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Hard Disk not Detected During Windows Installation – Solved

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    Description of Hard Disk not Detected During Windows Installation Error


    Note: this post just focuses on Windows rather than any other operating systems like Mac OS X and Linux, since Windows is the most widely used computer operating system all over the world.

    With computers not having an operating system, you can do nothing. But fortunately, new laptops are always pre-installed with OS by manufacturers, and even if there is no system on your laptop or desktop, you can install one in easy steps. Of course, you are also allowed to install a second or third system on the computer which has OS already. But no matter how the operating system is installed or who installed it, after running it for a long time, you may need to make a reinstallation since it is the only or best solution to some issues, for example:

    1.Reinstalling system is the most effective solution when operating system runs slow.
    2.Reinstalling system is a good way to clear viruses that cannot be killed by anti-virus software.
    3.Reinstalling system can help enhance system security and stability.
    4.Reinstallation is the best choice when operating system crashes or system files are damaged or lost.


    You might be interested in this post Clean Install, Clone Disk, or Migrate Windows, Which Is Better

    Twill What You Found


    Both installing and reinstalling require an installation disc which could be CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, and operations are nearly the same, approximately including these steps: boot from installation disc, choose language and other preferences, accept license terms, choose installation type, and mark a place to install Windows. Then Windows will be installed automatically. Of course, if you are using system built-in functions, like Windows 8’s "Remove everything and reinstall Windows", and Windows 10’s "Reset this PC", to reinstall system, operations might be a little bit different.

    Nevertheless, during Windows installation or reinstallation, users may encounter the situation where Hard Disk is Not Detected in the "Where do you want to install Windows" screen even if the disk has been connected with motherboard. Sometimes there is no error message showing up:

    hard disk not detected without error message

    Or sometimes you’ll receive error messages, like:
    Error 1.We couldn’t find any drives. To get a storage driver, click Load driver.

    couldn't find any drives when installing windows

    Error 2.No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation.

    no drives were found during windows installation

    Definitely, if there is no hard disk for users to select in this screen, they will fail to install or reinstall Windows. And if they want to continue to install, making the hard disk detected is badly needed. Next, we are going to introduce 6 solutions for this issue, and maybe one of them can make your hard disk visible.

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    Hard Disk Not Detected During Windows Installation? Here Are Solutions


    Tip: this error could be caused by lots of factors so that it is not easy for most people to find the exact one. Naturally, it is not easy to pick out an effective solution in a short time, and users may need to try some or all of our solutions one by one.



    Solution 1.Check whether the hard disk is recognized by BIOS.


    If there is no error message shown, we suggest trying this method at first. Of course, even if error messages are given, you can also try this solution prior to doing any operation. Please start computer, press a specified key for several times to enter BIOS, and then look for your hard drive. If it is missing or invisible from BIOS (shown as None or Not detected), here are 4 possible reasons as well as countermeasures:

    • The channel for this hard drive is forbidden in BIOS, which happens especially after you add a second hard drive to system. To fix this issue, we need to turn it on or enable it.
    • Data cable or power cable of the drive is damaged or isn’t plugged firmly. Try connecting both cables again or change other cables.
    • BIOS is out of date and can’t recognize your hard disk. Try updating BIOS or driver of BIOS to the latest version.
    • The hard drive may be physically damaged. Download a disk testing tool to test the drive. If it is not detected by the tool or errors are found, you may need to contact your hard disk provider.

    After you are doing these attempts, the hard disk might be detected by BIOS, and then you can go on installing Windows. But if the disk is still invisible, you may need to contact your hard disk manufacturer for help.

    Actually, when checking in BIOS, you may find the hard disk is detected in BIOS but missing from the "Where do you want to install Windows" screen. At this time you need to try the following solutions.

    Before doing the following attempts, we suggest creating a backup for the disk if it saves important files, because any unexpected error could merge.

    How to Clone Hard Disk


    If you have a running Windows, make use of MiniTool Partition Wizard to backup data. However, if no Windows is available, MiniTool Partition Wizard Boot Disk is required, which could do partitioning operations without loading Windows. More importantly, both are free.


    Tip: if you are going to use Partition Wizard Boot Disk, you’ll need to burn the downloaded iso file to CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. View the post How to Build Free Bootable Partition Manager to create a boot disk.


    Then, you can refer to the post Copy Disk to get detailed steps to clone a hard disk.

    Once a backup has been created, you can try any of the following solutions without worrying about data loss.

    Solution 2.Update or install storage controller driver.


    When error messages like "We couldn’t find any drives. To get a storage driver, click Load driver" or "No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation" are shown, please load driver as the error message prompts.

    A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or devices. Without a correct driver, the hardware or device that you want to use won't work properly. Similarly, a storage controller driver is a software that controls how the hard drive interacts with the rest of the PC. Without a correct storage controller driver, your hard drive can’t work normally.

