By Bryce / Last Updated September 21, 2022

Help! My hard disk partition is not showing!

"Yesterday, when my laptop turned on, I didn't see two partitions (Disk D and Disk E) but Disk C where I have installed my Windows 8 was shown. I opened Disk Management to take a look at the problem. Local Disk C was shown healthy as Primary and System partition but the other two partitions were neither shown healthy or primary partition nor unallocated. Is it a software problem or hardware? What should I do? What should I do to mount the partition and save data? Please help me to fix it."

It is common to meet the problem that hard disk partition not showing in Windows 7/8/10. All partitions or one partition on your hard disk might not be showing up in Windows after you connect your external hard disk to your computer.

Causes of hard disk partition not showing in Windows 8

There are various reasons behind the partition not showing in Windows 8. Here we list some points that are most likely to cause the problem:

★ The connection is poor or broken.

★ The hard drive is old or incompatible.

★ There is physical damage to the disk.

★ There are bad sectors or corrupted files on the hard drive.

★ The system is infected by viruses or malware.

Different solutions under various situations

Since the problem that hard disk partition not visible in Windows File Explorer can occur due to various situations, you should take different measures accordingly.

▶ Assign a drive letter to the invisible partition

If the hard disk partition is without drive letter, you’ll be unable to view the partition in Windows File Explorer. Then, you can press “Windows”+ “R” combination to open Run box, input “diskmgmt.msc” and press “Enter” key to access Disk Management. In Disk Management, locate the partition lack of drive letter and choose “Change drive letter and path…” . Then, click “Add” to assign a drive letter to the partition. After that, the missing partition will appear in File Explorer.

Assign Drive Letter to Solve Partition not Showing


▶ Unhide hidden partition in Windows 7/8/10/11

If the hard disk partition is hidden manually, it will not appear in File Explorer. Here you can turn to third-party partition manager – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which can help you to view the hidden partition. Free download, install, and run it; then, follow the steps below:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. In the main user interface, right-click the hidden partition that you need to make it show up in File Explorer and go to “Advanced”>“Unhide Partition

Advanced Unhide Partition

2. Keep the information on the pop-up window in mind and click “OK”.

Unhinding Selected Partition

3. Preview the pending operation and click “Apply”>“Proceed” to execute it.

☞ Tip: If your hard disk partition missing is caused by accidental deletion, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to recover deleted partition in Windows 7,8,10, 11.

▶ Reformat hard disk partition to a recognized file system

If the external disk is formatted with an unrecognized file system, the external hard disk partition might be disappearing in Windows File Explorer. Refer to the steps below to reformat the partition to file system supported by Windows like NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. As formatting will erase all data on the partition, you can back the data on the partition at first like performing a disk clone.

1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Find out the hard disk partition needs formatting, right-click it and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Partition

2. Choose one among the listed file systems according to your demand and click “OK”.

3. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to perform your operation.

PS.: When the partition is without a drive letter, you need to assign a drive letter to it after reformatting.

▶ Initialize the hard disk in Disk Management

When the external hard disk is new and unallocated, it won’t show up in File Explorer. At this time, you need to make the disappearing hard drive online and create partition as steps below:

1. Access Disk Management, the new external hard disk is marked as unknown, not initialized, unallocated. Right-click the hard disk and select “Initialize Disk”.

Initialize Disk

Initializing hard disk will lead to data loss if there are data on the hard disk.
There are chances that you are unable to initialize hard drive and receive errors like the device is not ready.

2. The first time you initialize the disk, you’ll be prompted to choose MBR or GPT partition style for your disk. Then, click “OK”.

3. You will return to the main interface of Disk Management. Here you can see the hard drive is marked as Basic Online, Unallocated. Then, right-click the unallocated space, choose “New Simple Volume”.

Create New Partition

Step 5. Follow the New Simple Volume Wizard to create a partition on the hard disk. After that, you can see the hard disk partition in File Explorer.

▶ Update device driver in Device Manager

When the hard disk is not showing even in Disk Management, the hard disk partition(s) are certainly not showing up in Windows 7/8/10/11 File Explorer. In such case, you can try to update device driver for the hard disk to fix this issue. Here are detailed steps:

1. Open Run box, input “devmgmt.msc” and hit "Enter" to open Device Manager.

2. Click disk drivers and locate the external hard disk that is now showing up in Disk Management. Then right-click it and choose “Update Driver”.

3. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software”.

Then check whether the hard disk partition shows up in Disk Management and File Explorer.

▶ Fix hard disk issues via hardware and device troubleshooter

Or you can turn to troubleshoot to solve hard disk partition disappearing in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11. 

1. Type “control” in Run box and press "Enter" key to open Control Panel

2. In the search box, type “troubleshooting” and hit "Enter".

3. Click "View all" and click"Hardware and Devices".


Then, follow the instructions to fix the issue.

Wrap things up

As described above, hard disk partition not showing in Windows 7/8/10/11 can happen due to kinds of reasons. If you are in such a condition, you can enter Disk Management to view the status of the partition first. If the hard disk partition even not showing up in Disk Management, you can enter Device Manager to update the device driver or check the connection between the external hard disk and computer. If you think this post is helpful, you can share it with your friends who have the same issue as you.