Hard drive cloning is the technical process of creating a one-to-one copy of a hard disk drive or SSD (Solid State Drive) and all the comprising files. When it comes to why cloning is required? The answers can be different! Usually, hard drive cloning is required to upgrade a disk or replace an old disk with a new one. Sometimes hard drive cloning is required to enhance the PC’s performance by swapping out the traditional Hard drive for an SSD. Of late, some Windows users have found that the Hard drive is missing after cloning. If you face this issue, follow this post.
Symptoms of a missing hard drive after cloning
Now the question is, what are the symptoms of a missing hard drive after cloning? Below are some prime symptoms that indicate a missing hard drive after cloning.
- The hard drive is not visible in Windows File Explorer
- The operating system does not recognize the hard drive
- Error messages when attempting to access the hard drive
Possible Causes of a Missing Hard Drive After Cloning
A hard drive missing after cloning is always annoying and clueless for several users. So, what are the reasons behind this issue? This issue usually occurs because of an Incorrect cloning process, hardware failure, hard drive compatibility issues with the motherboard or BIOS, damaged power or loose data cable, and bad sectors or bad firmware.
Fix Hard drive missing after cloning in Windows 11/10
If the Hard drive is missing after cloning in Windows 11/10, here is the list of suggestions you can follow to fix the issue:
- Use disk management tools to try and detect the hard drive
- Make disc online
- Re-assign the drive letter
- Check the cables and connections to ensure they are secure
- Check the BIOS settings to make sure the hard drive is recognized
- Check for Firmware Updates for the hard drive
- Format & Clone again
Make sure to use an administrator account to execute these suggestions. Also ensure to take backup of all the files.
1] Use disk management tools to try and detect the hard drive
If you are facing a missing hard drive issue, then the disk management tool can help you to detect the hard drive. Follow the below steps to detect your hard drive.
- Left-click on the Windows main menu and search for Computer Management. On Computer Management, double-click on Storage and click on Disk Management.
- Now you will get all lists of your hard drives connected to your PC.
- If the hard drive is missing, then you have a hardware issue.
2] Make disk online
Making a disk online can resolve the missing hard drive issue after cloning in Windows. To understand the complete process, follow the below steps.
- Left-click the Windows main menu and type Computer Management in the search box. Right-click on Computer Management and select Run as administrator.
- After Computer Management opens, go to Storage > Disk Management.
- Now check whether the disk in Disk Management appears as Offline or Online.
- If it’s Offline, right-click on that disk section and make it Online
After making the disk Online, restart your PC and check whether your hard drive is showing.
3] Re-assign the drive letter
If you are facing a missing or disappearing hard drive issue, it may be because a disk driver letter is missing. In such a case, you can resolve this issue by re-assign the drive letter. Follow the below steps to complete the process correctly.
- Left-click the Windows main menu button and search for Computer Management. Now choose double to click the Storage option from the left side panel and click on Disk Management.
- Now check the list of hard drives connected to your PC and pick out the one not detected by the system.
- Right-click on the not detected hard drive and select Change drive letter and paths.
- Click on Add to open the Add Drive Letter or Path window. Select Assign the following drive letter and click the letter name to your drive.
Restart your PC and check whether the missing hard drive problem is resolved.
4] Check the cables and connections to ensure they are secure
You need to check your hard drive is correctly connected to your PC and receiving power. Ensure the data and power cables are correctly connected to the internal hard drive’s storage device, motherboard, and power supply. If you have doubts about your hard drive, try it on another PC to check whether the issue is not with the device.
5] Check the BIOS settings to make sure the hard drive is recognized
If your hard drive is missing, you can check the BIOS settings to ensure the hard drive is not disabled or turned on. To complete the process, follow the below steps.
- Restart your PC and press F2 to enter BIOS. Now enter Setup and check system documentation to check whether the hard drive is turned off or disabled in System Setup.
- If it’s turned off or disabled, enable it in System Setup.
- Now reboot your PC to check whether your hard drive is showing.
6] Check for Firmware Updates for the hard drive
Sometimes outdated or incompatible device driver causes the missing hard drive issue after cloning in Windows. You can quickly fix this by updating the firmware for your PC’s hard drive. Follow the below step to get it done correctly.
Visit your hard drive company’s official website and find the latest updates for your hard drive and download it on your PC. Now select the latest firmware version for your hard drive, which you downloaded, and install it on your PC. Now restart your PC and check whether your Hard drive is showing.
7] Format & Clone again
You must format and cone it again if you face a missing hard drive issue after cloning in Windows. To do so, follow the exact steps given below.
- Left-click on the Windows main menu, and click on the Disk Management menu.
- Now right-click the new hard drive, select the Format option, and check whether it appears.
- If it appears, you need to clone the old hard drive into this formatted driver.
Here we have provided some of the best solutions to tackle the hard drive missing after cloning in Windows issue. I hope you successfully fix this issue after following our solutions. If you are facing the same issue again, we recommend you recover your data(with the help of a reliable data recovery tool) from the old hard drive and clone it again to prevent data loss. For any queries, feels free to ask us in the comment section.
Can I still use my HDD after cloning it to SSD?
You can use it as an additional hard drive or connect to another Windows PC and then reinstall Windows or any other OS. The cloning process only creates a copy of the HDD and does not modify it. However, once the process is complete, please remove or format it from the PC. If you want to keep it connected to the original PC, change the boot order to the new SSD to avoid conflict.