How to Fix Hard Drive Missing After Windows 11 Update

Estimated read time 5 min read

Some users have reported the hard drive missing issue after Windows 11 update (like version 1830 or 1903). If this issue occurs on your computer, a specific partition might be not in the File Explorer or displayed as an Unallocated partition in Disk Management. Of course, you will be unable to access the data on this drive.

Commonly, you might encounter hard drive missing after Windows update due to disk driver issue, disappearance of drive letter, improper system settings, or other factors. Luckily, you can take some measures to get your hard drive as well as your data back.

In the following contents, several possible solutions to this issue are provided for you, and you can feel free to have a try.

Fix 1: Connect Hard Drive to another USB Port

If an external hard drive is connected to your computer when you are performing Windows 11 update, it is very likely to disappear after you finishing updating. Especially, USB port faulty might happen during the process, and thus your external hard drive may not be read through the current USB port.

Considering this situation, you can simply disconnect your external hard drive and connect it again to another different port. If you want to get more solutions to external hard drive missing or not showing up, just read this post.

Fix 2: Update Disk Driver

As mentioned before, your disk driver might be the culprit of the issue. Chances are that your current driver is incompatible with your computer or missing. To fix the problem, you need to update your disk driver to the latest version or reinstall it in Device Manager. Here’s a simple guide.

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Device Manager.
  2. Double-click Disk drivers to expand the category.
  3. Right-click your disk driver and choose Update Driver Software.
  4. In the pop-up window, choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

Then, your Windows will search your computer and the Internet for the latest driver software for your device. Just follow the onscreen instruction to finish the process. After that, restart your device and check if your hard drive comes back.

Fix 3: Change the Drive Letter

A partition without drive letter will not displayed in your File Explorer. Therefore, if one of your hard drives disappeared after updating to Windows 1803, perhaps it is just hidden due to missing drive letter, and it can come back once you enable it again.

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open Run window.

Step 2: Input diskmgmt.msc and click OK to open Disk Management.

Step 3: Right-click the missing drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.

Step 4: In the pop-up dialog, click Add button.

Step 5: Check Assign the following drive letter and choose a letter from the drop-down menu. Then, click OK button to save the change.

After that, exit the window and reboot your computer. You can go to your File Explorer if the missing drive has been added to the list again.

Fix 4: Run Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

Troubleshooter is a built-in utility of your Windows 11, which helps to troubleshoot various kinds of problems on the computer. You can try this tool to fix hard drive missing after Windows 11 update.

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings app.
  2. Choose Update & Security category.
  3. Switch to Troubleshoot tab in the left pane.
  4. Locate and click Hardware and Device in the right pane. Click Run the troubleshooter.

Fix 5: Format the Hard Drive

Finally, you can also try formatting the missing hard drive to get back the partition. As formatting will remove all the data on the involved hard drive, you have to back up your data in advance to avoid data loss. But how can you achieve this? 

Considering that you cannot access the data on the specific partition currently, you need to make use of a reliable tool to recover the data and save all of them. Here, you can try MiniTool Partition Wizard – a professional and trustworthy third-party application. 

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to get its main interface.

Step 2: To activate the feature, choose Data Recovery from on the top Tool bar.

Step 3: Choose Unallocated Space and click Scan button, or double-click it to start the scanning. Besides, your missing hard drive might also be listed in Lost Partition section. You can figure it out from its capacity and select it to perform data recovery.

Step 4: This tool will scan your hard drive and display the found files. To get the best recovery result, you had better wait patiently until the scanning process is completed.

Step 5: Once MiniTool Partition Wizard finishes scanning the partition, choose the found files or folders and click Save button to restore them to the directory of another partition. If you just want to back up certain important files, you can locate them quickly by using Find, Filter, and Type options.

After having found all the data on this hard drive and backed them up, you can perform a format without any worries to get the missing hard drive back. 

  1. Invoke Disk Management.
  2. Right-click the hard drive which need to be formatted, and then choose Format.
  3. Input the Volume label and choose a File system for the drive. Check Perform a quick format and click OK.

Have you fixed the hard drive missing after Windows 11 update issue with the best possible methods? You can click here to get further information about this issue and corresponding solutions.

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Hello! I'm Surendar Arya, a passionate tech writer from Uttar Pradesh, India. I'm a freelance contributor to the tech blog - The World's Best And Worst. My enthusiasm for technology drives me to explore the latest trends and innovations in the field. I take immense pleasure in guiding individuals on how to leverage technology for their benefit, making their lives easier and more efficient.

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