Fixed: Windows 10 Doesn’t Recognize Second Hard Drive

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Just recently upgraded my computer's operating system from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. While the upgrade went smooth enough, my second hard drive isn't showing up in my File Explorer or Disk management sections. I've gone through several fixes already but cannot seem to get my second hard drive to show. Is there a known fix available for Windows 10 users who are experiencing this issue?

If you have encountered the similar problem that Windows 10 is not recognizing/detecting the second hard drive, don’t worry. Follow this page, you'll find  practical methods to effectively resolve this error without losing any data.

Part 1: Reasons For Second Hard Drive Not Being Detected in Windows 10

Whether you are using an external and internal hard drive combination, or you have installed two internal hard drives into your computer, the same issues plague both setups. The major reasons behind why Windows 10 doesn't recognize or detect second hard drives, are the following.

Double check to make sure that there are no connection issues going on. An improperly connected SATA, Power, or USB cable is going to give you problems.

Head into your Disk Management section to make sure that your hard drive is initialized. If it says that it is marked as "Unknown" or "Not Initialized" then this is why it is not showing up in File Explorer.

Is your hard drive properly partitioned? When you first install your hard drive, you need to format it and give it a partition so that disk space can be allocated. When it isn't partitioned and there is no disk space allocated, it won't show up in Windows File Explorer.

Does your partition have a drive letter associated with it? If not, then it will not show up in Windows File Explorer. Drive letters are C, D, W, etc.

Does the hard disk have an outdated driver? It won't be detected by your computer if it is outdated.

If there are bad sectors on the disk, Windows 10 may not be recognizing it as a result.

If you suspect any of the above issues, keep reading to see how to fix your unrecognized hard drive.

Part 2: Fix Unrecognized Second Hard Drive in Windows 10

Just knowing what the underlying causes of an unrecognized second hard drive doesn't help you if you don’t know how to go about fixing them. We have addressed 4 major fixes below for second hard drives that aren't showing in the BIOS or are having issues with drive letters, outdated drivers, and improper formatting.

1Change the Driver Letter & Pathway

One of the issues mentioned above is when your hard drive disk is missing a driver letter. The fix for this is to add in a driver letter or to change the driver letter and the associated pathway. Here is how you do this on Windows 10 machines.

Step 1. Open your File Explorer and right-click on This PC.

Step 2. Select Manage from the menu that pops up.

Change the Driver Letter Pathway

Step 3. Find the Disk Management section in the computer management window. Click it to view your hard drives.

Step 4. Find your second hard drive in this list and right-click on it.  In the menu that pops up, choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.

Change the Driver Letter & Pathway

Step 5. Now click on the Change button and choose a letter for your partition. You can assign a letter from a big drop-down list. Choose any that you like and then click OK.

Assign the Drive Letter

Step 6. Close all of the windows and restart your computer.

2Update Your Drivers Manually

A common reason why a lot of hardware and software devices fail is because the drivers are outdated. You can check to see if your second hard drive has an outdated driver in the device manager and then update it manually.

Step 1. Right-click on This PC and go to manage so that you end up in the computer management window again. Alternatively, you can simply search Device Manager in your computer’s search bar.

Step 2. Find the Disk Drives section in the computer management or device manager windows and drop it down so that it reveals your hard drives.

Step 3. Locate the second hard drive and see if it has a yellow exclamation mark beside it. If it does, it means that the driver needs to be updated.

Step 4. Right-click on the drive and select the Update Driver option.

Update Your Drivers Manually

Step 5. Have your computer automatically searched for the driver online and wait until the process finishes.

Once the driver has been updated, close all windows and restart your computer.

3Format the RAW Drive to NTFS

Sometimes a second hard drive is not detected in Windows 10 because the display state of the drive is in RAW instead of NTFS. Here is how to fix this.

Step 1. Open up the Windows Disk Management by typing Disk Management into your computer search. You can also get to this through your File Explorer, right-click This PC, and choose Manage.

Step 2. Disk Management is going to show you all of your drives and what their file system is. Right-click on the RAW partition and choose Format.

Step 3. From the File System drop down list, choose the NTFS option and click OK to confirm.

Format the RAW Drive to NTFS

Step 4. Let the process work and then close all windows and restart when it is done.

4Check the Second Hard Drive in the BIOS

If you have tried all of the above methods and the second drive is just not showing up, it may be due to it not being enabled in your BIOS. To find out, you can check the BIOS yourself by doing the following.

Step 1. Close all of your programs down and restart your computer. During the restart, hold down and press the F2 key. Keep holding this until your computer brings up the BIOS.

Step 2. In your BIOS, navigate to the setup section. Here you will be able to see your hard drives and whether they are enabled or not. If your second hard drive is turned off, enable it.

Step 3. Save and exit the BIOS and then reboot your computer.

Part 3: Recover Data from the Second Hard Drive That is Not Recognized

Once you have used the above methods to fix your second hard drive not showing, it may be pertinent to have a data recovery method on file, just in case the hard drive becomes damaged, corrupted, or loses files on you. The reason we are suggesting this is some of the above fixes require you to change things about your second hard drive, and if done wrong, it can result in the loss of data. Therefore, if you have important data on the second hard drive, we highly recommend extracting it in advance. A hard drive recovery software, such as AnyRecover, will protect you in the event that you lose data of any kind.


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Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:        

It will fully scan the second hard drive and find all saved data for you.

It covers all data loss scenarios, so even if your second hard drive fails due to outdated drivers, bad sectors, or hardware issues, you can retrieve your files.

With the highest recovery rate and over 1,000 file types supported, AnyRecover is a fantastic option for complete data recovery.

AnyRecover can restore data from USB flash drive, memory cards, SD cards, Digital Camera, including second hard drives.

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How to Restore Data from a Second Hard Drive Using AnyRecover:

Step 1. Download and install the AnyRecover software. Launch it, choose the drive on your hard disk where the data was lost from and tap on the Start button to start the scanning process of your second hard drive.

select location

Step 2. The scan will be an "all-around" scan, meaning it will scan on the selected hard drive for all types of files that are lost.

scan location

Step 3. Once the scan is complete, the lost data will show up in a list view. You can preview some of these files by double-clicking on them. Find the file you want to recover from the list and tap on the Recover button.

preview and recover

Save the files to a new location that is safe.


While second hard drives are a fantastic way to extend the amount of storage space you have without needing to change out or replace your primary drive, many do complain that they run into issues with getting it to show up and be usable. If you've run into Windows 10 not recognizing your second hard drive and the above methods haven’t worked for you, try plugging it into a different computer, using a different USB port, or uninstalling any drivers on it. Doing these should get it to work and if it doesn’t, use a third-party software - iMyFone AnyRecover.

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By  Simon Marcus , to Hard Drive Recovery

Updated on Apr 29, 2020

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