SSDs have huge benefits over traditional magnetic hard drives, which is why many people are upgrading to this superior storage solution.
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SSDs have a common problem of not being recognized by the Windows operating system. If so, your SSD may not show up on This PC, File Explorer, or Disk Management, even though it’s properly connected to the computer.
This problem can be especially troublesome when setting up an SSD. Read the following article to learn how to fix SSD detection problems in Windows 10.
1. Check that the BIOS detects the SSD
Before starting with possible fixes, you need to make sure your SSD is correctly connected and detected by the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). BIOS is the program that starts the computer. It also controls the necessary tasks between the operating system and the many attached devices.
To open the BIOS menu on your computer, you usually need to press the correct function key as soon as the computer is starting up. The specific key required may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
For example, on a Dell PC, you need to press the F2 key as soon as the Dell logo appears. You can search the Internet to find the exact function key that accesses the BIOS menu for your PC.
Once in the BIOS menu, look for the Boot menu and check if the SSD is listed there. If the SSD is listed there, you can go ahead and try the solutions mentioned below. If the BIOS menu does not recognize your SSD, you may have a hardware problem or need to configure the SATA controller settings in the BIOS menu.
2. Setup SSD settings
If the BIOS menu doesn’t list SSD, you may need to reconfigure your SSD settings. The SATA controller is a hardware interface that connects the motherboard to the hard drive. If the BIOS doesn’t detect the SSD, you can try changing the SATA controller mode.
The BIOS menu will vary by manufacturer, so try to look for similar settings in your manufacturer-specific BIOS menu.
To configure the SATA controller settings:
Step 1: Restart the PC and enter the BIOS menu by pressing the appropriate function key.
Step 2: Navigate to Storage Options > Serial ATA > SATA Configuration or a similar setting.
Step 3: Select IDE Compatibility Mode.
Step 4: Save the changes and restart the PC.
Your BIOS should now recognize the SSD, and you can start using it after starting Windows 10.
3. SSD has not been initialized
To use a new SSD in Windows 10, you must first initialize it. An uninitialized SSD will not show up in File Explorer or the Disk Management utility.
If you haven’t initialized your SSD yet, you can follow a few steps:
Step 1: Search for Disk Management in the Start menu search bar, right-click the best match, and select Run as administrator.
Step 2: Right-click the undetected SSD and select Initialize Disk.
Step 3: In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the SSD you want to initialize and select the partition type.
Step 4: Click OK to begin the drive initialization process.
Step 5: After completing step 4, go back to Disk Management, right-click on the SSD volume, and select New Simple Volume.
Step 6: Follow the on-screen instructions to assign the SSD volume and drive letter.
After initializing the SSD, you should restart your PC for the changes to take effect correctly. After the reboot, Windows 10 should detect the SSD, and you can access it through File Explorer.
4. Memory device controller driver update
Before moving on to more in-depth fixes, you need to make sure that the memory device controller drivers are up-to-date. Outdated drivers can cause the device to work improperly and be the reason why Windows doesn’t detect the SSD.
To update the memory device driver, follow these steps:
Step 1: Launch Device Manager from the Start menu.
Step 2: Search for Storage controllers and expand the group.
Step 3: Right-click on the memory device driver and select Update driver.
Step 4: Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
Windows will automatically install any available updates; you can then restart your PC and open File Explorer or the Disk Management tool to check if Windows 10 now detects the SSD drive.
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5. Troubleshooting memory for SSD detection
Usually, memory problems in Windows cause SSDs to be unrecognized. The Windows Memory Diagnostic tool can detect and fix faulty RAM and hard drive problems. You can run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool as follows:
Step 1: Search for Windows Memory Diagnostic in the Start menu, right-click the best match, and select Run as administrator.
Step 2: Save any incomplete work and choose Restart now and check for problems (recommended).
The PC will now reboot, and the diagnostics will run automatically. The test will take a few minutes to complete; once completed, your PC will automatically reboot and display the test results.
You can then open Disk Management or File Explorer to check if the SSD is currently recognized by Windows 10. You can then initialize the SSD from Disk Management, as explained above.
6. Specify or change the drive letter
A common reason why Windows 10 doesn’t recognize an SSD is a conflicting or missing drive letter. You can quickly solve this problem by changing or assigning a new drive letter to the SSD in the Disk Management utility.
To change the drive letter of an SSD:
Step 1: Search for Disk Management in the Start menu search bar, right-click the most appropriate option, and select Run as administrator.
Step 2: Right-click the SSD and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Step 3: Click Add if the drive letter does not exist or Change to modify the existing drive letter.
Step 4: Select a new drive letter from the drop-down menu, and then click OK for the changes to take place.
After following the steps above, you can restart your PC, and Windows 10 should recognize the SSD. You can then access the SSD through File Explorer.
Good luck fixing the error!