SSD not detected in Windows? Easy solutions | ENBLE

SSD not detected in Windows? Easy solutions | ENBLE

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your SSD Recognized in Windows

SSD Installation Bill Roberson/Digital Trends / DigitalTrends

Is your new SSD not showing up in Windows? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you’re eager to start installing your operating system on your new boot drive. But fear not, getting your SSD recognized by Windows is relatively straightforward, as long as the drive is functioning properly. So, let’s dive into the best ways to make your SSD visible in Windows.

Checking for Proper Installation

Checking Installation Jon Martindale / DigitalTrends

Before we go any further, let’s make sure that your SSD is installed correctly. We’ve all made a silly mistake before, and there’s no shame in double-checking.

Step 1: If you’re installing a SATA SSD, ensure that the SATA cable is securely connected to both the drive and your motherboard. Also, make sure that the drive has a SATA power connector that is properly connected to your power supply. If you have any doubts, simply unplug and reconnect the connections.

For NVMe SSDs, ensure that the slot you’re using supports the size and type of drive you have. However, keep in mind that older PCI Express generations might support newer drives at slower speeds.

Step 2: If you suspect that the installation might be the issue, try mounting the drive in a different slot on the motherboard or using a different cable for SATA drives.

Checking BIOS Settings

BIOS Settings DigitalTrends

It’s possible that your PC is not configured to recognize new SSDs. Checking the UEFI/BIOS settings can help ensure everything is set up correctly.

Step 1: Restart your PC and access the UEFI/BIOS using your motherboard’s special key, which is typically F2 or Del. If you’re unsure, consult your manual or the manufacturer’s website.

Step 2: Look for a section related to storage or configuration, although the specific names can vary across different BIOS versions. Refer to your manual or manufacturer’s website for assistance in navigating your system’s BIOS.

Step 3: If you’re using an older SATA SSD, verify that the SATA Configuration is set to AHCI. However, if AHCI mode fails to recognize your SSD, try switching to IDE or Compatibility mode.

Step 4: In some older motherboards, certain SATA ports may need to be manually enabled in the BIOS. Check if your motherboard requires this step and enable the relevant SSD ports if necessary.

Initializing the Drive

Initializing the Drive Jon Martindale / DigitalTrends

Sometimes, Windows won’t recognize a new drive until you initialize it.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + X and select “Disk Management” from the list.

Step 2: Locate your new drive. You can search for it by drive letter or check the capacities to identify it.

If the drive is not initialized, you’ll see a black bar across the top of its unallocated space and a small red circle icon next to the drive name.

Step 3: Right-click on the drive and select “Initialize Disk.”

Step 4: Choose your preferred partition style, MBR or GPT. In most cases, GPT is the recommended option. Click “OK” to proceed.

Step 5: Allow the drive to finish initializing, then right-click on the unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume.” Follow the on-screen instructions to create the volume.

Step 6: Congratulations! Your drive is now ready to be used for installing applications and storing files and data.

Changing the Drive Letter

Changing Drive Letter DigitalTrends

In some cases, conflicting drive letters can prevent your new SSD from being recognized. Luckily, this issue is easily fixable.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + X and select “Disk Management” from the list.

Step 2: Right-click on the SSD for which you want to change the drive letter and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”

Step 3: If your drive already has a letter assigned, click on “Change.” If it doesn’t have a letter, click on “Add.”

Step 4: Select a new drive letter from the drop-down menu. If your drive already had a letter, you may choose to remove it. However, note that removing a drive letter can cause issues with existing apps or games on the drive.

Step 5: Once you’ve made the necessary changes, click “OK” to finalize them. Restart your PC and check if the drive is now recognized.

Formatting the Drive

Formatting the Drive Jon Martindale / DigitalTrends

If none of the above steps have solved the issue, it’s possible that the drive’s setup is causing it to go undetected. Formatting the drive from scratch might be the solution.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + X and select “Disk Management” from the list.

Step 2: Right-click on the problematic drive and select “Format.”

Step 3: Choose the desired file system for the drive. For most users, NTFS is the recommended option. Select the default allocation size unless you have specific reasons not to.

Step 4: Check the box for a quick format and click “OK” to begin.

Step 5: Wait for the format to complete, then restart your PC and check if the drive is now recognized by Windows.

If, after following all of the aforementioned steps, your SSD is still not recognized by Windows, you may be facing hardware problems. Consider trying a different drive to see if it works. If the new drive is detected, you may need to replace the original SSD. You can refer to our list of the best SSDs in 2023 to find suitable replacement options.