It’s terrible when you connect a portable HDD or SSD to the PC but get no response or prompts, preventing you from viewing the content. Disk Management, a system tool used to manage all identified devices, will list these hard drives in most cases. However, they occasionally do not appear in Disk Management.
We have compiled a list of possible solutions to this problem. Keep reading to learn what to do if a hard drive doesn’t show up in disk management on different operating systems.
Hard drive not showing up in Disk Management in Windows 11
If your hard drive is not showing up in Disk Management, there could be a few possible causes. Here are some of the options to solve this problem.
Create a new volume
If the external hard drive is not listed in Disk Management, try creating a new volume. To do this, adhere to the instructions below:
- Click the “Windows key + X” and then choose “Disk Management” from the list.
- Check if the disk is the primary partition or already unallocated space in Disk Management. The primary partition has a blue bar at the top, while the Unallocated space has a black bar.
- You need to make the primary partition of the disk Unallocated space. If it’s already labeled as Unallocated space, skip the next step.
- To delete a volume and turn it into Unallocated space, right-click on the problematic volume or drive and choose “Delete Volume.” The drive will be successfully labeled as Unallocated space once you have done this as a black bar will appear on top. You now need to build a new base volume for the room.
- Click “New Simple Volume” in the context menu by right clicking on the Unallocated space.
- This will launch the “New Simple Volume Wizard”. Select ‘Next’.
- The input field “Simple volume size” (in MB) is presented to you. You cannot exceed the limit here, but you can set a custom size. When you’re done, hit “Next”.
- Your next options are to set the drive letter or mount it in the empty NTFS folder. After choosing “Assign the next drive letter”, choose the drive letter. Select ‘Next’.
- You will be prompted to format the drive. Choose the “Format this volume with the following settings” option. The file system, unit size, and volume labels must then be determined. Usually leave these at the default values. Hit “Next” when you’ve completed all of this.
- Select “Finish” to end the “New Simple Volume Wizard”.
Once you do this, the drive should appear in Disk Management and resolve the issue.
You should update your hard drivers first and then see if the error persists. Follow the steps below to upgrade the hard drive drivers:
- Find “Device Manager” in the start menu and launch it.
- Double click on it to expand the ‘Disk drives’ section.
- Right click on the drive with the error in this area.
- Then choose “Update Driver”.
Restart your computer to apply all changes. Now you should not experience the problem of Windows 11 not recognizing hard drives.
External drive not showing up in Disk Management in Windows 10
There are a few options to fix this problem in Windows 10.
Your drive may simply be unformatted or formatted to an outdated standard. An external drive you are using may need to be formatted for Windows 10 to recognize it:
- Right click on the remote in “Disk Management”.
- Select “Format” from the menu that appears.
The Disk Management program may not recognize your hard drive if there are problems with your connections, outdated drivers, or physical damage. It’s quite likely that you just have a bad hard drive if your problem doesn’t get better after verifying connectivity, upgrading drivers, and following the instructions in this post.
Change the assigned letter
When a disk is formed, it is given a letter for identification. For example, Windows drives often start with ‘C’. If your machine boots up, you may be able to fix the visibility issues by simply replacing this letter.
- Right click on the “Volume” in “Disk Management”.
- Choose ‘Change drive letter and paths’.
- Select “Change” in the new window.
- Tap “OK” to give your USB a new drive letter in this window.
This should solve the problem. Don’t do this for the system drives (usually C or D).
Hard drive not showing up in Disk Management in Windows 7
Here is a list of possible solutions to disk management problems in Windows 7.
Unallocated space data recovery
To do this, you must:
- In Disk Management, right click on the C: drive.
- Select ‘Extend volume’.
- Press “Next”.
- Follow the instructions to format the remaining Unallocated space.
Disk Management can prevent you from extending the disk since this is your system OS partition. Downloading and installing one of several programs available will help you fix this. Research carefully which option works for you and avoid scams.
After recovering your files, you need to create a new partition:
- In Disk Management, right-click an empty space.
- Choose ‘New Simple Volume’.
Follow the installation instructions to complete the process. If this doesn’t work, check if your drivers are up to date. Your computer can experience serious problems if your drivers are not kept up to date.
Import foreign disk
The drive does not appear in My Computer or Disk Management as a visible partition. It is identified by the system as a foreign drive. Follow this guide to fix the problem with this method:
- Press “Windows key + R” to open the “Run” dialog box.
- Then enter “
diskmgmt.msc‘ to start ‘Disk Management’.
- Try to see if you have another drive listed under your operating system drive.
- Use the drop-down menu and right click on it if you have it.
- Choose ‘Import foreign discs’.
- After a while, File Explorer and Disk Management should recognize your new HDD drive as a volume.
Restart the device to see if the problem persists.
Try the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
This utility can be used to determine if your device has problems if your installed hard drive or other hardware is not working properly. To start and run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter:
- Open the Start menu.
- Search for the “Control Panel” and open it.
- Type “troubleshooter” in the search field in the top right corner of the Control Panel. When “Troubleshooting” appears, click it.
- Click on devices under ‘Hardware and Sound’.
- It will now open the “Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter” window.
A popup will appear looking at the hardware problem. The wizard will guide you through the remaining steps. In some of the steps mentioned above, you may be asked for an administrator password.
Hard drive does not appear in Disk Management on a Mac
If the external drive doesn’t show up in Disk Utility on your Mac, here are some possible solutions to this problem.
View an external hard drive manually in Disk Utility
If your external hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility, you can check if the “External” option is present in the left sidebar. If so, follow these instructions to manually display it.
- Connect the external hard drive to your Mac.
- Launch “Disk Utility”.
- Move the mouse to the “External” selection.
- The “Show” selection is visible. Click here.
Check if the “Disk Utility” can recognize the external hard drive again.
Using Apple Diagnostics
Apple Diagnostics is a collection of diagnostic tools that technicians use to identify problems. It can help you diagnose a possible hardware problem with your Mac. In addition, it suggests solutions and facilitates your contact with Apple Support.
- All external devices must be turned off except the keyboard, mouse and other necessary gadgets.
- Restart your Mac, or if it isn’t turned on, turn it on.
- Press and hold the D key on your keyboard until a language selection screen appears.
- A progress bar will appear saying “check your mac” once you choose your language.
- Once the diagnosis is complete, solutions to the errors found will be recommended.
Update your hardware and software
Various hardware problems are caused by outdated firmware and software. For example, a Mac’s incompatible USB driver prevents external hard drives from working. You need to check for system updates by launching the App Store and selecting the Update tab. Install all available firmware and macOS software updates on the Mac.
Experiencing these kinds of problems can be very annoying. Instead of going straight to service, we’ve created this guide for you to try and fix this error on your own. Most of these solutions will solve your problem and save money by avoiding technical support.
Which solution worked best for you? How often do you encounter this error? Let us know in the comments!