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SSD Not Showing up in Windows 10/11? Follow These Simple Solutions

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Written by

Connie Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

English Français

Summary: If your old or new SSD not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management in Windows, follow this guide to make the SSD visible. If the SSD is crashed/inaccessible, free download iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover data.

SSD not showing up in Windows

Unexpectedly, you can't find the connected Samsung, WD, or Plextor SSD or recently installed M.2 SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7. What's wrong?

If it's a new SSD, it is commonly caused by the SSD is not initialized by the manufacturer. If it's not a new SSD, the reasons are different.

Usually, your SSD not showing up in File Explorer, Disk Management, Device Manager, or BIOS is due to:

  • 1. Your new SSD is not initialized. 
  • 2. Your SSD is offline.
  • 3. Your SSD doesn't have a drive letter.
  • 4. The file system issues of your SSD.
  • 5. The SSD driver needs to be updated.
  • 6. Connection issues.
  • 7. Hardware problems.

Don't worry. Read below to get all solutions to fix SSD not showing up in Windows 11/10/8/7.

SSD not showing up on My Computer, why & how to fix it?

If you can't find your SSD in File Explorer, the first thing you need to do is to open Disk Management to have a further check.

Right-click "This Computer" and select “Manage”. Then, choose “Disk Management”. At there, you will find out why your SSD not displaying up in File Explorer.

Here are the common cases for the SSD not showing up issue.

Case 1. SSD not showing up because it is not initialized

If you use a new SSD but find it is not showing up in Windows Explorer, the most possible cause is, it is not initialized. A new SSD or any other hard disk can be displayed in File Explorer and put into use only after being initialized, partitioned, and formatted.

But an old SSD may also show uninitialized in Disk Management.

Whatever you are in which situation, you can make your SSD show up in Windows again by initializing, partitioning, and formatting it in Windows Disk Management, which is just like initializing, creating new simple volume for, and formatting an external hard drive.

initialize the uninitialized disk

To initialize SSD in Windows:

  • Right-click the uninitialized SSD in Disk Management and select Initialize Disk.
  • Select the disk to initialize in the Initialize Disk box. And it is up to you to choose MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (Guide Partition Table) as the partition style.

Case 2. SSD not showing up because of drive letter problems

Once the SSD drive letter is missing or the same as that of another disk, the Windows OS will fail to recognize the SSD. Therefore, you cannot access the SSD disk in Windows My Computer.

no disk drive letter

To fix this issue, you can assign a new drive letter to the SSD.

  • Open Disk Management.
  • Right-click the SSD partition and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  • Click Change and choose Assign the following drive letter: to select a drive letter. Then, click OK to confirm.

Case 3. SSD not showing up because it indicates 'RAW', 'Unknown'/incorrect capacity

If the file system of your SSD is corrupted or not supported by Windows, it won't show up in File Explorer and usually labels with an error hint in Disk Management like RAW, Unknown, or Free Space (or shows an incorrect capacity).

disk shows RAW in Disk Management

Usually, you can reformat the SSD with a supported system to make it accessible in Windows. But reformatting will erase all files on the SSD. If you need the files on the SSD, you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows to recover SSD data on it before formatting.

Here's how:

Step 1: Download, install and open iBoysoft Data Recovery on your computer.

Step 2: Select a recovery module > your SSD partitions, and then click Scan.

iBoysoft Data Recovery

Step 3: Preview the scanning results and choose your desired files.

Step 4: Click Recover to get the lost files back.

After recovering the lost data, you can reformat your SSD:

  • Right-click the SSD in Disk Management and click Format.
  • Choose a file system like NTFS/exFAT. Then, check Perform a quick format.

quick format SSD in Windows

Case 4. SSD not showing up because it's shown as an 'Unallocated' space

Your SSD is indicated as an "Unallocated" space because it doesn't have any volume. That is why the SSD doesn't appear.

You can assign at least a volume to the SSD to make it show up normally in Windows and accessible again. And if the SSD has ever stored data, you'd better recover it first, and then assign a volume to it in Disk Management.

  • Right-click the unallocated space on your SSD and then select New Simple Volume > Next. 
    assign a volume to the unallocated SSD
  • Type in your desired size of the volume in MB or accept the default size. Then, select Next.
  • Set a drive letter and click Next.
  • Format the volume with default settings > Next > Finish.

Case 5. SSD not showing up because it is offline

If the SSD shows “Offline” in Disk Management, it also won't show up in My Computer. To enable the SSD to display in Windows again, you just need to make it back online.

Here's how: Right-click the SSD and then click Online to bring it reactive in Windows.

online SSD in Disk Management

Case 6. SSD not showing up because the driver issues

A driver is a software component that lets the OS and a device (like your SSD) communicate with each other. If your SSD not showing up in Disk Management, it means that the SSD may have driver problems.

So, it is advised to go to the Device Manager to have a check. Right-click "This Computer" and choose “Manage” to open the Computer Management panel. Then, select “Device Manager” on the left sidebar.

Usually, if your SSD has a driver issue, it will show up in Other devices in Device Manager. And it also displays with a "!" symbol or labeled "Unknown device".

Now, go to fix the driver issue of the SSD to make it display in Windows.

  • Right-click the SSD and click Uninstall, then restart your PC.
  • Check if the SSD occurs in "Disk drives" in Device Manager, if not, right-click the SSD again.
  • Select Update Driver Software > Search automatically for updated driver software.

update SSD driver in Device Manager

Case 7. SSD not showing up because it is disabled in BIOS

Unfortunately, if your SSD doesn't show up in Device Manager either (not due to manually hiding), it may be disabled in BIOS (or UEFI, an upgrade of BIOS). You can re-enable it in BIOS to make it show up in Windows 11/10/8/7.

How-to re-enable SSD settings in the BIOS:

  • Reboot your computer and press the BIOS key (listed below) at the same time to enter the BIOS Setup Utility.
  • If your SSD port is turned OFF or shows Disabled in BIOS Setup, turn it ON or change to Enabled. 
    Restart your computer.

Here are the BIOS keys set by the manufacturers for popular PC models to enter into the BIOS Setup Utility:

  • Acer: Press the F2 key or DEL key
    Dell: Press the F2 key or F12 key
    HP: Press the F10 key or ESC key
    Lenovo: Press the F1 key or F2 key

SSD not showing up in BIOS, what to do?

If your SSD doesn't show up in BIOS or other hard drives not showing up in BIOS, it may not correctly connect to your computer or already be damaged.

You can do the following steps to have a detailed check.

Check the SSD's interface

For an external SSD:

  • Re-plug the external SSD into the USB port.
  • If it is still not detected, check if the USB port is not working by plugging the external SSD into another USB port.

For an internal SSD:

  • Check the type of your SSD. If it's an M.2 SSD, make sure whether the interface on your motherboard supports M.2 SSD or not. If it's not an M.2 SSD, go on.
    M.2 SSD 
  • Re-plug the internal SSD into the interface (usually the SATA interface) on the motherboard.

Check the data cable

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

connect the SSD USB cable to the PC port

Send the SSD to a repair center

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

Final thoughts

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 appearing and get the full-scale solutions to fix SSD not showing up in Windows from this article.

But if you inevitably lose SSD data during the fixing process, you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery software to quickly recover the lost files.

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