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SSD not showing up? What to do when a new SSD is not detected

If you recently purchased a new SSD to replace your old HDD and boot Windows 10 faster, you might stumble upon an issue when the SSD is not showing up on your computer. You don’t have to panic if you can no longer reach your files since you can solve the problem.

SSD not showing up

Why is my new SSD not showing up?

There could be various reasons why your SSD doesn’t detected by Windows 10, such as:

  • SSD is not initialized
  • SSD is not enabled in BIOS
  • SSD drivers are not properly installed, outdated, or incompatible
  • Your SSD cable or USB port is malfunctioning
  • The SSD is damaged
  • SSD is hidden and doesn’t have a drive letter assigned

What to do when the SSD is not detected

It’s easy to think that your Solid State Drive is malfunctioning and must be replaced. However, before opting for this expensive solution right from the start, try connecting it to another computer.

If it works, it’s a clear indicator that there’s something wrong with your device settings. It’s good news because it means your problem can be resolved by changing device settings, so you can proceed with the following solutions to fix your new SSD if it’s not showing on your Windows 10 computer.

1. Enable the SSD in BIOS

Start by making sure your SSD is enabled in BIOS. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Restart Windows 10
  2. Before the OS boots, quickly press the key shown on the screen to access BIOS setup
  3. Go to the Setup section
  4. Find the SSD and enable it
  5. Save the new BIOS configuration and exit

2. Initialize the SSD in Disk Management

If you have a brand new SSD that you recently attached to your computer, it might be necessary to initialize it from Disk Management to be able to see it in Windows Explorer. Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Disk Management
  2. If your SSD has the Unknown status, right-click it and select Initialize DiskDisk Management shows how to initialize a disk
  3. Select MBR and click OK

After Disk Management completes this task, you can start using your SSD for storing files or create partitions before getting started with file operations.

3. Quickly reinstall the SSD

If the SSD was not properly installed on your PC, here’s how to solve this:

  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start menu and go to Device Manager
  2. Open the Disk drives category
  3. Right-click your SSD and select Uninstall deviceDevice Manager shows how to uninstall disk drive
  4. Open the Action menu and click Scan for hardware changesDevice Manager shows how to scan for hardware changes
  5. Restart your computer. Windows will auto-reinstall the missing devices

4. Update the SSD drivers

  1. Press Win key + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter to open Device Manager
  2. Select your SSD device, right-click it, and choose Update driverDevice Manager shows how to update disk driver
  3. Click Search automatically for drivers
  4. If you get the The best drivers for your device are already installed message, click Search for updated drivers on Windows Update
  5. Click Check for updates and allow Windows to download and install the latest updates. Your PC might rebootWindows 10 shows how to check for updates

If Windows Update doesn’t find drivers for your SSD, you should visit the manufacturer’s official website to find, download, and install newer drivers. But if you don’t want to risk getting an incompatible driver, you could turn to a drive update software solution. It helps you keep all drivers in check.

5. Roll back SSD drivers

If you installed a driver that doesn’t offer support for your SSD model and operating system, it could cause functionality issues and might be the reason why your SSD won’t show up on your computer. To fix this problem, you should roll back to the previous version.

  1. Open Device Manager
  2. Right-click your SSD and go to Properties
  3. Switch to the Driver tab
  4. Click Roll Back Driver and follow the instruction. If the button is greyed out, skip this step since you can’t perform the rollback

6. Update the storage controller drivers

If your storage controller drivers are obsolete, your SSD will not properly connect and will remain undetected by Windows 10. But you can fix the problem by updating those drivers.

  1. Return to Device Manager
  2. Expand the Storage controllers category
  3. Right-click the first entry and select Update driverWindows 10 shows how to update the storage controller driver
  4. Click Search automatically for drivers
  5. If the search is unsuccessful, click Search for updated drivers on Windows Update
  6. Follow these steps to update the drivers of all devices in the Storage controllers group

7. Check your SSD cable and USB ports

Shut down your computer and take a look at your SSD cable to make sure that it’s properly inserted into the USB port. It’s also a good idea to switch USB ports if you have more, just in case it’s malfunctioning and causing connectivity issues.

And, if you happen to have another compatible cable lying around, replace the current one and use it to connect your SSD to the computer unit. It’s quite possible that the cable is damaged in some way. Otherwise, there might be something wrong with the SSD itself.

