Multiple hard drives can be supported by a Windows 10 machine. Some systems can handle both an internal SSD and an internal HDD, depending on the motherboard. Similarly, numerous external HDDs (or SSDs) can be connected to a system. So, how to fix Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10?

A hard drive is simple to set up; it connects via a USB port and can function with either a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port. It’s also plug and play. Windows 10 will automatically recognize it and install the appropriate drivers.

You can use File Explorer to access a hard disk, which will be listed under This PC. It’s just like an internal disk in that you can copy and paste files to it.

How to fix Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10

Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10

A hard drive will be detected quickly, whether it is connected internally or outside. When you attach it, you should hear a new hardware detected sound, and you may have to wait a few seconds while a driver for it is installed, but the device should be accessible practically instantly.

1. Change USB port and cable

The cable used to connect a hard disk to a system is frequently one of the main reasons it is not detected. Replace it and check to see if the drive is detected.

Similarly, try plugging the drive into a different USB port. A faulty port can cause a peripheral or hard disk to fail to connect properly. Connect the hard drive to your computer immediately.

Use a USB hub or an extension cable sparingly. Whether you have another computer, connect the drive to it and see if it is recognized.

2. Scan for hardware changes

It’s possible that Windows 10 didn’t recognize the drive as fresh hardware. It won’t be able to connect if it doesn’t recognize it as new hardware.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Click the Scan for hardware changes button at the top.
  3. Windows 10 will detect the hard drive and it should show up in File Explorer under This PC.

How to fix Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10

3. Install proprietary app/drivers

Some hard disks have proprietary software or drivers. The lack of these could prevent the drive from being detected. Check to see if your hard drive’s manufacturer has any drivers or apps available. Reconnect the drive and see if it appears in File Explorer.

Related: How To Fix Exception Access Violation Error on Windows 10

4. Update drivers

Your hard drive’s drivers in Windows 10 may be obsolete. They can be updated to allow the drive to connect to your system.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Disk drives.
  3. Right-click your secondary drive and select Update driver.
  4. Search online for drivers and install the ones that are available.
  5. Restart the system for good measure.

How to fix Second hard drive not detected in Windows 10

5. Change drive letter

When you attach a hard drive to your computer, Windows 10 assigns it a letter that serves as the disk’s identifier. The drive letter is crucial in making the drive accessible. Change the drive letter if your secondary hard disk isn’t identified.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter diskmgmt.msc and tap Enter.
  3. Right-click your drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.
  4. Select a new letter to assign to the drive.
  5. Click Next and the drive will be assigned a new letter.
  6. Access the drive from File Explorer.


With a little tweaking, a secondary drive can be recognized, barring physical damage or data corruption. You’ll have to look into data recovery methods if you feel the drive has been physically damaged. It’s probable that you won’t be able to store files on the drive any longer. Even if your data is corrupted, your disk may still be functional because data corruption is not the same as physical damage.