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Hard drive not appearing in Disk Management (Windows 8)

Tags:
  • Computers
  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
  • Disk Management
  • Standard
  • SSD
Last response: in Storage
January 13, 2014 7:57:47 PM

So I have just recently built my first computer. I purchased 2 storage drives. A SSD, and your standard hard drive. I installed my OS on the SSD, and that worked well. however when I try to partition my second drive, it does not show up in disk management. It does however, show up in my BIOS screen. Any ideas? I checked http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265764-32-guide-insta... however step 5 did not work. Thanks.

More about : hard drive appearing disk management windows

a c 464 G Storage
January 13, 2014 8:06:33 PM

In Disk Management, look in the LOWER RIGHT pane. It SCROLLS so you can see all the valid hardware storage devices, even the ones Windows cannot see and use yet (like a brand new empty HDD). If your HDD shows in BIOS Setup, it REALLY should also show up in this lower right pane.
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January 13, 2014 8:40:42 PM

Well, I do not know how I fixed this problem. Earlier, when I made this post, your advice was not working, however after taking a break, windows prompted me to restart my computer. When i did this, it was there. I did not do anything but now it is working. Thanks.
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a c 464 G Storage
January 14, 2014 11:12:14 AM

Glad it's working. Sometimes computers do their part to present a few of life's unknowable mysteries!
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December 7, 2014 11:18:00 PM

I have the same problem and cant work it out.
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a c 464 G Storage
December 8, 2014 7:42:07 PM

See my post of Jan 13 above. Can you see that HDD in the LOWER RIGHT pane of Disk Management? If so, what does it show you in the large rectangle that represents it? Does it show sub-blocks labelled with something, or is it all called "Unallocated Space"?
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a c 464 G Storage
December 9, 2014 7:09:41 AM

That screen shot suggests you have a different problem. It shows no hint of a second HDD unit. Now, the lower right pane will always show any valid storage device. Since it's not there, that suggests the new HDD is is not working at all. In the original post, OP said his / her drive does show up in BIOS Setup. What about yours? I doubt it is there. If that is the case, the HDD is faulty.
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December 9, 2014 11:51:33 PM

The thing is it does show up in the bios. I was going to try and install windows 8.1 on to it and then see if windows can detect both it and the ssd which works then boot off the ssd and then attempt to delete the partitions off the hdd. As soon as i download the install again.
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January 2, 2015 6:31:34 PM

I have the same Problem.

I have

1x SATA SDD - Boot Drive - Windows 8.1
1x SATA TB - a) Partitioned with a backup windows 8.1 booth for emergency
b) Empty Storage
1x SATA 500 GB - Drive (old Laptop drive)

Bio's see all three drives, lets me booth from either SSD or emergency backup. But neither will see each other once windows is loaded, and this includes disk management.

Any thoughts?
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March 16, 2015 2:18:19 PM

yeah if you go to disk management it will show the drive and say unallocated or something like that if you right click the drive and press format it sets up the main partition on the drive and activates it.
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March 23, 2015 5:42:10 AM

Hi guys,

I have had the same problem, and like one of the other replies, I simply used the computer for a day, off and on, and rebooted a number of times, and suddenly the drive was there.

It had been in the BIOS the whole time, but was not showing in Disk Management.
I had tried moving cables/connections etc. nothing was working.

I left it running for hours and rebooted, still nothing. Check for windows and drivers updates. Nothing.

Turned it off, and on, and rebooted, still nothing.

Left it for 20 mins to make a drink, and when I came back, suddenly the drive was there in Disk Management.... no explanation.

I was then able to create a partition and format the drive ready for use and it works great.

The weirdness that is Windows and PC's :) 
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May 6, 2015 8:55:48 PM

I'm in this same exact pickle with Windows 7.
And I don't feel like waiting around until it "fixes" itself. :pfff: 
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a c 464 G Storage
May 11, 2015 12:20:09 PM

Luticman, I find you note confusing. You say the new unit DOES show up in BIOS Setup and is recognized. Does the Setup Screen's info (like manufacturer, model number, and capacity) appear correct?

Then you say that unit shows up in Windows' Device Manager. Does it show any problems with a yellow triangle? Does it indicate anything odd about its driver?

