6 Ways to Fix the SSD Not Recognized Error in Windows 10


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Solid-state drives (SSD) have huge benefits over traditional magnetic hard drives, which is why many people are upgrading to the superior storage solution.

SSDs have a common issue of not being recognized by the Windows operating system. If this is the case, your SSD may not show up on This PC, File Explorer, and Disk Management, despite being correctly connected to the computer.

This issue can be particularly troublesome while setting up the SSD. Read on to learn how to fix the SSD detection issue in Windows 10.

1. Verify BIOS Detects SSD

Before we begin with the possible fixes, you want to make sure your SSD is correctly connected and is detected by the BIOS (basic input/output system). The BIOS is the program that boots your computer. It also controls essential tasks between the operating system and the numerous attached devices.

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To open the BIOS menu on your computer, you usually need to press the correct function key just as the computer is booting. The specific key required can vary for different manufacturers.

For example, on a Dell PC, you need to press the F2 key just as the Dell logo appears. You can complete an internet search to find the correct function key to access the BIOS menu for your specific 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 move on and attempt the solutions mentioned below. If the BIOS menu did not recognize your SSD, you may have issues with faulty hardware or need to configure the SATA controller settings within the BIOS menu.

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Related: SSD vs. HDD: Which Storage Device Should You Choose?

2. Configure SSD Settings

If your BIOS menu did not list the SSD, you might need to reconfigure your SSD settings. The SATA controller is the hardware interface that connects the motherboard to the hard drive. If the BIOS does not detect your SSD, you can try changing the SATA controller mode.

The BIOS menu differs for different manufacturers, so try to look for similar settings in your manufacturer-specific BIOS menu.

To configure the SATA controller settings:

  1. Restart your PC and enter the BIOS menu by pressing the appropriate function key.
  2. Navigate to Storage Options > Serial ATA > SATA Configuration or a similar setting.
  3. Select the IDE Compatibility Mode.
  4. Save changes and restart your PC.
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Your BIOS should now recognize the SSD, and you can start using it after booting Windows 10.

3. SSD Not Initialized

Once you get a new SSD, you need to initialize it to use it within Windows 10. An uninitialized SSD will not show up in the File Explorer or the Disk Management utility.

Disk Management

If you have not initialized your SSD yet, you can do it in a few steps:

  1. Search for Disk Management in the Start menu search bar, right-click the Best Match, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Right-click the SSD that is not being detected and select Initialize Disk.
  3. In the Initialize Disk dialogue box, select the SSD disk you want to initialize and choose the partition style.
  4. Click Ok to begin the disk initialization process.
  5. After completing Step 4, return to Disk Management, right-click your SSD Volume and select New Simple Volume.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to assign the SSD volume and drive letter.

Related: How to Move Windows from HDD to SSD to Improve Performance

Once you initialize the SSD, we recommend restarting your PC so the changes can take place correctly. After the restart, Windows 10 should detect the SSD, and you can access it through File Explorer.

4. Update Storage Controller Drivers

Before we jump into the severe fixes, we need to make sure the storage controller drivers are up-to-date. An outdated driver can causes devices to malfunction and can be why Windows is not detecting your SSD.

Windows Device Manager

To update the storage controller drivers:

  1. Launch Device Manager from the Start menu.
  2. Look for the Storage controllers and expand the group.
  3. Right-click on the storage controller and click on Update driver.
  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 Disk Management tool to check if Windows 10 now detects the SSD.

5. Fix Memory Issues to Detect SSD

Often, memory issues within Windows prevent the SSD from being recognized. The Windows Memory Diagnostic tool can detect and fix faulty RAM and hard drive issues. You can run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool as follows:

  1. Search for Windows Memory Diagnostic in the Start menu, right-click on the Best Match, and click on Run as administrator.
  2. Save your unsaved work and select Restart now and check for problems (recommended).
windows memory diagnostic tool

Your PC will now restart, and the diagnostic test will run automatically. The test will take several minutes to complete; after completion, your PC will reboot automatically and display the test results.

You can then open Disk Management or File Explorer to check if the SSD is now being detected by Windows 10. You can then initialize the SSD from Disk Management as explained above.

6. Assign or Change Drive Letter

A common reason why Windows 10 fails to recognize an SSD is a conflicting or missing drive letter. You can quickly solve this issue by changing or assigning a new drive letter to the SSD in the Disk Management utility.

To change the drive letter of an SSD:

  1. Search for Disk Management in the Start menu search bar, right-click the Best Match, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Right-click your SSD and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  3. Click Add if the drive letter does not exist, or Change to modify the existing drive letter.
  4. Select the new drive letter from the dropdown menu and click Ok for the changes to take place.

After following the above steps, you can restart your PC, and Windows 10 will recognize the SSD. You can then access the SSD through File Explorer.

Windows 10 Failed to Detect SSD

SSDs are rapidly replacing hard drives, but they do have their issues. If your new SSD is not detected by Windows 10, then it may just be a software issue that can be fixed through the Disk Management utility tool. We hope the fixes above help solve your problem.’

If the problem persists, you may want to consider visiting an authorized technician to get your SSD up and running.

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