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What to Do If Hard Drive Is Unallocated on Windows 10

Posted on January 14, 2022

iBoysoft author Amanda

Written by

Amanda Wong

Summary: In this post, we are going to take a deep dive into the unallocated hard drive and help you get out of the problem with proven methods.

unallocated hard drive

Normally, all of your internal and inserted external hard drives list in "This PC," where you can open a drive and access your files. Occasionally, an internal or external SSD not showing up there but instead showing up as unallocated in Disk Management. Relax, it can be fixed.

What does unallocated mean on a hard drive

It is quite common to find a new PC's internal hard drive or a new external hard drive unallocated, a state when they leave the factory. It means the drive is not assigned to any drive letter or does not belong to any partition. And you can't store any files or programs on an unallocated hard drive.

Sometimes, the unallocated space appears on your in-use hard drive. It could be a partition or even the entire drive. If so, you can't store files on it as usual. Worse, it makes the external hard drive not accessible on Windows 10, posing a risk of data loss. And such a case is the greatest concern of computer users.

Why is your hard drive unallocated

For a brand-new hard drive, it is not surprising to find it unallocated. However, some Windows users commented that their well-functioning hard drives became unallocated just suddenly for no obvious reasons. If you have encountered the same situation, you can check the common causes outlined below.

  1. Outdated disk driver;
  2. Sudden power failure;
  3. Infection with a virus or malware;
  4. File system Error or accumulated bad sectors;
  5. Accidental deletion of a partitionk;
  6. Physical damages on the hard drive.

How to recover data from unallocated hard drive

In the event that the unallocated hard drive is the one you used to store important files, it could be a nightmare for you, being on the verge of data loss. It disables you to access the files on the unallocated hard drive.

You can breathe a sigh of relief if you have created a backup of the crucial files or even the whole hard drive. If not, you'd better recover data from the unallocated hard drive as soon as possible to avoid data overwriting resulting in permanent data loss.

To retrieve files from an unallocated hard drive, you need professional data recovery software. It can scan and recover lost and deleted files on the drive. iBoysoft Data Recovery is your best choice for a PC data recovery program in Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. And it offers a trial version. Why not give it a shot?

Recover data from unallocated hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery:

  • 1. Free download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery on your PC.

Note: You need to download and install this free data recovery software onto another disk or partition to avoid data overwriting.

  • 2. Select a recovery module. Here you can choose Data Recovery for unallocated hard drive.
choose a recovery module
  • 3. Select the drive where unallocated space exists and click Next to start scanning.
select the unallocated hard drive to scan
  • 4. Preview the scanning results. Make a selection of wanted files, click the Recover button to save them to a different destination.

How to fix unallocated hard drive

Any unallocated space on a hard drive can not be used to store files. This is a waste of disk storage. Therefore, you have to repair the unallocated hard drive to make it usable again. Follow the methods described below to bring the unallocated hard drive back to track.

Update or install disk driver

Always keep your hardware components updated with the latest firmware. And the outdated disk drivers on your computer may cause the partition invisible. Then update the disk driver to make the partition usable again.

  • 1. Right-click on Start, click Device Manager.
  • 2. Expand the Disk driver and find the unallocated hard drive.
  • 3. Right-click on the disk and select Update Driver Software from the context menu.
  • 4. Reboot your Windows 10 computer and try to access the hard drive.

Repair drive with chkdsk

File system corruption or disk error also makes your hard drive present as unallocated. Chkdsk, a cmd command, can check and repair logical errors on the drive, just like fsck for Mac.

  • 1. Type 'cmd' in Search Box and the Command Prompt will pop up. Then, right-click it and select Run as administrator.
  • 2. Enter chkdsk *: /r in the pop-up window and press Enter. For example, if the inaccessible USB drive is disk H, enter chkdsk h: /r
repair drive with chkdsk
  • 3. Waiting for the chkdsk stages finished.
  • 4. Reboot your Windows 10 computer and try to access the hard drive.

Create a new volume

Regardless of whether the unallocated hard drive is a new hard drive or a hard drive in use, you can create a new volume on it and allocate the space to the partition. After that, the Windows system can recognize it and write data to it.

  • 1. Press Windows Key + R. Now, type diskmgmt. msc, and hit the Enter key to launch Disk Management.
  • 2. For a brand-new hard drive, it will ask to initialize hard drive, just follow the onscreen guidance.
  • 3. Right-click on the unallocated hard drive and select the New Simply Value option.
create a new volume on unallocated hard drive
  • 4. Click Next to specify a volume size.
  • 5. Click Next to assign a drive letter or path for the unallocated hard drive. You should choose a letter different from other drives to avoid conflict.
  • 6. Click Next to continue to format the new partition. You need to set the disk information, including file system, allocation unit size, and volume label.
format a new volume

The bottom line

No matter what causes your hard drive to be unallocated, the first and foremost measure is to recover data from the unallocated hard drive. After that, you can apply the introduced methods to troubleshoot the failed hard drive. Unfortunately, none of them work, then the drive seems to be physically damaged. You can seek help with local repairs or consider a replacement.