SSD not showing up? Here is how to fix the issue

A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a storage device for new generation systems that are significantly faster and replace traditional mechanical hard disks. Older storage devices tend to be much slower. An SSD is capable of speeding up computers due to its low read-access times and faster throughputs. SSDs use integrated circuit assemblies to store data, typically using flash memory.

Most new age computers are now using SSDs instead of the traditional HDDs. However, despite their precedence over older models of storage, they are not completely free of issues. To have an SSD not showing up is one of the most common issues you could face while using these drives in your PC. Sometimes, even a newly bought SSD could be hidden from the file explorer, command prompt and even in disk management.

Common causes for not seeing your SSD:

  • SSD not initialized (most common for new SSDs).
  • Hidden or lost SSD partitions.
  • Corrupted or infected by a malware.
  • Driver issues.
  • Missing drive letter of the SSD partition.
  • Unrecognizable SSD file system.

4 solutions to fix an SSD not showing up

Now that we have looked at some of the causes of the error, let’s jump into some quick solutions.

1. Initialize the SSD

If you get a new SSD, it’s likely to not show up on your system because it is in an “uninitialized state”. In some cases, an old SSD could also come across a “disk unknown not initialized” error. In either of the cases, follow the steps below to initialize your SSD:

  1. Right-click on the Start icon and select Disk Management. (An alternate way is to press the Windows + R keys at the same time, then type diskmgmt.msc in the Run window and press Enter.)
Disk Management
  1. Find and right-click on the SSD you are trying to fix. Click on Initialize Disk.
  2. In the pop-up dialog box, pick the disks you wish to initialize. You can pick either one of the partition styles.

2. Assign a new drive letter to the SSD partition

The error could also occur if there is a missing or conflicting drive letter. In such cases, you can find a solution by manually assigning a new drive letter to your SSD. 

Follow the steps below to assign a new drive letter:

  1. Right-click on the Start icon and select Disk Management. (An alternate way is to press the Windows + R keys at the same time, then type diskmgmt.msc in the Run window and press Enter.)
  2. Right-click on the SSD Partition and click on Change Drive Letter and Paths…
  3. Click the Change button and select a drive letter from the list shown and click OK to successfully assign the new drive letter.
Assign new drive letter in Disk Management

3. Reformat the SSD partition

You might have to dig further if you have tried the solutions above and the issue still persists. Sometimes the problem is not with the SSD but with the file system. To reset the file system back to its original state, you need to format the partition.

Note: Formatting the SSD will erase all data on that drive. Only proceed with the below steps if the SSD is empty or does not contain any important data.

  1. Open the Windows Command Prompt by typing “cmd” in the search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt app and click on Run as administrator.
  3. Type “diskpart” in the Command Prompt and hit Enter.
Diskpart in Command prompt
  1. Now type the following commands in the Command Prompt and press enter after each line:
    1. list disk
    2. select disk num (Replace num with the number of unsupported/corrupt disk)
    3. clean
    4. create partition primary
    5. format fs=ntfs
  2. Once the process is complete, type exit and press Enter.

4. Reinstall the SSD driver

  1. From the Start icon, click on Settings.
  2. In the Settings window, click on Devices and then Device Manager. (An alternate way is to press the Windows + R keys at the same time and type devmgmt.msc in the Run box and press Enter.)
Open Device Manager
  1. Under Disk drives, right-click on your SSD and click on Uninstall device.
  2. Remove and reconnect your SSD.
  3. Restart the system and check if the SSD is now detectable.

If none of the above solutions helped, your SSD might be damaged. The best action at this point is to take your drive to an IT technician who can diagnose the exact problem.

If you have managed to solve the issue by now, make sure to start regularly backing up your SSD to a backup drive or a cloud backup service. Just like all other devices, SSDs are also prone to unexpected failures and physical damages. It’s best to be prepared.

Leave a Comment