IF you are running Win XP, there could be a driver issue. If your Windows is Vista or later, ignore this paragraph! The issue with XP and earlier is that they do NOT have any "built-in" driver for SATA or AHCI devices. So, like many other devices, you need to install the required driver. Now, if your HDD is being used in Windows XP only as a data device and NOT as your boot drive, this is simple. First of all, as you boot up go immediately into BIOS Setup and to the place where you configure the SATA drive unit and ports. There you will find (either for each port separately, or for all SATA ports together) an option to specify the SATA Port Mode, with choices like "IDE (or PATA) Emulation", "Native SATA", "AHCI", or "RAID". For any SATA HDD the best choice is AHCI, or maybe Native SATA. Do NOT use RAID unless you actually are going to use a RAID array system. If you have to change any setting in here, be sure to SAVE and Exit from Setup and the machine boots into Widows. Now go to Device Manager and look to see if that HDD is there. If it is, check for a yellow warning triangle. If it's there but even without a warning, go to where you can update its device driver. If, on the other hand, this new HDD does not even show in Device Manager, choose to have the system scan for device changes and new devices. The whole idea here is to ensure that you load the driver for an AHCI device type (or SATA if there's no AHCI to choose). Back out of Device Manager etc.

Once that is done check Disk Management's Lower Right panel again (not upper right) and scroll through if necessary to find the new HDD. If it's recognized in BIOS Setup and in Device Manager, it REALLY should be there in Disk Management waiting for you to Initialize it. In more recent versions of Windows, this is often called "Create a New Simple Volume".

In Windows Vista and later versions, the AHCI device driver is "built in" and does not need to be separately loaded in the manner above. It should be there already, so the HDD should show up properly in Disk Management.
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Best solution

June 17, 2015 11:29:43 AM

Possible solution/problem. Search storage spaces on windows, or manage storage spaces. the path is 'Control Panel->System and Security->Storage Spaces'. See if that drive is set up as a storage space, if so, delete it. Go back to disk management.

Sorry if it didn't help.
Share
July 23, 2015 6:07:35 AM

doinkoid said:
Possible solution/problem. Search storage spaces on windows, or manage storage spaces. the path is 'Control Panel->System and Security->Storage Spaces'. See if that drive is set up as a storage space, if so, delete it. Go back to disk management.

Sorry if it didn't help.


Hi I've had the exact issue with a drive for my new PC, tried it in several SATA ports and swapped it around, nothing could get it to work until i found your solution and now it's working perfectly. Thank you very much for your response.
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September 5, 2015 8:51:51 PM

my Dell laptop recently died (mobo). I had installed W10 on it and it was working perfectly till the mobo went belly up. took the drive out of it and hooked it up as an external to get my stuff off of it, but in disk management, it shows but as Unknown and Uninitialized. when I try to initialize it, it says Virtual Disk Manager-Incorrect function.

My primary hdd also doesn't show up in DM. Is it the W10 operating system "hiding" it? How can I get it to show?
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September 6, 2015 2:01:58 PM

Paperdoc said:
See my post of Jan 13 above. Can you see that HDD in the LOWER RIGHT pane of Disk Management? If so, what does it show you in the large rectangle that represents it? Does it show sub-blocks labelled with something, or is it all called "Unallocated Space"?


Hi Paperdoc, been searching for an answer to this problem. My unseen HDD shows as "Unallocated" in Disk Management.
Any idea how I can get Windows 10 to see it?
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a c 464 G Storage
September 6, 2015 7:48:30 PM

Teknofear, is this a brand new empty hard drive?

Every new HDD has no useful information on it at all. It has only magnetic tracks broken up into pieces called Sectors, but the Sectors contain no data. Windows, or any other OS, cannot read "no data".

EVERY new empty hard drive needs two steps done to prepare it for use, and these days Windows combines those two into one process to make it easy. And you can do this from within Disk Management. The steps are first to Create a Partition on the hard disk, and then to Format that Partition. A Partition is just one chunk of the HDD's space that will be used and treated as a "drive" where you can put data. (It is possible to create more than one Partition on one HDD unit, and each will be treated by Windows as a separate "drive" with its own letter name.) Creating a Partition writes some information to a particular spot at the beginning of the HDD to make a Partition Table. The data in this table tells the details of where the Partition begins and ends on the HDD unit, its size, and the type of Partition. Once that is done, the Format process then writes a new set of data structures to the beginning of that Partition space. These create the Root directory for this Partition, a table to keep track of which Sector is used for which data file, and a bunch of other tables to track file use. All those new tables together are the File System for this Partition. Only after these two steps have been done can an OS actually start to place data on the HDD in the newly-organized spaces. In modern Windows, these two steps together are usually called "Create a New Simple Volume".

Now, Windows always used to create and use Partitions under a system called MBR, which defines exactly how the Partition Table data is organized. But this system has several limits, the most significant being that it only allows a HDD to have slightly over 2 TB of data space. So more recently as HDD's got bigger, an improved Partitioning structure was introduced called GPT. It writes a different style of Partition Table that can allow HDD's LOADS bigger than any drive available now or soon. Since you are using Win 10 you will have the option of telling it to use either MBR or GPT Partitioning when you do this task with your new HDD. If the HDD is no larger than 2 TB it does not really matter, but many choose to go for the new better system. If your HDD is over 2 TB, you MUST choose the GPT system in order to use all of your drive's space.

