Imagine buying an SSD, and it doesn’t show up on the computer upon connecting. If your M.2 SSD is not showing up in Windows 11, you’re not alone. If the drive is still under warranty, then replace it. Otherwise, you’ll need to fix the issue yourself.
- The M.2 SSD doesn’t show up in Windows for several reasons. One of the first things you should do in this case is check the SSD on multiple systems, if possible, and replace it if it’s still under warranty.
- If you can’t replace the drive, clean the M.2 port, change the connecting cables, and re-connect the SSD to see if it works. Furthermore, you can try resetting the BIOS configuration, turning off the secure boot feature, and updating the storage controller drivers.
- Also, remember that the data saved on your M.2 SSD will be at risk while performing the troubleshooting tasks mentioned in the guide. So, we suggest that you back up your data using any data recovery software for inaccessible drives to be on the safe side.
Why Is My M.2 SSD Not Showing Up In Windows 11?
As we discussed earlier, one of the primary reasons for an M.2 SSD not showing up is its damage. But this doesn’t necessarily conclude that your SSD needs to be replaced. Some changes in the configurations and tweaking some other settings in Windows might do the job.
Here are some reasons for the occurrence of this problem:
- The SSD hasn’t been connected properly.
- Old drivers are causing the SSD not to show up.
- The BIOS configuration for the SSD needs to be changed.
- The SSD requires partitioning.
How To Solve This Issue?
The solutions for the M.2 SSD detection issue may consume much of your time. Therefore, before moving to those solutions, we advise you to look into the quick solutions that may solve this issue without wasting much of your time.
These are the quick solutions that you can try to make the M.2 SSD show up on your PC:
- Re-connect the SSD.
- Clean the connection terminals and the M.2 slot.
- Try using different cables for the connection.
- Initialize the SSD.
If your SSD still doesn’t show up on Windows 11 after trying the above tips, let us guide you through some solutions we tested ourselves that will hopefully solve the problem.
Here’s the solutions list:
- Install the latest storage controller drivers.
- Diagnose the SSD using the command prompt.
- Load the default BIOS configuration.
- Initialize the SSD.
- Turn off the secure boot feature.
Install The Latest Storage Controller Drivers
Drivers are responsible for making a device function on a computer. They can also be responsible for a device’s dysfunctionality if they are outdated. The SSD not showing up on your computer might be because of old storage controller drivers installed on the Windows. Updating these might allow the SSD to get detected by the computer.
Follow these steps to update the storage controller drivers in Windows 11:
- Right-click on the Windows button and open Device Manager.
- Scroll down to “Storage Controllers” and expand it.
- Right-click the “Microsoft storage spaces controller” and click “Update driver”.
- Follow the rest of the procedure to update the drivers.
It was also recommended to update the SSD drivers by AOMEI on YouTube. Viewers in the comment section also approve of this.
Diagnose The SSD Using The Command Prompt
Another solution to fix the M.2 SSD detection issue is to diagnose the SSD with the command prompt, which is suggested by Tech Bachlal on YouTube as well. Doing so will run a hardware and device troubleshooter that automatically fixes any minor problems preventing the computer from detecting the M.2 SSD.
Follow the instructions below to run the Device Diagnostics:
- While on your desktop screen, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to launch the RUN command window.
- Next, type “cmd” in the RUN command window to open the command prompt.
- When the command prompt window opens, enter this command; “– exe –id DeviceDiagnostic.”
- A troubleshooter for Hardware and Devices will open. Click “Next” and complete the rest of the process by following the on-screen instructions.
Load The Default BIOS Configuration
It may be that your custom BIOS settings are preventing your computer from detecting the M.2 SSD you are trying to connect. Resetting the BIOS configurations may change things. Moreover, also claimed that this method worked for them. on the AMD community forum
Initialize The SSD
Another reason your SSD doesn’t show up is that it may not have been initialized, and you may have to initialize it manually. You will also have to assign it a name, a letter to be precise, for it to show up.
Initializing a disk in Windows 11 can be a lengthy process, but following these instructions properly will get you done with it in no time:
- Go to “Disk Management” by right-clicking the Windows icon and selecting it from the list.
- In the disk management window, look for your SSD, right-click it, and select “Initialize Disk.”
- Then, select the partition style from the two options in the “Initialize Disk”. If your SSD is smaller than 2TB, select the MBR option. Otherwise, select GPT. When done, click the “OK” button to proceed with the procedure.
- On the next screen, right-click the unallocated disk. This is your M.2 SSD.
- From the pop-up options, choose “New Simple Volume.”
- A wizard window will show up. Click “Next”.
- After that, enter the size of the SSD you want to use. If you’re going to use every MB in the SSD, enter the maximum disk space of your SSD.
- After entering the size, you must assign a letter to your SSD. When done, click “Next”.
- Next, click the “Format this volume with the following settings,” set the file system type to NTFS, and click “Next.”
- Finally, click the “Finish” button, and hopefully, the problem will be solved.
Turn Off The Secure Boot Feature
The secure boot feature protects your computer from malicious programs and allows it to boot safely. But this feature may be why your M.2 SSD doesn’t show up, as it may have considered the SSD full of malicious data. Turning off the secure boot may allow the SSD to get detected, so it’s worth a shot.
Follow the steps below to turn off the secure boot:
- Restart your computer and enter the BIOS settings.
- Find Secure Boot. Different BIOSs have different interfaces, so you will have to manage that.
- Press “Enter” or use the mouse to turn it off.
- Save the settings and restart your computer again.
NathanMeinzer on the Microsoft community forum claimed that turning off the secure boot feature allowed their computer to detect the SSD, which makes this solution even more worth trying.
Helpful Read: How To Fix Windows 11 Screen Saver Not Working
Faulty drive or M.2 port can be one reason, along with many others. Re-connect the drive, clean the M.2 port, or change the cables. If that doesn’t work out, go through the other solutions mentioned in our guide. Yes, it is a possibility. Therefore, you should back up the data first stored in your inaccessible drive using data recovery software.
Frequently Asked Questions
Faulty drive or M.2 port can be one reason, along with many others.
Re-connect the drive, clean the M.2 port, or change the cables. If that doesn’t work out, go through the other solutions mentioned in our guide.
Yes, it is a possibility. Therefore, you should back up the data first stored in your inaccessible drive using data recovery software.
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[Errors Troubleshooting Expert]
Arsalan Shakil (aka GuyThatDoesEverything on YouTube) is a PC Tech Enthusiast and Electronic Geek. With over 10+ years of experience in Electronics, he then decided to explore Software Engineering to design embedded products and automate existing hardware solutions.
When he started tearing down old cameras to understand how they worked, he was shocked (literally, when he got zapped by a flash discharge capacitor), giving him the power (debatable) to fall in love with videography/photography. He also started making some fun videos that later became YouTube tech reviews.
- 10+ years of experience in Electronics design, embedded solutions, and prototyping
- Majored in Software Engineering
- Research paper publication in IEEE for Embedded Military Uniform & LoRa WAN wireless technology
- Specialized in IoT Solutions
- PC Enthusiast & PC Modder
In his local region, he’s known to expose cheap PSU brands, often claiming fake certification or false claims on the box. He’s a true nerd and needed some friends in his life. Then he met some guys who work at Tech4Gamers, and they also came out to be equal nerds who suggested he join Tech4Gamers as a Hardware Expert.