Hard Drive Not Detected

HARD DRIVE NOT DETECTED BY YOUR COMPUTER

Potential Causes

Make Sure Hard Drive is “On” in System Setup

The System Setup of your computer, or BIOS or CMOS, may not have your hard drive switched on. On most personal computers, entering F2 will bring up the System Setup to determine if this is the case.
Depending on the make of your computer, there may be different methods to enter the setup, so you should check with the manufacturer first.
There is a basic SATA port On / Off setting in the setup. If the computer does not detect the hard drive, it might be a simple fix of turning it on.

1. Assuming you are installing Windows from a flash drive instead of a DVD, make sure your install media is not plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Some controllers will let you boot the install media, only to leave you with no access to the internal hard drives to install to. Move to a USB 2.0 port and see if this helps.

2. Go into the BIOS on the motherboard (the board manual will tell you the key to press to get into the BIOS if you don't already know what it is) and change the SATA controller back to Legacy or IDE mode. We've seen drives also not show up when the controller is in AHCI mode. 

If that makes them appear, go to your board manufacturers website and grab the SATA controller drivers so you can install Windows using AHCI.

Check for Damaged or Unplugged Data Cable

Ensure you have both the power connection and SATA cable plugged into the HDD. On the motherboard, SATA 0 is usually the first port the BIOS will look for a HDD.

It's possible that the connection on your motherboard or hard drive is faulty or is poor. Your system will not detect the hard drive if the data cable is damaged or connection is incorrect.

To test the connection, you can replace the cable with another cable.
If the problem continues with a new data cable, then the cable is not the issue.

Test If the Drive is Spinning Up

If you believe the cause is that your hard drive may not be spinning up, you can try these techniques to test its operation:

  • You can check to see if your drive is not spinning up by powering off the computer, and then opening up the computer case to remove the data cable from the drive. Turn on the system again and wait for the drive to begin spinning. You should hear or feel a slight vibration coming from the computer, meaning the drive is spinning.
  • If the drive is still not operating, make sure there is sufficient power supply to your computer to allow for the hard drive to operate.

A hard drive can not spin for many different reasons, but one of the more common reasons is physical damage. If you feel that your hard drive was dropped recently, or if it received water damage, then there's a good chance that can be the source of the problem.

Computer Cannot read data

Another cause for the computer not being able to detect your hard drive is a result of the data being corrupted. Whether it was a nasty virus, or your data was overwritten, your computer is having accessing the data stored on your hard drive. The simple solution to fix this issue is to delete all data on the hard drive, access backed up versions of your data, and start over again.

This isn't always the best solution if you are unfamiliar with the process, or if you do not have backed up versions of the data. It is best to give us a call or send us an email if that is the case, and we likely can provide guidance. 

In the event that troubleshooting your hard drive connectivity fails, proceed to out Contact Us page. 

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