If you plan to BOOT from a HDD that is Partitioned using the new GPT system, your mobo's BIOS MUST have a feature called UEFI Support. Only that type of BIOS can understand the GPT style of Partition Table for booting. But if you're booting from some other device, and only using this HDD for data storage and retrieval, you do not require the UEFI Support in BIOS - Windows 10 has the driver it needs to be able to use a HDD with a GPT Partitioning system.

So, with all the explanations out of the way, the actual task is simple. Go into Disk Management where you can see that new HDD with its label that says it is Unallocated Space. RIGHT-click on that space and choose to Create a New Simple Volume. Check the options available to you: MBR or GPT style, what size is the Partition you want to Create (probably all of the space on this HDD unit), bootable or not (does not need to be if only data storage), File System to install (use NTFS) and Quick of Full Formatting. Full Formatting takes MANY hours because it tests EVERY Sector of the entire drive and makes sure not to use any Bad Sectors if there are any, so you need patience. Quick Formatting skips that long test process, and is probably OK since this is a new HDD that is unlikely to have any Bad Sectors, but the long way is the cautious way. When the process is complete, back out of Disk Management and reboot. That new HDD will now show up in My Computer ready to use.
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September 18, 2015 11:30:40 PM

stinkenheim said:
doinkoid said:
Possible solution/problem. Search storage spaces on windows, or manage storage spaces. the path is 'Control Panel->System and Security->Storage Spaces'. See if that drive is set up as a storage space, if so, delete it. Go back to disk management.

Sorry if it didn't help.


Hi I've had the exact issue with a drive for my new PC, tried it in several SATA ports and swapped it around, nothing could get it to work until i found your solution and now it's working perfectly. Thank you very much for your response.


You sir, are a wonderful person. I was going crazy with this, but your solution worked perfectly. Thank you!!!!
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October 6, 2015 2:21:17 PM

dvdrns123 said:
So I have just recently built my first computer. I purchased 2 storage drives. A SSD, and your standard hard drive. I installed my OS on the SSD, and that worked well. however when I try to partition my second drive, it does not show up in disk management. It does however, show up in my BIOS screen. Any ideas? I checked http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265764-32-guide-insta... however step 5 did not work. Thanks.


I had to click 'Show Hidden Devices' in Device manager. It should show up there, in my case it was a Samsung SSD EVO. Uninstall it. Reboot. It should show up in disk management now.
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November 13, 2015 7:34:17 AM

Terrence_1 said:
dvdrns123 said:
So I have just recently built my first computer. I purchased 2 storage drives. A SSD, and your standard hard drive. I installed my OS on the SSD, and that worked well. however when I try to partition my second drive, it does not show up in disk management. It does however, show up in my BIOS screen. Any ideas? I checked http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265764-32-guide-insta... however step 5 did not work. Thanks.


I had to click 'Show Hidden Devices' in Device manager. It should show up there, in my case it was a Samsung SSD EVO. Uninstall it. Reboot. It should show up in disk management now.


I'm having almost the exact problem from this thread. I have Windows 10 installed to a HDD RAID 0 array. I installed a Samsung 850 EVO 256Gb SSD that I do NOT want to install Windows to, but just use to install whatever games I'm currently playing. It shows up in the BIOS and is available in the boot order, but doesn't show up in any shape or form in Disk Management.

I'm going to try your solution and/or the others here and come back and comment with whether or not it worked. Thanks.
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November 23, 2015 4:35:42 PM

I just solved the problem by updating my motherboard BIOS. Not obvious, right?
The disk is ST2000DX001 (Seagate 2TB, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EIQTKAS)
The MB is MSI X99A SLI Plus.

I built the computer about 2.5 month ago and was using my old secondary HDD. When it started to misbehave - I lost significant chunk of insignificant and recoverable data - I bought this Seagate as the replacement. When it arrived the disk was immediately recognized by BIOS but won't show up in the Disk Management. I tried many options (replacing the SATA channels, cables, disconnecting other drives) to no avail.
One more thing that I tried was using a USB dock. Once connected to the same PC the Disk Management immediately saw it. That made me believe that HDD is working.
So I went to MSI Live Update application and found out that a newer version of BIOS is available. And you already know the end of the story.
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November 29, 2015 5:37:39 PM

Hi, so I have almost the same problem. I can see both of the hard drive in the bios but I can't see them in the disk management and I don't know what manufacture of my mother board is so I don't know how to update my bios.
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December 6, 2015 4:28:01 AM

Paperdoc said:
See my post of Jan 13 above. Can you see that HDD in the LOWER RIGHT pane of Disk Management? If so, what does it show you in the large rectangle that represents it? Does it show sub-blocks labelled with something, or is it all called "Unallocated Space"?


