Re: My Hard Drive Disappeared, How to Fix?

authorPic William Bollson Updated on 2021-09-03 12:01:35 to Windows Fix
Question:My Hard drive disappeared

“So about a week ago Windows warned me about some kind of hard drive issue where they asked me to backup the hard drive itself with steps, stupid enough i miss judged not seeing this as an actual warning. Now these last days the hard drive has been disappearing from my computer. I cant access any files, any games because most of my things are installed on the hard drive. Yesterday I tried turning off the computer, and plugging the cables for the hard drive in and out, that fixed the issue yesterday but today this wont seem to solve my problem. Any ideas? Cheers”

-redgroove from Tom's Hardware Forum

Are you suffering from the situation as above? Has your hard drive disappeared from your File Explorer? If yes, then your search for a solution comes to an end here. In this article, we discuss various methods to fix the “hard disk disappeared” issue that shall help you get rid of the error.

hard drive disappeared

Part 1. Why My Internal/External Hard Drive Disappeared in Windows 10

A hard drive stores most of the data in your computer, which consists of information very dear to you. Therefore, if the hard drive disappears, all your data on the drive might be lost forever. There are several reasons that may lead to the “hard drive keeps disappearing” error.

  • A faulty USB connection.
  • Drive letter might be missing for the drive.
  • The drive is hidden.
  • A Windows update or installation.

Quick Fixes: Connect Your Hard Drive to A Different USB Port/Use A Different USB Cable

If you are suspicious that the error might be caused due to a fault in the hardware, you should try the following steps.

Step1: Connect the drive with another cable to the computer.

Step2: Connect the drive to another computer using a different cable.

In case, the issue isn’t solved by the above procedures, it indicates that there is no connection problem between the components. We will look at other more technical fixes below.

Part 2. Fixes to Hard Drive Disappeared from File Explorer

Method 1. Run Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

Windows 10 comes with a troubleshooting program that shall help you fix the error. It runs a check through the device, identifying any faults in it or verifying it as “normal”.

  • Step 1: Open "Control Panel" from the Right-hand Column in the "Start" menu. Or you can press Windows+R key to open Control Panel by entering "Control".
  • Step 2: Type "troubleshooting" in the panel's search bar or find it directly from the listed items.
  • Step 3: Once the results come, Click "View All".
  • Step 4: Now run the "Hardware and Device Troubleshooter" to fix the issue.
run hardware and device troubleshooter

Method 2. Format the Problematic Hard Drive

When nothing works, the last resort you can go with is formatting the hard drive. Doing this will eliminate every kind of conflicting bugs from the hard drive. However, it will erase all of your data on the hard drive. Therefore, before you begin, it's recommended to recover your files from the disk to avoid any mistake or causing data loss.

There are various data recovery software available on the internet. However, to get the best results, I would recommend you to tryTenorshare 4DDiG . It comes with several features to help you quickly find and restore the deleted or lost files on your hard drive. Tenorshare 4DDiG is fully compatible with Internal or External Hard Drive, SSD, Media Player, Flash drive or USB Drive. Here are a few features that make Tenorshare 4DDiG, the best recovery tool.

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    Follow this guide to recover data from disappeared hard drive using Tenorshare 4DDiG.

    • Step 1: Get Tenorshare 4DDiG onto your computer and launch the program. From the main window, select Lost Partition and then click on Scan to proceed.
    • select lost partition
    • Step 2: After you click on Scan, 4DDiG will start scanning your lost partition to dig out your lost data.
    • 4ddig scan lost partition
    • Step 3: After the search is completed, select the items you wish to recover. Mark all the items you want and click Recover button.
    • 4ddig recover lost partition

    Now, all of your data is retrieved from the problematic hard drive, and you can now format the hard drive without being worried about losing your data. Here are steps to format the hard drive.

    Step 1: Go to Disk Management on your computer.

    Step 2: Now, left-click on the hard drive that needs to be formatted and select "Format" option.

    Step 3: Next, enter the "Volume Label" and select a File system. Tick the "Perform a Quick Format" checkbox and click "OK".

    hard disk format

    Part 3. Fixes to Hard Drive Disappeared from Disk Management

    Method 1. Update Device Drivers

    Device Drivers play a crucial role in your drive’s recognition to the computer. If the drivers are faulty or obsolete, the process may be obstructed which may result in the “hard drive disappeared” error. We would need to upgrade the drivers to the latest variant to fix the issue.

    • Step 1: From the “Start” search bar, launch the “device manager”.
    • Step 2: Locate the disk driver’s category and expand it.
    • Step 3: Now, right-click on each driver and select “Update driver”.
    • update device driver
    • Step4: Select “Update Automatically” and the process shall begin.

    Method 2. Change Drive Letter and Paths

    If the above methods failed to produce good results for you, the next method is to Change Drive Letter and Paths via Disk Management. Here’s what you need to do.

    Step 1:Press "Window + R" key to launch the Run dialog.

    Strp 2:Type "diskmgmt.msc” and hit enter to launch Disk Management.

    Step 3:The disappeared drive would appear in Disk Management Tool. Right-click on it and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".

    Step 4: Now, choose a "drive letter" to assign to the drive and click on the "OK" button.

    change drive letters and paths

    Part 4. FAQs About Hard Drive Disappeared Issue

    Why is My Local Disk Missing in Windows 10/8/7?

    There are multiple reasons that might be preventing the local disk from showing up in Windows 10/8/7. Some of them are enlisted below.

    • The local disk may be formatted or deleted accidentally.
    • The hard drive may be incompatible with the Windows.
    • Your disk may be disabled in BIOS.
    • Bad sector errors also cause local disk missing issue.
    • The DVD drive is occupying the drive letter.

    Why Is My Hard Drive Not Showing Up in BIOS?

    Usually, it occurs when the hard drive is corrupted. Furthermore, if the cable is faulty or unplugged, it may lead to such errors. Also, ensure that the Serial ATA Drivers are installed properly and updated.

    Why is My Second Hard Drive Disappeared?

    Usually, it happens when the cable stops working. Therefore, it’s advised to replace the cable. After replacing the cable, if the problem still persists, connect the hard drive in another computer to check if the second hard drive is working properly or not. You can also refer to Quick & Easy Fixes to Windows 10 Not Recognizing/Detecting Second Hard Drive.


    In this guide, we shared various techniques to fix hard drive disappeared issue in Windows 10. Additionally, we introduced Tenorshare 4DDiG that is an extremely user-friendly and sophisticated tool, which enables you to selectively recover your lost data from numerous devices, including Hard Drives, SSD, and Flash Drives. We hope that the guide proved useful for you. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, and we’ll get back to you!

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