There are a few common reasons why your Samsung SSD may not be showing up or being detected by your computer:
The SSD is not properly connected
First, check that the SSD is properly connected to your computer. SSDs connect via SATA cables – make sure the SATA cable is securely attached to both the SSD and the computer’s motherboard. If it came loose, plugging it back in firmly should fix the issue.
Also check that the SSD is getting power. Most SSDs need a SATA power connector from your computer’s power supply. If it’s disconnected, plug it back in and that should get your SSD powered on.
The SSD is connected but not mounted
If the SSD is connected but still not showing up, the drive may not be mounted. This means that while the operating system sees the drive, it has not loaded the file system so that you can access the SSD and its contents.
On Windows, you can check Disk Management to see if your SSD shows up there but is unallocated and unmounted. Right-click on the disk and choose to create a new volume, which will allow Windows to mount the drive and assign it a drive letter.
On Macs, open Disk Utility and see if your SSD is listed but not mounted. You can select the drive and click Mount, which should mount the drive so you can access it.
Outdated drivers or firmware
Outdated drivers and firmware can sometimes cause issues detecting drives. Follow these tips:
- Update your motherboard drivers and SATA controllers drivers to the latest from your manufacturer.
- Update your SSD to the latest firmware from the manufacturer.
- Update Windows/MacOS to the latest version.
Updating everything can help ensure maximum compatibility between your system and the SSD.
Faulty SATA port or cable
If you’ve verified the connections, another possibility is a faulty SATA cable or port on the motherboard. Try connecting the SSD to a different SATA port on your computer if available. Also, swap out the SATA cable with a known good one to rule out a bad cable.
If the SSD works on a different cable/port, then you know the original port or cable is bad and needs to be replaced.
SSD is dead or defective
If you still can’t get your Samsung SSD to show up, the drive itself may be dead or defective. This is an uncommon issue but can happen. Try testing the SSD in another computer if possible.
If the SSD fails to work on other computers too, then it’s likely a dead drive. You’ll have to replace it – thankfully Samsung SSDs come with long warranties if it’s a manufacturing defect. Contact Samsung for a warranty replacement if the drive is within the coverage period.
In rarer cases, a BIOS setting may be preventing detection of the SSD. Check these settings in your computer’s BIOS:
- The SATA controller mode is set to AHCI, not IDE.
- The drive type for the SATA port is set to Auto Detect or SSD, not HDD.
Saving changes after correcting the BIOS settings may allow the SSD to be detected.
Secure Boot interfering
On some PCs, Secure Boot settings may prevent non-Windows drives from being detected. You can try disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS to see if that makes the SSD show up.
Be aware this reduces security, so re-enable Secure Boot after testing.
Initialization and formatting
If your new Samsung SSD shows up but is asking to be initialized or formatted, that is normal. Initialization writes the partitioning and file system information to the drive so your computer and OS can access it. Follow the prompts to initialize the SSD and format it, then it will be ready for use as a new drive.
Third-party software conflicts
Conflicts with third-party software like anti-virus or system utilities are another possibility. Try booting into Safe Mode and see if the Samsung SSD shows up there. If it does, that points to a conflict with something loading at normal boot.
Uninstall or disable third-party system utilities one by one until you isolate the problematic program. You can then remove or reconfigure it to avoid clashing with the SSD.
Insufficient power or power failure
SSDs require consistent power to operate properly. If you experience random times when the SSD disappears, it may be a power issue:
- With a desktop, make sure the power supply provides enough wattage for the entire system.
- Laptops can experience power fluctuations or failures if the charging port doesn’t make good contact.
- Loose SATA power cables can cut power intermittently.
- External enclosures may have faulty power adapters or inadequate power for SSDs.
Test the SSD in another computer or enclosure if possible to narrow down where the power issue exists.
Damaged file system
If your Samsung SSD was working before but suddenly disappears or becomes RAW, the file system may be corrupted or damaged. This can happen due to improper ejection, power failures, or faulty software.
You can attempt to repair the file system using Windows Check Disk or Mac First Aid in Disk Utility. If the repair fails, you may have to reformat the SSD, which will erase all data.
If the data is important, speak to a data recovery pro about options to recover files before reformatting.
Loose internal connections
If using the Samsung SSD in a desktop computer, be sure all internal connections are tight and properly seated:
- SATA cable connected firmly to SSD and SATA port.
- Power cable fully inserted into SSD.
- For M.2 SSDs, take out and reseat the drive in the M.2 slot.
- Reseat memory modules and expansion cards in case the SSD slot shares bandwidth.
Loose cables are a common culprit if an internal SSD suddenly stops being detected.
Recent hardware changes
If the SSD stopped showing up after other hardware changes:
- Try undoing recent component swaps – e.g. put the old part back in and see if the SSD shows up again.
