Windows 11 can’t see the drive? Do not worry! We assure you that nothing has happened to your disk.
After installing Windows 11 on your PC, you may have noticed that the second HDD / SSD or one of the disk partitions is not displayed in the system explorer, for example, there were C and D partitions, but only C is displayed. An extremely common problem that can pretty scare an unprepared user . The disk worked for itself, worked, and then disappeared – a terrible situation.
However, often the visibility of a disk (or its partition) can be restored on Windows 11 (and other versions of the OS) in a matter of minutes. In today’s article, we will show you how to do it.
Windows 11 does not see the disk – what to do?
First of all, you need to make sure that the connected drive is visible in the BIOS (UEFI) of your motherboard. Restart your computer and press F2, F8 or Delete to open the BIOS settings. Next, go to the boot section (Boot Setup, Boot Load, etc.) and see if the connected HDD / SSD is in the list of devices. If there is, then go back to Windows – we will decide something there.
Returning a disk (or partition) to Disk Management
The problem of invisible disks is solved very simply in the Disk Management system utility. Right-click on the Start menu and select the appropriate item. Now take a close look at the list of available drives. Let’s assume that you don’t see an additional HDD/SSD in Explorer. You need to find a disk whose area is not initialized, i.e. the system has no information about it.
Did you find such a disk? Okay, right click on it and select “Initialize Disk”. After a short wait, a window will appear in front of you with a choice of partition style. Considering that we are dealing with Windows 11, and therefore a more or less modern PC, select the option “Table with GUID partitions (GPT – GUID Partition Table)” and click “OK”.
At the output, you will get a disk with an unallocated area. Right-click on this area and select “Create a simple volume”. Next, you need to specify a letter for the volume, such as C, D, or F, and its size. Do not select a volume size if you want it to take up all the free disk space. If you want to create two or more volumes, you need to manually set the size of each of them, except for the last one (it will take up all the remaining space).
But what about users who do not see a pre-existing volume in Explorer? Absolutely the same as in the case of users with an invisible second HDD / SSD. Open Disk Management and create a volume on unallocated space. By the way, this situation often occurs after upgrading to Windows 11 from older OS versions, for example, Windows 7 or 8.
If Windows 11 doesn’t see the drive, plus it doesn’t show up in Disk Management or even BIOS (UEFI), then there might be something wrong with connecting the drive itself to the motherboard. Open the system unit and check if the power cable and data cable are properly connected to the disk. If you have M.2 and not SATA, try reconnecting the drive. It is possible that some of the pins on the board were moving away from the connection port.