Fix A Hard Drive Not Showing Up In Disk Management

Summary: When you insert an external hard drive into your computer, have you ever encountered an issue: the hard drive does not show up in Disk Management? Don’t worry, here are six methods for Windows 10 that will efficiently fix your problems.

What Causes the Hard Drive Not to Show Up in Disk Management Error?

Disk Management is a system utility used to manage all recognized drives, and display these hard drives in most circumstances. However, they occasionally fail to appear in Disk Management. There could be a variety of reasons behind this error. Here we conclude the most common causes:

  • Connection problem: wrong power supply, incompatible USB cable and USB ports, etc.
  • Invalid disk driver: the SATA driver is not installed or corrupted.
  • The drive is disenabled in BIOS due to the wrong settings.
  • Accumulation of bad sectors on the drive.
  • The connected drive is seen as a foreign dynamic disk.

Methods to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Disk Management

According to different causes, we provide different methods to get out of the error Windows was unable to complete the format. You can try the following methods one by one to fix the problem on Windows 10.

Method 1: Check the Connection

A good connection is decisive for the computer to recognize the external hard drive. A faulty SATA cable or port will lead to the drive is not recognized, even not showing up in Disk Management. There are some efforts you can take to eliminate the connection problems:

  • Power on the hard drive if it has a self-contained switch.
  • Identify the USB ports on your computer.
  • Change a cable to connect the drive to the PC.
  • Connect the hard drive to another healthy PC.

Method 2: Check Hard Drive in BIOS

If your connected hard drive is not showing up in Disk Management, you need to see if it is showing up inside BIOS(short for Basic Input/Output System), a chip in the motherboard used to identify and configure the hardware in a computer.

  1. You can access your BIOS settings by pressing one of the F keys (F2, F4, F8, F10, F12) or the Del key (for Dell computers).
  2. Once you get inside the BIOS settings, go to the Boot tab (or Boot Device Priority) and see if the hard drive shows up there.
  3. If the hard drive shows up here but you can’t see it inside Disk Management, power off your computer and replace the SATA cable connecting your hard drive to the motherboard with a different one. Also, consider plugging the other SATA cable into a different SATA port.
  4. Once you change the SATA cable and port, power on your computer again and see if the hard drive is now showing inside Disk Management.

If you’re still having the same issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 3:  Deleting all ATA Channel Drivers

A couple of users encountering this particular issue have managed to fix it entirely after using Device Manager to delete all ATA channels from the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers menu. This supposedly forces Windows to search for all connected ATA devices again and re-configure them from scratch at the next system startup.

  1. Press Win + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open up Device Manager.
  2. Inside Device Manager, expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers drop-down menu.
  3. Right-click the ATA channel and choose Uninstall device to delete the listed ATA channels one by one.Device Manager-IDE ATA controllers-Uninstall device
  4. Restart the Windows PC to let Windows find all ATA devices and install the drivers again. Then, check if your hard drive is in Disk Management.

Method 4: Remove the Hard Drive from Storage Spaces

The Windows feature Storage Spaces is conceptually similar to RAID and is implemented in software. It enables you to group three or more drives together into a storage pool. If you have already established storage space including the invisible drive in Disk Management, removing the drive from the storage pool may get the issue resolved.

  1. Press Win + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type control and press Enter to open up Control Panel.
  2. Inside Control Panel, click on System and Security, then click on Storage Spaces.system and security- storage space
  3. Next, expand your Storage Spaces options and click the Delete button associated with the storage space that includes your hard drive.
  4. Click Yes at the confirmation prompt, then restart your computer.
  5. At the next startup, open Disk Management again and see if the hard drive is now visible.

Method 5: Install the SATA Driver from the Motherboard Manufacturer’s Website

If there is any problem with the current SATA driver, it may also make your external hard drive not show up in Windows 10. Thus, you can give it a shot to download the latest SATA driver from the motherboard manufacturer’s website and install it on your PC.

You need to identify the motherboard manufacturer and model in the first place. After the installation completes, restart your Windows PC to check whether the drive is visible in Disk Management.

Method 6: Import the Foreign Disk from Disk Management

The disk might not appear as a viewable partition inside My Computer or Disk Management because it is seen as a foreign dynamic disk by the system. Some users encountering the same issue have been able to easily rectify this by importing the foreign disk. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press the Win + R keys and type diskmgmt.msc in the dialogue box, then press box-diskmgmt
  2. Check the other disk under your OS disk in Disk Management. The drive usually has an exclamation icon.
  3. Right-click on the drive and choose Import Foreign Disks.
  4. After several minutes, the hard drive could show up in Disk Management.


The hard driver not showing up in the device administrator is a real headache, as users cannot read and process all the data on the hard drive. If you also have the same problem, try the six methods in this article.




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