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Written by Steven

How can I make my drive visible in Windows?

You installed a new hard drive or SSD in your Windows computer and want to get started with your files right away. What if you open Windows Explorer and can't find the disk? No worries, we'll explain how you can make the disk visible by initializing, partitioning, or formatting it.

First of all: Go to disk management

Hard drive SSD not found Windows disk management

To find out why your HDD or SSD can't be found, open disk management. You do this as follows: go to the bottom left of the screen, click on the Windows icon with your right mouse button, and select Disk management. It's also possible to use the shortcut Windows+X and select disk management. You'll get an overview of every drive and partition in your computer. Enlarge the window until you see the grid at the bottom of the screen.

What is the cause?

Possible causes You can tell by...
1: Your drive isn't initialized yet An automatic Pop-up or the notification 'Not initialized'
2: Your drive isn't allocated yet The notification 'Unallocated' in the grid
3: Your drive isn't formatted yet The notification 'RAW' under 'File system'
4: Your drive doesn't have a drive letter yet There's no drive letter, such as (D:)

Cause 1: Your drive isn't initialized yet

Initialize Windows SSD hard drive

You have to initialize the drive before you can use it. This is done in the window Initialize disk. You can choose between the partition styles MBR and GPT. Do you have a disk up to 2TB? Choose MBR. Is your disk larger than 2TB? Choose GPT.

Initializing your disk

  1. Open disk management.
  2. If your drive isn't initialized yet, you immediately get a pop-up that says Initialize drive.
  3. Didn't get a pop-up, but you see the notification Not initialized? Right-click your drive in the grid and choose Initialize drive.
  4. Choose between MBR (up to 2TB) and GPT (larger than 2TB).
  5. Click OK.

Cause 2: Your drive isn't allocated (partitioned) yet

Partition unallocated hard drive or SSD in Windows

If your drive is initialized but not yet allocated, you can tell by the notification Unallocated. By creating a new simple volume on your drive, you can partition and format the drive in one go. Tip: When formatting, it's best to choose NTFS.

Create new simple volume

  1. Right-click your drive in the grid and select New simple volume.
  2. A new window open, click Next.
  3. In this window, you can choose the volume size. Keep it as it is and click Next.
  4. Choose a drive letter and click Next.
  5. In the next window, you format the drive. Select the file system, preferably NTFS.
  6. Make sure the cluster size remains Standard and choose a volume name. This will become the name of the drive.
  7. Check the box Perform a quick format and leave File and folder compression. Click Next.
  8. Click Complete.

Cause 3: Your drive isn't formatted yet

Format hard drive or SSD in Windows

Perhaps your disk is initialized and partitioned, but not formatted or formatted for Windows. In that case, the file system will say RAW. Note: If you format your drive, all files will be erased. So unless you've created a backup, you should only do this with new drives.

Format your drive

  1. Right-click the drive in the grid and select format.
  2. Choose a volume label. This is what the drive will be called.
  3. Select the file system, preferably NTFS.
  4. Leave the cluster size on Standard.
  5. Check the box Perform quick format and leave File and folder compression empty. Click OK.
  6. You'll receive a warning. Only click OK if you're sure that your files are safe.

Cause 4: Your drive doesn't have a drive letter yet

Assign drive letter to a hard drive or SSD in Windows

There's a small change your drive is initialized, partitioned, and formatted, but doesn't have a drive letter yet. An example of a drive letter is (D:), as you can see in Explorer.

Assign a drive letter

  1. Right-click the correct drive in the grid and select Change drive letter and paths.
  2. Click Add if you want to add a new letter or Change if you want to change it. Then click OK.
  3. Select a letter. Click OK.

Still not successful?

Man installs SSD in computer but Windows can't find the drive

Windows still hasn't found your hard drive or SSD? Perhaps your device doesn't support the drive. Reread the manual of your computer or laptop. If you're sure that your device supports the drive, it's possible that the drive or the connector of your device is broken. Try installing the drive in another device and check if it works then. Is it still not visible? Please contact our Customer Service.

Conclusion

Possible cause You can tell by... Solution
1: Your drive isn't initialized yet An automatic Pop-up or the notification 'Not initialized' Read pop-up or Right-click -> 'Initialize'
2: Your drive isn't allocated yet The notification 'Unallocated' in the grid Right-click -> 'New simple volume'
3: Your drive isn't formatted yet The notification 'RAW' under 'File system' Right-click -> 'Format'
4: Your drive doesn't have a drive letter yet There's no drive letter, such as (D:) Right-click -> 'Change drive letter and paths'


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