Vista doesn't recognise 2nd SATA Hard Drive

E17phil - Sep 21, 2008 at 09:04 AM
 Local Disk E: - Feb 28, 2011 at 11:08 PM

I recently had a hard disk failure so re-installed Vista on what was my secondary drive.

I then purchased a Hitachi 500g SATA drive. Unfortunately Vista will not recognise the drive. It doesn't show up in Disk Management. At times it will show in BIOS but not always, and even then it doesn't show in Vista.

Anyone any ideas?

Many thanks,


14 replies

Windows 7 users: Start-->right click Computer-->Manage-->Storage-->Disk Management. My second hard drive (both 1TB Western Digitals) was listed as offline. Right click the disc number (mine was Disc 3) and select online. You should be good to go - it worked for me!
that's it! spent the better part of an hour trying to get my win7 laptop to recognize the HDD I ripped out of my ps3, decided to google it, and found this thread. thank you so much. now the drive enclosure money isn't wasted, and I can back up my music
Wow I looked at like a hundred tutorials and never heard this. Many thanks
perfect - thanks a million!
Excelent, thank you very much.
Worked excellent thank you
I hads the same problem upgrading from Windows 7 Build 7000 to 7100.

control panel -> Administrative Tools - > Computer Management
in there choose ' storage' => 'disk management'
I then assigned my Drive D the drive letter "D" and all is ok
I was having a problem opening up my SATA external hard drive , thanx to you guys , I just had to change the drive letter and in a minute it waas working aagain.
its great it worked thanks a lot brother, I spend my last 2 hours with it I thought I lost my drive , I formatted it two times earlier but was not working , I did what u have mentioned it started working, thanksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
This just worked great. My new hard drive is being recognized by my computer. Thanks.
Oct 1, 2010 at 05:39 PM
i have doen what you said but on the storage screen it comes up as Disk 1 unknown and it says its unreadable...however yesterday it was readable
Local Disk E:
Feb 28, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Sweet, I had previously deleted all partitions on my hard drive on accident, so I reformatted and the computer still would recognize it. I didn't realize it was that easy that you just had to assign a letter to it! And thats pretty awesome that you can choose the letter I didn't know you could do that :P
Death Metal Moe
Jan 22, 2009 at 09:49 PM
Just wanted to confirm that the above advice got my 2nd unrecognized SATA drive to be seen as well. Thank you.
symbiot thanks a lot. thats exactly what was needed. Vista has some oddities that I just dont understand why they changed things the way they did, but they still all function...mostly

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Thanks again for this post - saved me hours.
it seems that your hard drive is in a different formats if you goto start - right click my computer and click properties - then click device manager , goto disk drives and see if you see your harddrive that you installed if so that means vista know its plug in but the problem is in a different format besides , exfat , fat , fat 32, or NTFS

my solution is find a program that will detect the hard drive and format it
or use Linux or mac to format to the types of format that windows can read
Thanks so much for this solution. I lucked onto this thread right away, so there was not much pain as compared to some of the rest of you.

Thanks again for saving me HOURS!
Apr 28, 2009 at 04:48 AM
Inkslinger's tip was exactly what I needed. After fiddling with my bios with no result, All I had to do was assign a drive letter and it showed up in my computer. Perfect.
as explaned in no:3 everything works great,and if you have a new empty that your computer will not recignise ,right click open volume to let your computersee how much space it has and folow the wizard.hope this helps.GOOD LUCK AND BE PATIENT.
Worked perfectly I couldn't figure out whether it wasn't getting power or something was wrong and I should return the HD Gald I tried this
worked perfect
Thank you! It has taken me ages to figure this out. I had a SATA hard disk with data on it. Ran it externally with a Vantec NexStar CX and it was not being recognised. The disk manager showed it as "Disk 1" Dynamic with the exclamation mark. The right click and import drive did the trick. AaaH! So easy. :)
cheers symbiot I followed ur advice and it works perfectly ,just as well we got people like u to help us novices lol,cheers
Great help. Thanks.