By Bryce / Last Updated August 29, 2019

Symptom

External hard drive is called portable hard drive as well. With large capacity, it is always used to store or backup data. In most cases, external hard drive or second hard drive will present automatically after connected to your computer. However, it is possible that the external hard drive not showing up in Windows 10 File Explorer or “This PC”. In this case, you can open Disk Managementto see whether the hard drive is visible in it at first.

Hard drive not showing up in This PC

Press “Windows”+ “R”, type “diskmgmt.msc” and hit “Enter”, you will access Disk Management interface. When the hard drive is not showing up in File Explorer but appears in Disk Management, you can try the following methods.

Assign drive letter to the external hard drive

When the external has no drive letter, it will be invisible in File Explorer. At this time, you should assign a drive letter. Firstly, right click the partition that doesn’t have a drive letter and choose “Change Drive Letter and Path...” Then click on “Add”, choose a drive letter and click “OK” to give it a drive letter. After that, you can access the hard drive from File Explorer.

Initialize the external hard drive via Disk Management

When the external hard drive is not initialized and appears as an unallocated space or without showing disk capacity, you can initialize it as follows:

1. Right click the hard drive that needs to be initialized

2. Select “Initialize Disk” and set the disk partition style as MBR or GPT

3. Right click the disk and choose “Create New Simple Volume”.

Notice: As initialization will cause data loss, you’d better backup all the important data on the external hard drive before initializing it.

Rebuild MBR without data loss

It is well-known that MBR or Master Boot Record is essential to a hard drive. When it is damaged by some accidents such as virus attacks or inappropriate operation, the hard drive might display as unknown and not initialized external hard drive in Disk Management. Under this case, what you should do is to rebuild MBR via reliable and software - AOMEI Partition Assistant.

First of all, download AOMEI Partition Assistant. Install and fire up it. Then you can follow the steps to rebuild MBR on the external hard drive.

Step 1. Right click the uninitialized disk and choose “Rebuild MBR”.

Rebuild MBR

Step 2. Set the type of MBR based on your current operating system. Then, click “OK”.

Choose MBR Type

Step 3. Click on “Apply” to implement this operation.

Apply

Format external hard drive to NTFS or FAT32

If the external hard drive has been formatted as file system that not recognized by Windows or has no file system, it will not show up in File Explorer properly. In such case, you can format external hard drive to certain file system compatible with Windows system. AOMEI Partition Assistant will be a nice solution.

It allows you to format external hard drive like Samsung and WD external hard drive etc. to FAT32 without the limitation of 32GB in partition size, exFAT or NTFS effortlessly. The detailed steps are as follows:

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the external hard drive partition that you need to format and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Raw To NTFS

Step 2. Choose one file system compatible with Windows system and click “OK”.

Choose File System

Step 3. Review the operation and click “Apply” to implement it.

Apply Proceed

PS: Formatting external hard drive partition will delete all data on it. If there is any important data, you’d better backup or transfer it to somewhere before formatting.

Hard drive not showing up in Disk Management

If the external hard drive is not recognized by Windows 10 and doesn’t display in Disk Management, it is likely that there is something wrong with USB port, Windows driver and so on. To solve the problem external hard drive not showing up in Disk Management on Windows 10, you have to take specific steps based on different situations.

1. Check Windows driver via Device Manager

When Windows 10 Disk Management doesn’t list the external drive, you can check whether there is a driver problem on Windows via Device Manager.

1. Press “Windows”+ “R”, enter “devmgmt.msc” and hit “Enter”.

2. Click “Disk Drives”; if the external hard drive is with a yellow exclamation mark, it is problematic.

3. Right-click the problematic drive, select “Properties”, and read the message carefully.

4. To fix such error, under Driver table, click on “Update driver” to install updated drivers. Or you can click on “Uninstall” to uninstall the driver and restart your computer; after rebooting, the driver will be automatically reinstalled and reconfigured.

2. Examine USB port and enable USB Device in BIOS

If you can’t find out the external hard drive even in BIOS, it might be caused by disabling interface in BIOS. Thus, you can enter BIOS to enable the USB device. Then restart your computer to see whether the problem is solved. If you still can’t see the drive in BIOS, you can check the USB port is “OK”.

First of all, you need to unplug the external hard drive and plug it into another USB port to see if it works. If you have connected the drive via USB hub, connect it to computer itself. Then, if you can see the drive in Disk Management but not in This PC, you take measures narrative in previous part.

3. Diagnose the external hard drive

Having done all of these, if the problem external hard drive not showing up in Disk Management Windows 10 still exists, don’t hurry to abandon the external hard drive might be dead. You can employ professional hard drive diagnostic software to check if you have to replace this external hard drive.