Fixed: Flash Drive Not Showing Up in Disk Management in Windows 10/8/7

April 30, 2019

Irritated with flash drive not showing up in Disk Management or in My Computer (File Explorer)? To fix these external hard drive not showing up issues, this troubleshooting post will be helpful.

Scenario

“Hello, there, I am now stuck in a very serious problem right here, since last week my USB flash drive not showing in My computer and Disk Management. I spent the whole week searching for solutions on Google, and tried all methods I found, but my computer does not show up any signals of the drive. I thought the drive must be dead, but I still want to try any solution since some important files stored within it…any idea? Thank you.”

6 causes & fixes: USB flash drive not showing up in Disk Management

For many users under Windows system, USB flash drive, SD card, or other second hard drive not detected or showing up is a very common problem. Are you also bothered by such issue? Have got the effective methods? If not, we will provide you with 6 possible causes for USB flash drive not showing up in Disk Management and corresponding solutions to help you.

The causes as well as solutions below will be same for other external storage media devices, which work similarly. Now, let’s get started…

Cause 1. Faulty cable or port

First of all, you should check whether the connection cable or port is in a good condition. If the data cable or connection port is damaged, then the BIOS cannot detect the cables and sometimes even disturb their connection. So please ensure the cable is connected to the port tightly. Or you can plug the flash drive to your computer through another different port and cable to test their conditions. If the hard drive not appearing in Disk Management still persists, then the cable and port are not the causes.

Cause 2. Flash drive not enabled in the BIOS

If the flash drive is not enabled in System Setup (BIOS), then it won’t show up in Disk Management and Device Manager. Since some unused ports are disabled in the BIOS in default by the motherboards producers, you might found the connected hard drive not appearing in Windows. In such case, you can enter BIOS to check their current states and enable them if necessary.

Cause 3. Outdated driver

Basically, as some manufactures of hard drives, Windows offers hard drive drivers to support your disk. But if the released driver is outdated or problematic, the hard drive might disappear in your computer. At this point, you can try to update the driver.

Step 1. Click the Search box , type Device Manager, and select it from the list of results.

Step 2. Expand Disk drives to find your flash drive, then right-click (or tap and hold) it, and select Update Driver Software….

Update Driver

Step 3. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.

Driver Update Software

If Windows doesn't find a new driver, you can try looking for one on the device manufacturer's website and follow their instructions. If updating driver does not work for flash drive not appearing in Disk Management, you can choose "Uninstall" option in Step 2, then restart your computer and it will be reinstalled automatically. 

Cause 4. Virus and malware attack

If your computer gets attacked by some malware or virus, your external hard drive won’t also show up in File Explorer or Disk Management. The easiest way is to run the security or anti-virus software installed on your computer to remove all the malicious programs.

On the other hand, you can also format it to clear the virus. Here we would like to recommend you a reliable disk formatting tool-AOMEI Partition Assistant. It can recognize nearly all popular file systems, like Ext2/3/4, FAT32, FAT, exFAT, NTFS, etc. It can tackle with many trick formatting tasks with ease like SD card won’t format on PC, etc. What’s more, its NTFS to FAT32 Converter supports safely converting file systems between FAT32 and NTFS without losing data. If you upgrade to Professional edition, you can unlock more amazing functions such as migrating OS to SSD, allocating free space from one partiton to another, erasing SSD drive, recovering missing partition and more.

Here is how to format flash drive to FAT32 in Windows 10 via this software.

1.  Download the freeware, install and open it. Right-click the partition on your flash drive to select Format Partition from the menu.

Format Partition

2.   Choose FAT32 under File System tab and click OK.

FAT32 128GB USB

3.    Hit on Apply to commit the operation.

Apply

Besides, you can also wipe the USB drive totally to clear the possible virus.

Wipe Hard Drive 16GB

Cause 5. Flash drive has some bad sectors

Some bad sectors can also lead to flash drive not showing up in Disk Management issue. It is possible that there are such bad sectors on your disk. You can run CHKDSK.exe tool to check and fix them.

Step 1. Click Start button, input "cmd" in the Search field, right click the Command Prompt icon and select "Run as administrator".

Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, input "chkdsk g:/"and press Eneter to check and fix found bad sectors on the flash drive. Replace "g" with your flash drive letter.

CHKDSK Disk Error

If running the commands line is not your thing, you can also take advantage of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 1.  Run the freeware. Right click the flash drive partition and choose Advanced->Check partition.

Advanced Check Partition

Step 2.  Choose a way of checking disk error, the first one is always recommended, since it can not only check the error, but also fix them then.

Check Partition And Fix Errors

Step 3.  Wait for seconds, the partition check operation will be done.

Check Partition For Errors Completed

Then, check if external hard drive not showing in Disk Management issue still exists.

Cause 6. Flash drive suffers from physical damages

If you have tried all the 5 solutions above but nothing lucky happened, you had better take the flash drive to a professional repair center and check whether it is dead. If the warranty still works, replace it with a new one.

Other similar disk recognition issues you may want to learn

If you solve the flash drive not showing up in Disk Management successfully via the methods above, but now you cannot see it in File Explorer, don’t feel disappointed since you can do as following:

1. If the disk is marked as “not initialized” for some corruption issues, you can use PowerShell to initialize disk to MBR or GPT and partition it then.

2. If it shows an unallocated space in Disk Management, you can create a partition on it in Disk Management, and you then will see and access it in My Computer.

3.  If the flash drive does not have a drive letter, it won’t show up on This PC/My Computer, either. So try to change drive letter to make it visible.