    To load a storage controller driver when operating system is unbootable or there is no system, please follow operations below:
    • Find the type of storage controller (could be IDE, SCSI, SATA, and so on) your computer uses by checking the documentation coming with the computer or directly going to the manufacturer’s website.
    • Download the latest driver for your computer’s storage controller to a USB flash drive, CD, or other removable devices. Tip: you may need to unzip the downloaded file before copying it to removable device.
    • Start installing or reinstalling Windows again, and on the "Where do you want to install Windows?" screen, please click Load Driver.
    • Insert the removable media that contains the driver into the computer, and click OK. After that, Windows will search for the driver on all available devices, and then list all available drivers.
    • Select the driver that matches your hard drive and click Next to continue.

    To update a storage controller driver when there is a running operating system, please take the following steps:
    Right click Computer icon on desktop, choose Manage, and click on Device Manager. Then, find the storage controller whose driver isn’t installed correctly (always the one with a yellow exclamation mark), right click it and choose Upgrade Driver Software (the specific name may be different in different versions of Windows). After that, there are 2 choices: Search automatically for updated driver software and Browse my computer for driver software:

    update driver software in device manager

    Just choose the desired one in accordance with your actual demands, and then update the driver by following instructions. Tip: if you choose the second one, please download the correct driver to your computer in advance.

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    Once a correct storage controller driver is loaded or updated, you can try installing or reinstalling Windows again. But if this method also failed to make the hard disk detected, cleaning hard disk is highly recommended, because this solution has been proved to be useful for lots of users.

    Solution 3. Delete All Partitions with DiskPart or MiniTool Partition Wizard


    If you have backed up important files by following instructions in How to Clone Hard Disk, now you can delete partitions using Diskpart without worrying about data loss.

    In the Install now interface, please tap on "Shift + F10" combination keys to call out Command Prompt, then type Diskpart, and next select the target hard disk to clean. Here we choose to clean Disk 2 by typing the following commands (each type ends with pressing on Enter key):
    Diskpart

    List disk

    Select disk 2

    Clean
    (using Clean command in diskpart will delete all partitions on the selected disk)

    Exit
    (exit from Diskpart)

    Exit
    (exit from Command Prompt)

    clean disk in diskpart

    After that, you should be able to complete the installation.

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    Nevertheless, if Diskpart fails to clean the selected disk due to some reason, you can resort to MiniTool Partition Wizard and use its Delete All Partitions feature to delete partition.


    Then, delete partitions by following instructions shown in the tutorial Delete All Partitions.

    However, if Delete All Partitions failed to work, try the next solution.

    Solution 4. Wipe Hard Disk with MiniTool Partition Wizard


    If you have tried methods above, most probably MiniTool Partition Wizard has been installed or Partition Wizard Boot Disk has been created. If not, download Partition Wizard now.

    Once a backup has been made, please launch MiniTool Partition Wizard or start computer via Partition Wizard Boot Disk.

    make hard disk detected during windows installation wipe disk

    Then, follow these steps:
    • Select the hard disk which should be wiped and choose "Wipe Disk" feature from the left side.
    • Choose an appropriate wiping method. There are 3 methods in total, but here we highly suggest choosing the first one since it requires the least time.
    • Click "Apply" button to make all changes performed. It may cost some time, so please wait patiently.

    Once Partition Wizard shows it applied the change successfully, you can close the program, shut down computer, and try installing or reinstalling Windows again.    

    However, if this way is finally proved to no avail, you can try changing disk controller mode.

    Solution 5.Change disk controller mode from IDE to AHCI.


    Tip: this method is just proved to be useful for a small part of users, so most probably it doesn’t work for your situation. In addition, this solution is recommended if you are installing Windows on a SSD, because AHCI plays an important role in enhancing SSD performance.

    If hard disk is not detected during installing Windows on an existing system, you can try changing disk controller mode from IDE to AHCI to fix the error. Detailed steps are as follows (take Windows 7 for example):
    • Click Start button, type regedit.exe, and run this program as administrator.
    • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE → SYSTEM → CurrentControlSet → Services → msahci, and look for a work "Start" in the right-side pane. Then, double click Start and set its value to 0.

    • Set start value of mscahci to 0 in regedit

    • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE → SYSTEM → CurrentControlSet → Services → pciide, and look for "Start". Then, change its value to 0, too.

    • Set start value of pciide to 0 in regedit

    • Close regedit.exe, shut down your computer, and enter BIOS before Windows is loaded.
    • Change IDE mode to AHCI. Then, save the change and restart computer.

    When Windows starts, it will detect the BIOS change and load new disk driver. And then you can run Windows setup program to see whether the error has been fixed. If the hard disk is still invisible after you change the disk controller mode, to wipe hard disk might work.

    Tip: if you want to change IDE to AHCI when there is no Windows available, just make the change in BIOS since you are unable to enter regedit.exe.

    Actually, apart from these 5 solutions, we find the sixth one from Microsoft’s website. That is to update the driver for chip set.

    Solution 6. Update the driver for your PC's chip set.


    A chipset is a set of electronic components in an integrated circuit that manages the data flow between the processor, memory and peripherals. It controls communications between the processor and external devices. Computers that use certain types of chip sets and have Advanced Format hard disk drives installed might receive such installation errors. To fix these problems, try installing the latest drivers for your computer’s chip set from the chip set manufacturer.

    Now all solutions to “hard disk not detected during Windows installation” have been introduced, and you can try one or some of them when you are having the same problem. Should you have any problem, just feel free to leave it in Comments.