Here in this post I want to show you how to fix external hard drive not showing. But before we delve into that i will list the reasons why this may happen and then a quick fix for each.
There are many reasons that can cause this.
- The most common reason is Faulty cable or port if you have checked the cable and the port is not faulty go to the next fix.
Another reason that might cause external hard drive not showing is the drive not having a drive letter like Local Disk C: etc. just like in the image below
- Just to be sure try inserting your drive into another PC and if it shows up then this fix will most likely work for you.
- When this is the case you just need to get to the disk management utility and assign a drive a drive letter to the hard drive.
Follow these simple steps to assign drive letter to the hard drive and fix external hard drive not showing
- Run the Disk Management console,
- Open the run command, enter diskmgmt.msc,
- Locate the the drive that is not showing up, right-click on it,
- Click on ‘Change Drive letter and paths’,
- Click on add and select a drive letter that is not in use, lets say j:, and press OK.
- Ta-dah your drive should be up now
Other reasons that may cause an external hard drive not showing up are:
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The hard drive is not initialized
If the hard drive is a new drive then this could definitely be the problem.
- To fix this go to the disk management console,
- Look for any drive labelled unallocated(with the size of drive you are looking for)
- Right-click on the drive and click on New Simple volume
The hard drive is hidden
If the hard drive is hidden by some partition manager, it won’t appear in File Explorer. However, this time you cannot fix this issue by simply add a drive letter to it. You can unhide the partition by using any partition manager tool or MiniTool Partition Wizard.
You can also know if your drive is hidden or not by going to the disk management. Right-click the partition that has no drive letter, and sees whether the feature “Change Drive Letter and Path…” is greyed out.
In the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard Free,
Select the hidden partition and choose Unhide Partition from the action panel.
Select a drive letter from the pop-up window and then click OK.
Press Apply at the toolbar.
Unsupported or RAW file system:
If the external hard drive has unsupported files system or hard disk become RAW, the partition bar won’t show up in Windows File Explorer. You can only see the drive icon and drive letter there. If you try to access the drive, Windows requires formatting.
To fix this simply format the drive by clicking on ‘restore device defaults’ on the device format window.
Drive not enabled in the BIOS
If the hard drive is not showing up in Disk Management and Device Manager, it may be because it is not enabled in System Setup (BIOS).
Some motherboard manufacturers disable unused ports in the BIOS by default, which is the common reason for the 2nd hard drive not showing up in Windows 10/8/7.
You will need to enter BIOS to verify their current states and make sure all hard drives are enabled.
Note that different computer manufacturers have different methods to enter system BIOS, please check your system documentation for specifics.
Faulty hard drive
If you have completed the above checks and the external hard drive is still not showing on your computer, you should send the hard drive to repair center and check whether it fails. If it is still on the warranty, please proceed to begin a warranty replacement.
That is all on how to fix eternal hard drive not showing up. If you have questions feel free to use the comment box.