Hi I have the same problem... My disk shows in unrecognized braked. What should I do next ?
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a c 464 G Storage
December 6, 2015 7:50:30 PM

I don't quite understand the labels you used. Does this HDD show up in one of the parts of Disk Management? Does it have just one large block with the label "Unallocated Space"?
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December 10, 2015 10:23:37 PM

Hi just follow these steps:

Right clicks on computer then click on manage, computer management Window will appear on your desktop. On management Window you will see various options in right panel click on storage and select disk Management and select the disk in which you see unallocated space and then right click on the disk and click on Convert to GPT disk. After doing this just right click on the unallocated space and create Simple new volume. Hope these steps will help you to utilize the unallocated space!!
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January 6, 2016 3:07:36 PM

Paperdoc said:
Teknofear, is this a brand new empty hard drive?

Every new HDD has no useful information on it at all. It has only magnetic tracks broken up into pieces called Sectors, but the Sectors contain no data. Windows, or any other OS, cannot read "no data".

EVERY new empty hard drive needs two steps done to prepare it for use, and these days Windows combines those two into one process to make it easy. And you can do this from within Disk Management. The steps are first to Create a Partition on the hard disk, and then to Format that Partition. A Partition is just one chunk of the HDD's space that will be used and treated as a "drive" where you can put data. (It is possible to create more than one Partition on one HDD unit, and each will be treated by Windows as a separate "drive" with its own letter name.) Creating a Partition writes some information to a particular spot at the beginning of the HDD to make a Partition Table. The data in this table tells the details of where the Partition begins and ends on the HDD unit, its size, and the type of Partition. Once that is done, the Format process then writes a new set of data structures to the beginning of that Partition space. These create the Root directory for this Partition, a table to keep track of which Sector is used for which data file, and a bunch of other tables to track file use. All those new tables together are the File System for this Partition. Only after these two steps have been done can an OS actually start to place data on the HDD in the newly-organized spaces. In modern Windows, these two steps together are usually called "Create a New Simple Volume".

Now, Windows always used to create and use Partitions under a system called MBR, which defines exactly how the Partition Table data is organized. But this system has several limits, the most significant being that it only allows a HDD to have slightly over 2 TB of data space. So more recently as HDD's got bigger, an improved Partitioning structure was introduced called GPT. It writes a different style of Partition Table that can allow HDD's LOADS bigger than any drive available now or soon. Since you are using Win 10 you will have the option of telling it to use either MBR or GPT Partitioning when you do this task with your new HDD. If the HDD is no larger than 2 TB it does not really matter, but many choose to go for the new better system. If your HDD is over 2 TB, you MUST choose the GPT system in order to use all of your drive's space.

If you plan to BOOT from a HDD that is Partitioned using the new GPT system, your mobo's BIOS MUST have a feature called UEFI Support. Only that type of BIOS can understand the GPT style of Partition Table for booting. But if you're booting from some other device, and only using this HDD for data storage and retrieval, you do not require the UEFI Support in BIOS - Windows 10 has the driver it needs to be able to use a HDD with a GPT Partitioning system.

So, with all the explanations out of the way, the actual task is simple. Go into Disk Management where you can see that new HDD with its label that says it is Unallocated Space. RIGHT-click on that space and choose to Create a New Simple Volume. Check the options available to you: MBR or GPT style, what size is the Partition you want to Create (probably all of the space on this HDD unit), bootable or not (does not need to be if only data storage), File System to install (use NTFS) and Quick of Full Formatting. Full Formatting takes MANY hours because it tests EVERY Sector of the entire drive and makes sure not to use any Bad Sectors if there are any, so you need patience. Quick Formatting skips that long test process, and is probably OK since this is a new HDD that is unlikely to have any Bad Sectors, but the long way is the cautious way. When the process is complete, back out of Disk Management and reboot. That new HDD will now show up in My Computer ready to use.


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January 6, 2016 3:17:58 PM

Thanks for your very useful article explaning why the hard disk drives cant be seen by Windows. I had a new WD 1TB drive in a new machine I have just built where the bios and the device manager saw the drive, but it could not be seen by Windows 10.
As you suggested I found the drive in the lower part of the disk management program, right clicked , added as a simple file when finished rebooted and bingo i saw it as a working blank drive
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August 30, 2016 3:11:55 AM

doinkoid said:
Possible solution/problem. Search storage spaces on windows, or manage storage spaces. the path is 'Control Panel->System and Security->Storage Spaces'. See if that drive is set up as a storage space, if so, delete it. Go back to disk management.

Sorry if it didn't help.


OMG, thank you soo much. I have been trying to figure out why this was happening for weeks, trying so many things and this finally got it to show up. Thank you so much!!
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