How to Check Why a SSD Isn’t Recognized

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Solid State Drives (SSDs) have become more popular in recent years, mostly owing to their fantastic read and write speeds. As you can imagine these hard drives are very different from regular hard drives, and don’t consist of the standard ‘disks’ but use flash memory instead.

Just like regular hard drives however, sometimes your computer may not recognise your SSD and you may not be able to access the data that is on it, or even boot up from it. When that happens you need to ask yourself: What is the reason why my hard drive is not recognised , and what can be done to check?

  • Drive not enabled in BIOS

If you’re using an internal SSD, it has to be enabled in the BIOS otherwise your system won’t recognize it when it is booting up. To check you need to enter your BIOS setup (which differs from computer to computer) and make sure your SSD isn’t turned off in the settings there. Normally fixing this problem is a simple question of enabling the SSD.

  • Faulty drivers

For your SSD to operate properly it needs several drivers, most notably the Serial ATA (SATA) drivers if it is an internal hard drive, or Universal Serial Bus (USB) drivers it is external. In both cases you should check that you have the latest version of the drivers that you need, and update them if necessary.

  • Bad connection

Needless to say it is important that your SSD is plugged in, either using the SATA or USB cables. If the cable itself is damaged or one of the connectors linking the hard drive has issues it can result in your SSD being undetected as your computer won’t be able to successfully connect to it.

  • Drive failures

Just like other types of hard drives, SSDs will eventually fail – and most SSDs have a lifespan that is defined by the number of read-write cycles that they are built to last for. If your SSD is new and you suspect it has failed then that may be an indication of an original defect and may be covered by your manufacturer’s warranty. On the other hand if it is older it might just be due to usage.

If you run through this list you should be able to identify why your SSD isn’t being recognised by your computer. In most cases you should be able to fix the problem, but if your SSD has failed completely it will have to be replaced.

Even if your SSD has failed you may be able to recover some of the data that is on it using either software recovery or professional recovery options. If your hard drive has failed completely and can’t be recognised at all then you will probably have to opt for the latter – especially if the data is important and you don’t want to run the risk of losing it completely by attempting to recover the data and failing to do so.