8. Assign a drive letter

If your disk drive is hidden, it might have a missing drive letter or one that conflicts with another partition. For example, if your M.2 SSD is not showing up on your Windows 10 PC, you can fix this issue by assigning a new drive letter.

How to assign drive letters using Disk Management:

  1. Right-click the Start button and open Disk Management
  2. Select an SSD partition, right-click it, and choose Change Drive Letters and PathsDisk Management shows how to change drive letters and paths
  3. If you already have a drive letter assigned
    • Click Change
    • Pick a preferred drive letter
    • Click OK
  4. If there’s no letter assigned
    • Click Add
    • At Mount in the following empty NTFS folder, click Browse
    • Set the new drive path by choosing an empty NTFS folder and click OK
    • Then, click OK to confirm
  5. Exit Disk Management

How to assign drive letters using Command Prompt:

  1. Press Win key + R, type CMD, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with admin rights
  2. Run diskpart to access the integrated partition manager
  3. Run list volume to check out all disk drivesWindows shows how to list volumes with diskpart
  4. Identify the number of your SSD or a SSD drive and use it when running select volume # (e.g. select volume 4)Windows shows how to select a volume with diskpart
  5. . Type assign letter= and add the new drive letter (e.g. assign letter=e). Press EnterWindows shows how to assign a volume letter with diskpart
  6. Exit Command Prompt

9. Format the SSD

If you get an error when trying to access the SSD contents in your file explorer, it’s a good idea to format the drive. Keep in mind that it means losing all files you saved there.

  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and select Device Management
  2. Choose a partition from your SSD (or the entire disk if you don’t have multiple partitions)
  3. Right-click the drive and select FormatWindows shows how to format a drive using Disk Management
  4. Set the volume label, file system, and allocation unit size
  5. Disable Perform a quick format
  6. Leave Enable file and folder compression disabled
  7. Click OK and wait until the formatting is completeWindows shows how to configure format settings in Disk Management

If your SSD doesn’t show up in Disk Management, use Command Prompt:

  1. Click the Start button, search for Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator. Click Yes if prompted by UAC (User Account Control)
  2. Run diskpart
  3. Run list disk to view all HDDs and SSDsWindows shows how to list disks using diskpart
  4. By taking into account the disk number of your SSD, run select disk # (e.g. select disk 0)Windows shows how to select a disk using diskpart
  5. Run clean to perform a successful disk cleanup by permanently deleting all files and folders from the selected SSD
  6. Next, run format fs=ntfs to format the SSD as NTFS
  7. Exit Command Prompt

10. Use a SSD diagnostics tool

You can inspect your SSD’s health and find out a wide range of information using a specialized tool, such as Crystal Disk Mark, Open Hardware Monitor or SSDLife. Just download one of these programs and point it to your SSD, in order to run benchmark tests and check out the the S.M.A.R.T. attributes.

11. Unplug other peripheral devices

If you have multiple external devices connected to your computer, like a Wi-Fi adapter or a webcam, it’s a good idea to detach them. They might clash with your SSD, prevent you from using it, and making you believe that the SSD is malfunctioning.

Make sure to shut down your computer before doing so. Then, turn it on and check if your SSD shows up now.

12. Run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

On Windows 10, you can use a troubleshooter dedicated to fixing common hardware errors, so you can use it to repair any SSD issues. Normally, you can find it in Troubleshoot settings. However, if the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter is missing from that area, you can use the Run tool.

  1. Press the Windows key + R and run msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
  2. Click Next and allow Windows to scan your PC for issuesWindows 10 shows how to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
  3. If it finds any solutions, click Apply this fixWindows shows how to apply the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter fixes
  4. Restart Windows
  5. Try to use your SSD now

13. Run CHKDSK

If your SSD has errors or bad sectors, you can run CHKDSK (Check Disk) to find and resolve them. You don’t need to install any third-party software solutions since you can launch CHKDSK from the command-line environment.

How to use CHKDSK:

  1. Press Win key + R, type CMD, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with elevation rights
  2. Click Yes if prompted by User Account Control
  3. Type chkdsk d: /f /r if your SSD has the D: letter assigned. Otherwise, replace d: with the correct partition letter. Hit the Enter keyCommand Prompt shows how to run chkdsk
  4. If asked to force a volume dismount, type y and press Enter
  5. Wait for CHKDSK to complete its task
  6. Exit Command Prompt and try to access your SSD now

14. Scan your computer for malware

If your operating system is infected with malware, your SSD might not show up on your computer. But you can run a malware scan and remove or quarantine any damaged files by turning to Windows Defender.

