shows up in 'Other devices' usually with driver issues. Commonly, it displays with a '!' symbol or labeled 'Unknown device'.

How-to Fix the driver issue of the SSD in 'Other devices':

1. Right-click the SSD and click Uninstall, then restart your PC.

2. Check if the SSD occurs in 'Disk drives' in Device Manager, if not, please go on.

3. Right-click the SSD and click Update Driver Software... and select Search automatically for updated driver software.

If you can't find your SSD in 'File Explorer', Disk Management, and Device Manager after the hidden drives shown, what should you do? You can consider if it has connection issues.

Step 3: Check your SSD in BIOS

The connection of your SSD includes BIOS settings and hardware connection. Any of it goes wrong, your SSD can't show up in Windows.

Case 1: The SSD port is disabled in BIOS Setup Utility

BIOS is an Input/Output System in your PC, which can recognize the computer hardware like SSD before loading the operating system. But now, many Windows PC is installed UEFI, an upgrade of BIOS. You can reboot your computer and press the BIOS key at the same time to enter the BIOS Setup Utility.

Here are the BIOS keys set by the manufacturers for popular PC models:

  1. Acer: Press F2 key or DEL key
  2. Dell: Press F2 key or F12 key
  3. HP: Press F10 key or ESC key
  4. Lenovo: Press F1 key or F2 key

How-to Reset the BIOS settings:

If your SSD port is turned OFF or shows Disabled in BIOS Setup, turn it ON or change to Enabled. Then, restart your computer.

Case 2: The SSD is not showing up in BIOS

Can't find your SSD in BIOS? Usually, it's a hardware connection problem, which includes the SATA interface (for internal SSD), USB port (for external SSD), data cable, or SSD hardware problem.

How-toFix hardware connection issue:

First, check the SSD's interface

For an external SSD:

1. Re-plug the external SSD into the USB port.

2. If it is still not detected, check if the USB port is damaged by plugging the external SSD to another USB port.

For an internal SSD:

1. Check the type of your SSD. If its a M.2 SSD, make sure whether the interface on your motherboard supports M.2 SSD or not. If its not a M.2 SSD, go on.

2. Re-plug the internal SSD into the interface (usually the SATA interface) on the motherboard.

The interface of an M.2 SSD

Second, check the data cable

Test if the data cable (for the internal SSD) or USB cable (for the external SSD) is in good condition through replace a new one (You'd better ask someone professional to help you check and replace the data cable).

If the SSD still not showing up after fixing the interface and data cable issues, you should consider if the SSD has any physical issue and try to repair or replace it.

An SSD or new SSD not recognized in Windows is a common and intricate problem. Hope you can know comprehensively about the causes of SSD not showing up and get the full-scale solutions to solve SSD not showing up from this article. But if you inevitably lose files on your SSD during the fixing process, you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows to recover the lost files. 

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