Fix Secondary Hard Drive Not Detected in Windows 10 (6 Ways)

With 6 effective methods, you can get rid of the secondary hard drive not detected in Windows 10 or 11 easily. Also, a way to recover secondary hard drive data is included.


By Lori / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Secondary hard drives are a great way to expand your computer's storage capacity without having to replace your primary hard drive. Normally, Windows 10 will automatically detect the secondary hard disk when turning on the computer. Don’t worry if the secondary hard drive is not detected or not detected correctly, this article will provide you with 6 ways to solve the problem.

Reasons for Secondary Hard Drive Not Detected

To determine the proper solution to the problem of the second hard drive not showing up, you must first find out what is causing the problem.

🧨Cable or connector problems: A damaged SATA or USB cable/connector can prevent Windows from detecting your secondary hard drive. The drive will not show up in Windows Disk Management.

🎆Bad sectors on the drive: Software and physical failures can cause unreadable bad sectors to form on a drive. Even a new hard drive can have bad sectors. This causes the drive not to show up in Disk Management.

🎇No drive letter: Drives that are not assigned a drive letter (such as C, D, etc.) will not show up in Windows Explorer.

🐱‍🚀Driver problems: Drivers help Windows communicate with your secondary hard drive. Windows will also not be able to detect the drive if they are obsolete, damaged, or missing. This issue also usually occurs after a Windows update/upgrade.

🎡BIOS issues: Windows 10 will not recognize your second hard drive if the SATA or USB controller (for external hard drives) ports are disabled in the BIOS.

🎃File system error: The file system of your secondary hard drive may be corrupted or not supported by Windows. Issues related to the file system are typically indicated by "RAW," "Free space," or "Unallocated space" error messages. This reason also causes your secondary hard drive not detected in Windows 10.

🎐Power issues: Windows will not detect a secondary hard drive with low power or no power at all. This can be caused by a faulty power supply unit (PSU) or a damaged cable.

How to Fix Secondary Hard Drive Not Detected

Way 1. Connect the drive to another PC

If 2nd hard drive not showing up, the first thing you should do is connect it to another computer. You can check whether it is a hard disk problem or a computer problem. If you suspect the problem is related to your disk, you still need to try another cable or different USB port as this may also be the cause of the second hard drive not detected.

Way 2. Update secondary hard disk driver

Outdated drivers are also a reason for secondary hard drives not detected. You should go further to Device Manager to update the hard disk driver. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Type “Device Manager” in the search bar on your PC and open it.

Step 2. Locate your Secondary Hard Drive, then right-click it, and select the "Update Driver" button.


Step 3. Click "Search automatically for updated driver software".


🌟Tip: If you cannot find a driver for the device you want, you can download the latest hard drive driver from the drive manufacturer's official website. After installing the driver, try again to see if the hard drive appears.

Way 3. Initialize disk

A common reason for secondary hard drives not detected in Windows 10 is that it hasn't been initialized. Please follow the steps to solve it:

Step 1. Right-click on "This PC" > "Manage" > “Disk Management”.

Step 2. Locate and right-click on the secondary hard drive you want to initialize and choose "Initialize Disk".


Step 3. In the Select disks section, select your secondary hard drives. Then choose the Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT) GUID option.

Initialize MBR or GPT

Way 4. Enable the secondary hard drive in BIOS

Some secondary hard drives need to be enabled in the BIOS, then they can be detected and used by the PC. If your secondary hard drive is not detected in the BIOS, you need to enable the hard drive in the BIOS. Please do the following:

Step 1. Restart your computer, and press "F2" to “Delete” to get into BIOS.

Step 2. In the setup section, check if the second hard drive is turned OFF in the system setup. If yes, turn it ON.

Turn On BIOS

Step 3. Reboot the computer again. See if your secondary hard drive is visible to you or not in the BIOS.

🌟Tip: To ensure the connection is normal. Please check whether the hard disk is connected correctly and whether the hard disk indicator is flashing normally.

Way 5: Assign a drive letter

Usually, Windows automatically assigns a drive letter to all connected storage drives. Sometimes your secondary hard drive not detected because the drive letter is missing. You can assign a new drive letter to solve this problem.

Step 1. Right-click on "This PC" > "Manage" > “Disk Management”.

Step 2. Click on the secondary hard drive and press “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.


Step 3. Choose the “Add” option to add a drive letter for the secondary hard drive.

Step 4. Click “Assign the following drive letter” to name the drive letter for the secondary hard drive.


Way 6: Format the secondary hard drive

If the above methods still cannot solve the problem, you can format the secondary hard drive to fix its logical errors and make it detectable by Windows.

However, formatting will permanently delete all your data. If you do not have a backup of your data, you can use the data recovery software MyRecover to recover data from your secondary hard drive first.

Part1:Recover data from secondary hard drive

Step 1. Download MyRecover, install and run this software. Then connect the secondary hard drive to your PC. Hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Scan D Disk

Step 2. It will run two advanced scanning methods automatically and display all recoverable files on your secondary hard drive.

Searvh ALBM Files

🌟Tip: Preview or filter date depending on Files Type, Size, Date, etc.
  • Type: Select the file type (Documents, Images, Videos, Audios, Mails, Webpages, Compressed files, etc.)
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, 512MB above, etc.)

Step 3. After the scan is complete, you will see a list of data that MyRecover found on your secondary hard drive. Choose the files you want to recover and press Recover x files.

Recover ABLM Files

Step 4. You need to select a new location to prevent the recovered data from being overwritten.

Select New Location

  • The restore button will display the number of selected data and their total size to determine the integrity of the recovered files.
  • You can do secondary hard drive data recovery, up to 500MB for free. When exceeded, please upgrade to the advanced editions.
  • If you are unable to recover secondary hard drive data with software, it's wise to seek help from data recovery services such as Geek Squad. They have trained professionals and advanced equipment to handle even the most difficult data recovery cases.

Part 2: Format the secondary hard drive without losing data

1. Right-click Start> Disk Management and click Create and format hard disk partitions.

2. Right-click your secondary hard drive and click Format.


3. Choose the desired file system and format options, then, click OK.



Don’t worry about your secondary hard drive not detected. You just need to follow the 6 methods above to make your second hard drive show up with simple steps. When you have to format the secondary hard drive, you can also recover lost data simply by using reliable data recovery software like MyRecover.

Regular backups and the use of reliable storage devices can reduce the risk of data loss. In the event of a disaster, you'll be able to quickly restore files from backups and get them back in no time


1. Why is my secondary hard drive not being detected by my computer?

There could be several reasons for this issue. It might be due to cable or connector problems, driver issues, or even a faulty hard drive, etc.

2. How can I troubleshoot a secondary hard drive that's not being detected?

Start by checking the physical connections and cables. Ensure that the drive is powered on and properly connected to the motherboard. If the connections are fine, you might need to update drivers or check for BIOS settings.

3. Is there a way to recover the data from my secondary hard drive if it's not being detected?

Yes, data recovery is possible. If you have not backed up your data beforehand, you can use MyRecover to easily recover data from your secondary hard drive.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.