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Quick Fix "SSD Not Showing up" in Windows 10 without Data Loss

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    SSD Not Showing up in Windows 10

    Nowadays compared to traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD), Solid State Driver (SSD) becomes more and more popular since it owns many advantages, for example, fast read-write speed, low power consumption, no noise, and more. And many of you choose an SSD as a data storage for good performance.

    However, in some cases, you will get SSD is not showing up in Windows 10 when plugging an SSD in a computer. Usually, you may find the SSD won't show up in My Computer, Windows Explorer or Disk Management.

    Let's look at a real case:

    "Hi all, I bought a PNY XLR8 120GB SSD and I've put it in my computer and set it up, my motherboard is a Asrock 970 Extreme4 and I can detect the SSD in my BIOS but not in Windows. I want to install Windows on this SSD and completely reset my PC, why isn't my PC detecting my SSD? I can't even see it. I see it in the Device Manager which says that it's working fine, I can see it in the BIOS as well but I can't see it in My Computer or Disk Management, rendering the whole SSD useless. I can't use it at all."
    –from tomshardware

    In fact, this situation is very common. When searching SSD not showing up on the internet, you will find many users have asked such a question.

    recommend Tip:
    In addition to SSD, you also find many discussions about external hard drive not showing up, USB drive not showing up or hard drive not showing up in my computer or Disk Management, and here take SSD as an example.

    Once this issue happens to you, you are not allowed to access data on your SSD, external hard drive or USB flash drive. Do you know why your SSD fails to show up in Windows 10? Do you know how to deal with this problem? Is it possible to get data back? Don't worry, this post will give you the detailed reasons and solutions as follows.

    Why SSD Isn't Showing up and How to Fix It

    When connecting your SSD to your PC, the SSD not recognized is possible to happen in Windows 10. Why? Generally speaking, the issue could be caused by some reasons, for example, new SSD is not initialized, SSD partitions are lost and become "unallocated", file system of partitions can't be recognized, drive letters of SSD partitions are missing, partitions are hidden, Windows doesn't detect SSD, there are some driver issues and more. Here I will give you the specific solutions according to the different cases to fix SSD not showing up issue.

    reason 1 Reason 1: SSD Is Not Initialized

    Sometimes if you just buy a new SSD which is not initialized, when plugging it to your computer, this SSD won't show up in Windows Explorer. How to solve issue? How can you use this SSD in Windows 10?

    Solution: Initialize this SSD

    If you open Windows Disk Management by pressing "Win + R" and inputting "compmgmt.msc" or right clicking on "This PC" and selecting "manage", there will be a pop-up window saying "You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it" to suggest you initialize the SSD. How to initialize SSD? Please choose MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table) according to your motherboard, and then click "OK" to perform this initialization to fix new SSD not showing up Windows 10 issue.

    initialize ssd

    recommend Useful article: MBR VS GPT: Which One Should Be Chosen for Your SSD?

    Next after finishing the initialization, you can create a new volume with Disk Management. Then this new partition will appear in Windows Explorer.

    reason 2 Reason 2: SSD Partitions Are Missing

    Usually, the SSD is not the new one you just buy, but the old one you have used for a long time and many kinds of data probably are saved on the SSD. When you connect it to your Windows 10 and use the files saved on SSD, you probably find SSD not showing up in My Computer issue. In Disk Management, perhaps Windows shows you "disk unknown not initialized" due to virus infection, system file corruption, MBR damage, improper operation and more. And Windows also prompts you to make a initialization to MBR or GPT SSD.

    disk unknown not initialize

    In this case, it is not wise to initialize this SSD immediately in Windows 10, otherwise, all data on this SSD will be lost. Besides, there is another situation: SSD shows online, but the entire disk is "unallocated".

    ssd now showing up

    In these two situations, you can't see all partitions on SSD and only unallocated space shows up in Disk Management. What should you do to fix such an issue? The urgent thing should be to get lost partitions and data in Windows 10.

    Solution: Make a Partition Recovery

    In order to recover lost partition and data, you can adopt a professional and reliable program. Fortunately, here MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition can help you. This tool is designed to free manage your disk and partition well in partition resizing, disk copy, MBR repair, disk conversion and more in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista. Among so many features, it owns a core function which is called "Partition Recovery". This feature enables you to recover lost partition as well as partition data effectively. How to perform this operation? Do as the following step-by-step guidance shows now in Windows 10.

    wraning Before you do:
    • Don't do any operations to your SDD, for example, create a new partition with the unallocated space. Otherwise, the possibility of partition and data recovery on SSD will be slim.
    • "Partition Recovery" is a paid feature so the Free Edition can’t be used to recover lost partitions. But you can download the Free Edition to check whether the lost partitions can be scanned or purchase its Professional Edition to recover them.

    Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition, and then you will see there are many features in the main interface. Here please click "Partition Recovery" from "Check Disk" menu after selecting the target SSD or right click on the target disk to select "Partition Recovery".

    partition recovery

    Step 2: Then you need to choose a scanning range for SSD partition recovery. Here are three modes, "Full Disk" should be chosen to help to scan the entire SSD. Click "Next" to continue.

    scanning range

    Step 3: Then MiniTool Partition Wizard will provide you with two scanning methods, "Quick Scan" or "Full Scan". The former can restore your lost or deleted partitions which are continuous. And the latter can scan each sector of the specified scanning range on your SSD. If "Quick Scan" doesn't work well, try "Full Scan" at once.

    scan mode

    Step 4: After finishing SSD scanning, all your lost or deleted partitions will be listed. And here you can see them as the following screenshot shows. Please choose all needed partitions.

    search partitions

    Here take partition 1 on SSD as an example. You are allowed to review all files in your computer by double clicking the partition. The pop-up window shows you the layout of folders, just click them to view what the files are. Then close this window, and click "Finish" button to go back to the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard

    explore partition

    Step 5: At last, hit "Apply" button to perform SSD partition recovery operation. Here all partitions on SSD will appear in Windows Explorer.


    If you are experiencing partition loss issue, MiniTool Partition Wizard is really your good assistant. Just download its Free Edition to scan your lost SSD partitions or directly purchase Professional Edition to recover the scanned partitions.


    attentions Attentions:
    1. From the screenshot, you can review all SSD partitions you have recovered don't have a drive letter. In this case, if you open your Windows Explorer, all partitions on SSD will not show up. Therefore, it is necessary to assign a drive letter for all partitions with MiniTool Partition Wizard.
    2. In addition to partition recovery on SSD with MiniTool Partition Wizard, you also can use another program – MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover data from unallocated space with its "Lost Partition Recovery" module. But this way only can retrieve the data on SSD, but not the partitions.

    reason 3 Reason 3: Partition Is Hidden by Third-party Software

    Sometimes external SSD not showing up issue appears in Windows 10 due to hidden partition. You may have hidden the SSD partition to avoid your partition data from access with a piece of third-party software. Then in Windows Explorer, SSD doesn't show up.

    Solution: Unhide Partition

    When right clicking on the target partition in Disk Management, there are only two options, "Delete Volume" and "Help", so this tool is not allowed to show hidden partition. In this case, you can also ask MiniTool Partition Wizard for help. Here its Free Edition can do this work.

    Step 1: Right click on the target drive to select "Unhide Partition" feature. Or click this feature from "Partition Management" menu after selecting the target partition.

    unhide partition

    Step 2: Then you need to assign a drive letter for this partition.

    assign drive letter

    Step 3: At last, hit "Apply" to make this changes effective.

    reason 4 Reason 4: Drive Letter Is Missing

    Sometimes your SSD is properly connected to your PC, and it is showing up in Device Manager but SSD not showing up in my computer issue happens. In this case, it is likely that the drive letter is missing on SSD partition due to some reasons, so you can't access it in Windows Explorer.

    Solution: Assign a Drive Letter

    And now to change a drive letter for the partition on SSD is the emergency thing. How to assign a drive letter? Here is what you need to do:

    1. Launch Disk Management utility by right clicking on "This PC" , select "Manage" and then click "Disk Management" in "Storage" menu in Windows 10.
    2. Here you can see all SSD partitions. Then select the partition which doesn't have a drive letter, and then right click it to select "Change Drive Letter and Paths…".

    change drive letter

    3. Next click "Add" button, and then select a drive letter from the list. Then click "OK" to finish this change.

    assign letter

    Besides, MiniTool Partition Wizard also has such a feature. Do as the following guidance shows:

    Step 1: Select the target partition on your SSD, and click "Change Drive Letter" in the left pane.
    Step 2: Choose one drive letter.
    Step 3: Click "Apply" button finally.

    change letter

    After performing the operation, SSD will show up again in Windows 10.

    reason 5 Reason 5: SSD Adopts an Unsupported File System

    If your SSD is still not showing up in Windows 10 after trying the above ways, you should consider whether the file system is the one Windows can read, FAT32 or NTFS. Actually, if it is not the one between these two file systems in Windows 10, SSD won't show up.

    Solution: Delete Drive and Create FAT32/NTFS Partition

    You also can use MiniTool Partition Wizard to delete the SSD partition in Windows 10 and then create a new NTFS/FAT32 partition. Here take a Ext3 partition as an example.

    Step 1: Right click the partition to select "Delete" function.

    delete partition

    Note: Partition Deletion will lead to data loss. If you have saved important data on this partition, please recover delete files at once with MiniTool Power Data Recovery after deletion.

    Step 2: Then after finishing the deletion, click "Create Partition". During the process, please choose NTFS or FAT32 as the file system.

    create partition

    Step 3: Finally execute this changes by clicking "Apply".

    reason 6 Reason 6: SSD Not Showing up in BIOS

    In addition, there is another possibility. If you find SSD not showing up in Disk Management, most likely the SSD isn't connected up correctly, so Windows can't recognize it. After trying going into BIOS, you will find the computer fails to detect your SSD. In this case, what should you do? Please refer to this post The BIOS does not detect or recognize the Solid State Drive to get solutions.


    Bottom Line

    In this post, we mainly talk about SSD not showing up in Windows 10 issue, why this issue appears, and how to fix such an issue. MiniTool Partition Wizard helps you a lot to solve SSD not appearing issue. If you encounter this problem while managing SSD partition data, you can try using the ways mentioned in this post. If you think these ways are useful, please share it to more people.

    On the other hand, if you have any suggestion or doubt, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below or directly send to support@minitool.com. Much appreciated.