SSD not showing up in disk management

Formatting an SSD is simple – you just have to know-how.  The simplest method of formatting a hard drive, whether it’s a small solid-state drive or a big spinning disk, is the quick format.

What this does exactly is erased only the most basic information on the drive and present it as unallocated space. The exact steps for quick-formatting your hard drive depend on both the version of Windows you’re using as well as what type of drive you’re formatting (that is, HDD or SSD).

Please note that if your main objective was to install Windows onto your SSD, skipping the format step will result in an unbootable system.  Always be sure to format any new hard drives before installing Windows.

Here are the steps to format your hard drive, whether they’re for an HDD or SSD.  If you’ve already tried formatting your drive and it’s still not showing up in Disk Management, read on to learn how to fix this problem.

I will explain down below step by step how to diagnose SSD not showing up in disk management

  • 1) Go into Windows’ disk management tool by right-clicking on the Start Menu (or pressing [Windows]+X), then choose “Disk Management” from the menu that pops up.  Alternatively, you can also go into any search bar in Windows and type in “Create and format hard disk partitions”, which will take you directly to the same place in Disk Management.
  • 2) After opening disk management, select Action > Create New Volume… (This option is only available for an SSD.)
  • 3) You will now be given steps to create a new volume on your drive.  The first choice you’ll make is what type of file system you want to use; whether you want FAT32 or NTFS, it doesn’t really matter since both are compatible with Windows 7 (NTFS is more secure and efficient).  For simplicity’s sake, I recommend using the default option “Quick Format”.  Please note that if your main objective was to install Windows onto your SSD instead of just formatting it, skip this step by pressing “Cancel”.  
  • 4) Now comes the tricky part – assigning a drive letter.  Remember not to choose any of the partitions already existing on your hard drive; click on the “Next” button and proceed to step 5 instead.  Whichever letter you choose here will become the new drive letter for your SSD, so make sure it’s one not already in use.
  • 5) The next screen is where you get to name your new volume; this can be whatever you like, but I recommend naming it according to what kind of drive it is (for example, “128GB SSD”).
  • 6) You’re done!  Once you select “Finish”, Disk Management will set up your newly formatted SSD/HDD with its own separate disk partition.

Note: If you run into any problems along the way, please refer to Microsoft’s own guide on quick formatting a drive.  It goes through formatting for both SSDs and HDDs, as well as assigning a new drive letter.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully formatted an HDD or SSD on your computer. If you’re still having issues with your SSD/HDD not showing up after the format is complete, read on to learn how to fix this problem.

If a hard drive refuses to appear in “My Computer” but shows up correctly in Disk Management, it usually points towards one of three things: the disk controller drivers installed onto Windows are outdated or incorrect, corruption in Windows’ system files related to disk drives, or physical damage such as bad sectors (places on the drive where data cannot written/read).

Both Windows and Disk Management come with tools to help resolve these issues, as well as (in the case of Windows) an automatic disk checking tool.  

The practical video to fix SSD not showing up in disk management

Before running any of these tools, make sure you run a full system scan with your antivirus program first; perform this task as soon as possible just in case there is a virus that is only showing itself now.

If your SSD or HDD still shows up incorrectly in Disk Management after scanning for viruses and running the quick-formatting option, it’s time to update your disk controller drivers.  

Highlight the hard drive you’re having trouble with within Disk Management, right-click on it and select “Update Drive Controller”.  

update the driver

For example, here I want to update the Microsoft AC adapter’s driver… So, I will click on update driver and you have to click on Dis Drives and hit update driver.

There will be three options: keep Microsoft-provided driver, upgrade driver, and “Never update drivers” – choose the first option each time.  It should only take a few seconds to finish up this task.

Disk Controller Drivers

If Windows does not have any disk controller drivers to choose from for updating, you’ll have to manually download them from your computer manufacturer’s website (not a reliable source).  More often than not, however, it will automatically find the one that works with your computer and install it for you.

In some cases where all of these troubleshooting methods fail to work after exhausting all other possibilities, file corruption is to blame.  Fortunately, there is a solution: reinstall Windows.  

Reformatting

By reformatting the entire hard drive partitioned with Windows onto which your SSD/HDD is installed onto, all corruption will be erased and Windows can be reinstalled with the most up-to-date disk controller drivers.  You won’t lose any of your files saved on your hard drive since they’ll still remain there untouched; only the Windows system files are affected by corruption.

If none of the above options work for you (and you’re sure that it’s not a compatibility issue between your SSD/HDD model and motherboard), then chances are your drive has bad sectors that cannot be written to or read from properly.  You should either replace the defective drive with a similar one or an entirely new one if yours is unavailable for purchase at this time.

If you didn’t originally intend to reformat your SSD/HDD, it’s still possible you can revert your change of heart by restoring the deleted disk partition(s) with Partition Wizard or another free disk partitioning tool.  You can also use free software like MiniTool Partition Wizard to undo the formatting process.

This is one of many steps that may need to be taken when you’re trying to fix a corrupted Windows installation.  

If none of these solutions work, then chances are you’ll probably need professional computer repair services (specifically for motherboard issues).

Ryan MacWha

I am Ryan! I write about performance-driven and reliable SSDs. I can save your time in decision-making. How about you?