Windows does not see the hard drive when installing

Good time everyone!

When reinstalling Windows, you often have to face a variety of errors that are difficult to predict in advance. .

Today I want to dwell on one of these problems: when the OS installer does not see any disk on which Windows can be installed ...

In general, a similar problem was more common on the "old" OS Windows XP, 7 (with the new Windows 10 - this happens less often ...). And yet...

To help!

By the way, many people decide to reinstall the OS due to the fact that it does not boot. Try to use the recommendations from one of my previous articles, perhaps you will restore your Windows to work - //


What can be done if Windows does not see the drive

Check if your drive is detected in BIOS

And so, the first thing I recommend starting to understand the problem is to check whether your disk is visible in the BIOS / UEFI, whether it is detected. If everything is in order with the drive, then in the BIOS you should see its model, name, volume, serial number (see the photo below).

How to enter BIOS [instructions] - //

Is the disk visible in UEFI (its model, size, etc.). On the screenshot, the arrow shows the hard disk (Storage) - its model has been determined, i.e. disk is "detected" (clickable)

If everything is in order with your disk (i.e. it is detected) - you can proceed to the next paragraph of the article.

If the disk is not detected, then:

  1. turn off your PC / laptop and unplug the drive. Check its contacts (if the disk is old - they could "acidify" and not provide a proper connection). To clean the contacts, by the way, you can use a regular clerical eraser (brush off the villi with a brush);

    Cleaning contacts with erasers

  2. to test the disk, it is highly advisable to test it on another PC. The most convenient way to do this is with the help of a special adapter or box (a "box" into which a disk is inserted and connected to a regular USB port).

    BOX for connecting a disk to a USB port

  3. if everything is okay with the disk, it may be running out of power. A characteristic feature in this case: the disk is visible, but as soon as data begins to be written to it, it "disappears" (the computer starts waiting for a response from the disk, and often freezes ...).

Add the driver to the installation flash drive

Depending on which ISO image you choose to install, it depends on what components and drivers are included. For example, it is not uncommon that the installation image does not contain drivers for SATA / RAID, Intel® Rapid Storage Technology controller.

As a result: when installing, Windows does not know how to "work" with this storage system, and does not see these drives ...

How you can proceed:

1) Load a newer ISO installation image with the drivers included and overwrite the installation flash drive (official installation ISO image: //;

2) Find the required driver on the official website of your motherboard (or your laptop). The driver name usually indicates "SATA ..." or "RAID ...".

To help!

How to find out your motherboard model: //

How to find out the laptop model: //

After downloading the driver, it must be extracted from the ZIP (RAR) archive and written to the installation flash drive. Further during installation, having reached the stage of selecting a disk, click on the "Download" button and specify the location of the driver. After installing it - the problem will be solved ...

Download (Installing the Driver Manually)

Check ACHI, IDE modes in BIOS

There are several parameters in the BIOS that are responsible for the operating mode of the hard disk (ACHI, IDE, in more detail about them here). Most often, when the "old" Windows OS is installed on a computer, it simply does not know about the existence of, say, ACHI and therefore does not see the drive ...

You can fix the problem through the BIOS settings: you need to switch the operation mode from ACHI to IDE. Then save the settings (usually the F10 key), restart the PC and start the Windows installation again. Typically, Windows will immediately "see" the drive.

To help! How to enter BIOS - //

BIOS Setup Utility / As an example

By the way, depending on the BIOS version, the name of the parameter responsible for the operating mode may be different from the example above, for example:

  • AHCI Mode: Disabled;
  • SATA Operation: ATA;
  • SATA Native Mode: Disable;
  • SATA Controller Mode: Compatibility.


That's all for now ...

Happy work.

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