How do I fix a hard drive that’s not displayed?

All users of laptops or desktop computers have problems with the device over time. One of the common cases is memory problems, such as hard disk problems. A hard drive is one of the most valuable elements of a computer. If any other part is subject to easy replacement, then if the hard drive fails, it will take enough effort and money to restore the lost data.

Hard Drive Problems

There are a lot of reasons for the incorrect operation of the HDD, and the method of troubleshooting depends on them. The first step is to check whether the hard disk is detected by the BIOS system. To open the BIOS console while turning on the computer, press the DEL or F2 button on the keyboard several times. Depending on the brand of the motherboard, the system interface may look different, but their algorithm is the same. Select Storage or Standard CMOS Features, and in the window that opens you will see all the disks connected to the board.

The hard drive is not detected

If there is no hard disk in the bios, the problem is probably in the hardware of the system. To diagnose and find a breakdown, proceed in the following order, checking possible malfunctions in steps:

  • The contact disappeared.
  • The absence of a hard drive in the BIOS list may simply be due to an unconnected hard drive. Check the reliability of the cable attachment to the motherboard and memory, then restart the computer.
  • Physical damage.
  • If the hard drive has physical damage, then this may affect its quality of work. For example, dents on the case bent jumpers, or a scratched board.
  • In case of a problem due to physical defects, only specialists in service centers can restore its operability. If you try to repair the device yourself according to the advice on the Internet, the risk of information loss or final failure increases.
  • Defective wiring.

If the slots were inserted securely and no obvious damage to the device was detected, there is a possibility that the breakdown lies in the cable itself. Taking an exactly working wire, reconnect the disk and check. Disk or board problem.

Source:, Hard Drive Disk

Problems can also be found at the ends of the cable – in the connector of the hard disk or the board. In order not to waste time searching, connect the disk to an exactly working computer, and a working hard drive to the motherboard.

Automatic recognition.

When connecting a new hard drive, the problem may be in the settings of the BIOS system itself. If the auto-identification of new devices option is disabled, it must be activated by setting the Automatic or Enabled parameter in the settings in the Onboard IDE Controller item. If all these items have been successfully checked and they have not turned out to be the cause of the breakdown, we will have to consider special cases.

Outdated drivers or their absence

If there are computer failures before the problem appears that the bios do not display the hard disk, the reason may be the drivers responsible for connecting the device.

To check for possible updates or problems, go to Computer Management and find the “lost” disk in the “Disk Devices” list. Then select either “Update Driver” or “Remove Devices”. In the first case, an automatic search for the necessary files will be performed, in the second, a restart of the computer will be required, during which the necessary utilities will be reinstalled automatically.

Loop overload

During the assembly process, some specialists go for “optimization”, using several connectors on one SATA cable. This leads to an overload of the connection, as a result of which the hard drive begins to work intermittently. Prolonged use of an overloaded loop can cause a problem that the BIOS does not see the disk, as well as its failure.

To solve this problem, check the number of ports connected to a single loop. If you are using a shared connection with a hard drive or connecting multiple hard drives to one port, split the connection. Each HHD disk must be connected to the board with a separate SATA cable.

Power shortage

Loading the system unit with a large number of boards can cause insufficient power for the power supply unit. Because of this, some elements may not be recognized in the BIOS. If the wiring from the feed element is damaged, there may also be interruptions in the operation of the devices. You can determine the lack of power by the sound from the hard drive – the noise will be intermittent, with a slight screech. If there is a light indicator on the case, the bulb will flicker, and not burn evenly.

The presence of obvious damage to the power supply or the wiring adjacent to it requires its full replacement. In the absence of such flaws in the device, calculate the required power for all devices (or turn off the less significant ones for the time of checking) and compare it with the indicators of the power supply. In case of obtaining a close value or exceeding those stated by the manufacturer, it will be necessary to purchase a more powerful power supply.

Factory defect

If none of the above points fit the current problem, there is a high probability of a more serious malfunction. When buying devices or components in unverified places, there is a possibility of acquiring defective computer parts. It is not possible to assess their impact on the system as a whole – the problem may be either a factory defect or the deliberate provision of incorrect information about the element.

In this case, repair at the service center will not fix the situation but may lead to a short-term improvement. Which, as a consequence, will soon lead to new breakdowns and new money spending. To protect yourself from such problems, buy the device only in official or trusted stores.

The hard drive is detected in the BIOS

After solving the problems with displaying the hard disk in the BIOS, there may be a problem with its further operability. Despite the visually correct operation, the connected space of the hard drive remains unavailable for use.

Most often this is due to the unallocated area of the disk. To fix this problem, you need to turn on your computer and go to Disk Management. To run this utility in Windows 10, right-click on the “Start” button, selecting the appropriate item. Or, as in previous OS versions, launch the Run service, and enter the name of the compmgmt.msc service in the window that opens and click OK.

The window that opens will display a list of connected disks and how to split them. Carefully review each section and find the one with the status “Not distributed”. For such disks, the amount of memory will be colored black instead of blue. The first step is to initialize the hard disk – right-click on it and select “Initialize disk”. In the window that opens, you will be prompted to select the partition type – MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table). When using a drive with a volume of less than 2 TB, use the first item, in the case of more than 2 TB, use the second one.

The final step will be to create a disk volume and set a letter designation for it. To do this, right-click on the newly initialized disk again and select “Create a simple volume…”. In the Wizard that opens, creates a simple volume, set the desired volume (if necessary, the memory of the hard drive can be divided into several disks), and select one of the available letters to designate it. If there is data on the next item, select “Do not format this volume” and click “OK”. In the final window, check the selected data and click “Done”. As a result of the operation performed in the directory “My Computer” a disk with the selected designation and the specified volume will appear.

It is worth noting that if you refuse to format a simple volume, incomprehensible files may appear in the created partition. Most of them have no value, but they will occupy part of the free space. Therefore, after restoring the full functionality of the hard drive, copy all the files to another disk and format the vacated partition. After that, return the documents to their places, and unnecessary and temporary files will not create an additional load on memory.


A hard drive is the most valuable part of any computer, and therefore requires a careful attitude and professional solutions to emerging problems. If you encounter frivolous problems, you can solve them yourself without risking losing important documents and files. But in case of breakdowns that require repair or opening of the device case, it is better to contact service centers. After all, even in the case of an incorrigible defect, specialists can extract most of the information even from a non-working hard drive.

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