- Check for any blown capacitors or obvious damage on the motherboard after transporting it.
- Update BIOS/UEFI and chipset drivers after upgrades like adding RAM or switching processors.
Reverting to older hardware or updating BIOS can help if component changes preceded the SSD not being detected.
Incompatible hardware combo
In some cases, particular combinations of hardware components can cause SATA connectivity issues:
- Certain SSD models may not be fully compatible with your motherboard chipset.
- Mixing SSD brands or SATA generations (SATA 3 vs SATA 6) on the same controller may cause conflicts.
- Using older SATA controllers and drives can result in compatibility issues.
If you can’t get an SSD to show up, try simplifying the hardware config – remove other drives and add-in cards and see if the SSD works on its own. That can help determine if you have an incompatible hardware combination.
Problems with cloning software
When migrating your system to a new SSD using cloning software, several issues can prevent the new SSD from working properly:
- Cloning errors result in critical boot or system files not being copied to the new SSD correctly.
- Permissions and boot partitions may not be configured optimally for the new SSD.
- BIOS settings like SATA mode may need to be adjusted post-cloning for the SSD to boot up.
It’s best to do a fresh OS install when moving to an SSD. Cloning often causes technical issues that lead to the SSD not being detected or working incorrectly.
External enclosure compatibility issues
For external SSD USB enclosures, detection issues often stem from compatibility problems between the enclosure chipset and your system:
- Try connecting the enclosure to different USB ports including USB 2.0 ports.
- If possible, test the enclosure/SSD combo on another computer to see if it works.
- Update SSD enclosure firmware and drivers to the latest available.
- As a workaround, remove the SSD and connect it directly inside a desktop PC.
External enclosures can have chipset and controller differences that cause connectivity issues. Internal mounting often resolves this.
For NVMe SSDs, your system needs NVMe support to detect and boot from the drive:
- Make sure you have NVMe drivers installed, either integrated on the motherboard or as a driver add-on.
- Your motherboard/laptop needs an M.2 slot that supports NVMe. SATA M.2 slots won’t work.
- Older operating systems like Windows 7 lack native NVMe support.
Upgrading motherboard chipset drivers and BIOS often resolves compatibility issues with NVMe drives.
Disable fast boot
Fast boot features found in Windows 10 and recent motherboards can sometimes hide drives:
- Disable “fast startup” in Windows power options if your SSD disappears after rebooting.
- Turn off “fast boot” in UEFI settings if the SSD only shows intermittently.
Fast boot tells the OS to skip detecting certain drives to optimize boot time. Turning it off may reveal missing SSDs.
Show hidden drives
Sometimes SSDs show as hidden inside Disk Management. To reveal hidden drives:
- Go to Disk Management and click “Action” > “Show Hidden Drives”.
- Tick “Show hidden devices” under View in Device Manager.
- Use DiskPart in admin Command Prompt and run “LIST VOLUME” to show all volumes.
Enabling view of hidden drives can show an SSD that’s there but concealed from initial view.
Brand new SSDs will be listed as Unknown in Disk Management. They need to be initialized before use:
- Right-click the disk and choose Initialize.
- Select a partition table – GPT recommended for best compatibility.
- The SSD will now show up as a normal disk.
Initialization is required for OSes to access and store data on new SSDs.
Damaged SATA ports
Check for bent or damaged SATA ports on both ends of SATA cables. Bent connector pins can cause connection issues and prevent SSD detection.
If a SATA port is damaged, replace the SATA cable or motherboard unless you’re able to carefully bend pins back in place.
After connection changes, driver updates, OS fixes and BIOS changes, be sure to fully restart your computer. This clears any caches and initiates hardware re-detection to load new storage drivers.
For laptops, a full power cycle – shut down, remove power cord, drain residual charge by holding power button, reconnect and reboot – can force the SSD to be re-detected.
Replace SATA controller
If you have ruled out other hardware, BIOS, driver and OS issues, there is a small chance the computer’s SATA controller is defective and preventing SSD detection.
This can happen after electrical surges. Replace the motherboard or install a SATA controller expansion card to resolve this issue.
Use SSD Diagnostic Software
SSD makers like Samsung include diagnostic software that can check for drive errors and health issues:
- Run Samsung Magician Software to scan your SSD.
- Seagate SeaTools will test most SSD brands for errors.
- The software can confirm if the drive itself is having technical problems.
Diagnostic software is ideal for determining if your disappearing SSD is due to internal electronics failure or bugs.
Samsung SSDs not showing up is often fixed by reconnect SATA cables, updating drivers, resetting BIOS settings, or initializing the disk properly in Disk Management. If those basic steps don’t get your SSD recognized, try testing with another computer, simplifying your hardware config, reinstalling OS/chipset drivers, or running SSD diagnostics to pinpoint and resolve the issue.