Fix: SSD Not Showing Up

Solid state drives (SSD) are taking over with their superior speed, low power consumption and lower temperatures. Crucial, Samsung and Scandisk make some of the affordable SSDs but since they are of low storage capacity, they are used as a second disk or as the primary disk in conjunction with a large capacity HDD. Desktop and some laptops provide an extra SATA connection for this purpose. After installing a new SATA SSD, you will need to format it from the Windows disk management utility. However, in some cases, the SSD does not show up in disk management. Further investigation shows the SSD in the BIOS or device manager, but not in disk management or ‘diskpart’ hence there is no way to format it. This article will explain why this happens and how to resolve it.

Why the SSD does not show up in disk management

There are several reasons why your SSD might not be showing in disk management but shows in BIOS. One is that the storage controller drivers might not be compatible. SSDs are a recent breakthrough; newer than most motherboards hence the storage controller drivers of your motherboard might not be compatible and will need updating. Another similar reason is that you might have set the wrong SATA storage controller mode/protocol (IDE, AHCI, ATA, RAID etc.) for your SSD or you had installed the SSD as a HDD in the BIOS.

There is a known issue in Windows 10 and 8 with the disk management utility. It has a problem reading UDF (universal disk format), a file format that new SSDs come with hence making it easy to format in any operating system. Using a third party disk management software can resolve this issue. Use the methods below to get rid of this problem.

Method 1: Troubleshoot hardware and devices

Troubleshooting hardware can correct configuration and driver problems. To automatically scan and fix your hardware problem:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run
  2. Type “control panel” and hit enter to open the control panel     
  3. On the right top of the window, type “Troubleshooting” in the search bar (without the quotes) and click on Troubleshooting from the results.
  4. Now click on View All on the left panel of the screen.
  5. Click on Hardware and Devices.
  6. Click on Next in the popup window and follow the instructions. The troubleshooter will scan for problems.
  7. After the scan is complete, click “Apply this fix” to resolve your issue.
  8. Restart you PC and check if the issue is resolved.

Method 2: Update your motherboard storage controller and IDE ATA controllers drivers

This might solve your problem if the storage controller is the issue. Make sure you have an internet connection for better results.

  1. Press windows key + R to open Run
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter to open device manager
  3. Expand the “Storage Controllers” section
  4. Right click on your controller and select “Update driver software”
  5. On the next window click “Search automatically for updated driver software”
  6. Device manager will search for drivers online and install them.
  7. Do the same for the “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers” section
  8. Restart your PC for effect to take place

You can also download the correct drivers from your motherboard manufacturer and install them.

Method 3: Uninstall and reinstall your IDE ATA storage controller drivers

Uninstalling your storage controller and letting Windows automatically install the correct one might also fix storage controller drivers issues.

  1. Press windows key + R to open Run
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter to open device manager 
  3. Expand the “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers” section
  4. Right click on your controller and select “Uninstall device”
  5. Confirm that you want to uninstall the drivers by clicking “Uninstall” on the warning
  6. Wait for the uninstallation to complete and restart your PC. Windows will automatically install the correct storage controller drivers.

Method 4: Run memory diagnostic tool

A memory diagnostic tries to access the SSD and check for errors. This might force the correct configuration and access protocol and resolve this issue. If you suspect a computer has a memory problem that isn’t being automatically detected, you can run the Windows Memory Diagnostics utility by completing the following steps:

  1. Press windows key + R to open Run
  2. Type mdsched.exe and hit enter to open Windows memory diagnostic
  3. Choose whether to restart the computer and run the tool immediately or schedule the tool to run at the next restart. We recommend the first option unless you are working on something.
  4. Windows Memory Diagnostics runs automatically after the computer restarts and performs a standard memory test automatically. If you want to perform fewer or more tests, press F1, use the Up and Down arrow keys to set the Test Mix as Basic, Standard, or Extended, and then press F10 to apply the desired settings and resume testing.
  5. When testing is completed, the computer restarts automatically. You’ll see the test results in event viewer when you log on.

Alternatively, you can access the memory diagnostic tool from your BIOS by pressing F2 or F10 during startup, or from the repair window of a Windows installation disk.

Method 5: Use a third party disk management tool to create and format your SSD

Windows 8 and 10 disk management utilities have a reported and acknowledged problem on reading new drives. Using a third party application e.g. Ease US partition master, AOMEI partition assistant or Mini tool Partition Magic Pro will read your disk and allow you to format it.

  1. Download AOMEI partition assistant from here, install it and run it. You can also download Ease US partition master from here.
  2. Run AOMEI and wait for it to scan and find your drives
  3. If your SSD shows as an unallocated partition (go to step 5 if not), right click on your SSD drive and select “Create Partition”
  4. Choose the maximum size and press “OK” (this will create and format your partition: go to step 7 to complete the process)
  5. If your SSD shows as an NTFS or UDF partition, right click on your SSD drive and select “Format Partition.” (If it doesn’t work, you can start off by deleting the partition and then creating a partition as shown is step 3.)
  6. Choose “NTFS” file format, type a partition name/label and click OK.
  7. Click “Apply” on the tool bar to accept and confirm your changes
  8. Let AOMEI complete creating and formatting the partition. Your SSD will now be visible in disk management and My Computer as well and ready for use.

Method 6: Use a Windows installation disk to format your drive

Since the disk shows in BIOS, it will probably show in Windows installation. You will need a bootable Windows setup for this, but not necessarily Windows 10. Here is our guide on how you can create a Windows 10 installation disk.

  1. Insert your Windows setup disk
  2. Shutdown your computer
  3. Remove all drives except the SSD
  4. Boot your PC
  5. Press F12 immediately to bring up the boot device options and choose the USB or DVD/RW (whichever has your Windows setup)
  6. A screen will come up asking you to press any key to boot from DVD/RW or USB. Press any key to load Windows setup.
  7. When the welcome screen comes up on Windows Setup click “Install” and then choose a language and click next
  8. Accept the license and terms and then click next
  9. Select the Custom (advanced) installation
  10. Windows will ask you where you want to install the OS but there won’t be anything in the list.
  11. Click on the SSD drive to select it
  12. At the bottom of the window, click on “New.” If you don’t see this option, click “Drive options (advanced)”
  13. Select the partition and click on “format.” Choose a quick format and click OK.
  14. Select the maximum MB allowed and click “Apply”
  15. You might also need to format the small (100mb) system space created.
  16. Click on close button (X) to cancel the installation and shutdown the computer.
  17. Place all your disks and restart your computer. The SSD should now show up.

Method 7: Change SATA controller mode

Using the wrong storage controller mode/protocol will conflict with your drive. Try changing between AHCI, RAID etc. for the SATA drive your SSD is connected to.

  1. Switch off your PC and restart it
  2. Quickly press F2 or F10 to boot into BIOS
  3. Go to the “Advanced” tab and scroll down to “SATA Controller Mode.”
  4. Select the SATA port though which your SSD is connected (usually SATA1; SATA0 is occupied by the primary HDD). Press enter and choose a mode e.g. AHCI.
  5. Go to exit and exit after saving changes. Restart and check if your SSD is now detected by the BIOS. Do this until it is detected or your options are exhausted.

Also make sure that your SATA or power cable is connected properly (not loose). Try switching between the SATA ports and SATA cables and make sure your SSD is not being detected as a HDD in BIOS.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.