How to use Windows Defender:

  1. Click the Start button, type Windows Security, and open this app
  2. Select Virus & threat protectionWindows 10 shows how to select Virus and Threat Protection
  3. Click Scan optionsWindows 10 shows how to access Windows Defender scan options
  4. Choose Quick scan and click Scan nowWindows 10 shows how to run a Quick Scan using Windows Defender
  5. If the search results return empty-handed, run another scan using Windows Defender Offline scan modeWindows 10 shows how to perform a Windows Defender offline scan
  6. Allow Windows to remove or quarantine any suspicious files. If you’re certain that specific files are safe, you should mark them as false positives
  7. Reboot your PC and try to use your SSD now

15. Update BIOS

If you have never updated your BIOS or if too much time has passed since the last update, it’s possible that this could cause disk initialization errors. So you should bring BIOS up to speed to resolve this problem.

How to update BIOS:

  1. Plug a pen drive into your PC
  2. Click the Windows 10 Start button, search for System Information, and open this app
  3. Select the System Summary area
  4. Note the information written at BaseBoard Manufacturer and BIOS Version/DateWindows 10 shows how to get your BIOS version from the System Information app
  5. Launch a web browser and visit your BIOS manufacturer’s website
  6. Find and download the latest BIOS version for your PC
  7. Unzip the downloaded archive to your pen drive
  8. Restart your computer and access BIOS setup
  9. Create a backup of the current BIOS version
  10. Run the BIOS update
  11. After it completes, start Windows as normal and inspect results

16. Check the system memory

Any problems with the system RAM can affect your storage devices and even prevent your SSD from showing up on your Windows computer. So it’s a good idea to check the RAM using an integrated tool called Windows Memory Diagnostic.

How to use Windows Memory Diagnostic:

  1. Make sure to save all documents and close all programs
  2. Press the Win key, search for Windows Memory Diagnostic, and press Enter
  3. Click Restart now and check for problemsReboot your PC to run Windows Memory Diagnostic
  4. Before Windows reboots, it will check your RAM for issues

It runs the RAM test in Standard mode by default. But we recommend switching to the Extended test. Although it takes longer, it offers insight into your PC and you might be able to tell why you’re having trouble with your SSD.

To switch to the Extended test mode, press F1 to access options, pick Extended, and press F10 to confirm. The scan results will be shown in the Windows 10 notifications center after system boot. Alternatively, you can download, install and use MemTest86.

17. Use a Linux live distro

If you suspect there’s something wrong with your operating system, you can create a bootable USB drive with a live Linux distro. After booting your PC using the pen drive, you can access the SSD in order to recover files or perform other operations. For example, you can use Rufus.

How to create a Linux live distro with Rufus:

  1. Download a Linux distro, such as Ubuntu
  2. Connect an empty pen drive to your computer
  3. Download Rufus from the official website
  4. Install and launch the tool
  5. Select the USB drive from the main app windowRufus shows how to create a bootable USB drive with Ubuntu
  6. Set Boot section to Disk or ISO image
  7. Click SELECT and indicate the ISO image of the Linux distro
  8. Set Partition scheme to MBR
  9. Set File system to FAT32
  10. Click START

How to boot Linux from the USB drive:

  1. Make sure the pen drive remains connected to your PC
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Before Windows boot, quickly press the key displayed on the screen to access the boot startup menu (e.g. F12)
  4. Select your pen drive and press Enter
  5. After the Linux distro loads, access your SSD


To recap, if your SSD is not showing up on your computer, it could indicate a problem with the device, its cable, or your computer settings. Get started by making sure that your SSD is enabled in BIOS and initialized in Disk Management.

Plus, you can quickly reinstall the SSD, update or roll back its drivers, update the storage controller drivers, check your SSD cable and USB ports, change the drive letter, format the SSD, and use a specialized diagnostics tool.

It’s also a good idea to unplug other peripheral devices apart from your SSD, run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, use CHKDSK to fix SSD errors and bad sectors, scan your computer for malware, update BIOS, check the system memory, or use a Linux live distro to access your SSD.

What solution worked for you? Did we miss any important steps? Let us know in the comments section below.

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