Marcob19
Bronze

Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

Hi all,

I bought an alienware 15 r3 one month ago and I have this problem since then.

The configuration has a SSD with the operating system and 1 TB hard disk.

Randomly, when I start the laptop, win 10 cannot see the hard disk. It not show up neither in "Disk Management" and neither in "Device Management" (so please don't say that as a solution).

Instead, BIOS can see it and a linux live usb too, in fact I can open the hard disk and see all files and use them.

Alienware Diagnostic pre boot do not find any problem.

I also tried formatting hdd and clean reinstall windows but didn't work (I tried to remove and reinsert hdd too).

Can it be a driver problem? how can I fix it? thanks

PS: when I have this problem I usually solve it by shutting down the laptop and restart it few times until win 10 see the hdd

0 Kudos
12 Replies
jphughan
Diamond

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

Windows 10 wouldn't need any special drivers to see a hard drive in Disk Management and Device Manager.  If there are times the hard drive isn't showing up even in Device Manager, then it means Windows isn't detecting it even at a hardware level at those times, so this wouldn't be a file system data problem.  When you reinstalled Windows from scratch, was the hard drive still unreliable right away, even before you installed any other applications, just to make sure it's not some strange issue caused by an application you installed in both the old and new Windows installations?  If it was unreliable right away AND you used genuine installation media to perform the Windows install, then you've ruled out OS corruption.  If you've also already removed and reseated the drive in its connector on the system, then you've ruled out a physical connection issue.  So if you're STILL finding that the drive sometimes isn't detected in Device Manager but that rebooting a few times usually allows it to be discovered, it sounds to me like you have a flaky hard drive.  Diagnostics don't always detect all problems, fyi, and maybe the test boots where you've checked the BIOS and/or Linux Live happened to be cases where the hard drive came up as expected, just as it sometimes does in Windows.  A 1TB spinning drive is cheap, so if you've already lost a fair amount of time on this, I would just buy a new one.  Worst case you can return the new one if you find that it exhibits the same behavior, but I seriously doubt it, in which case the cost of the new drive will probably be less than the value of the time you might otherwise continue to spend on this, especially if you end up buying a new hard drive later anyway because it does turn out to be a hardware issue.

0 Kudos
Marcob19
Bronze

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

hi jphughan thank for the reply.

Yes, you're right, Windows isn't detecting it even at a hardware level but I don't think is an hard disk hardware issue because I have tried a few days with another hdd and the problem persist (the first hdd was a seagate 5.2k rpm and now I'm using a seagate 7.2k rpm both sent from Dell).

When I reinstalled windows I used it without any applications until the problem show up again so I don't think is an applications issue too.

The hdd show on bios and linux live usb is not a random case because when the problem shows up, restarting the laptop I can see it on bios and linux live usb but when I reboot the laptop with windows, it still doesn't see it (until many restart).

So, for these reasons, I was thinking it can be a driver problem or, in the worse case, an alimentation hdd problem caused by motherboard.

If you know anothers possibly causes say to me thanks.

0 Kudos
jphughan
Diamond

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

The only driver I can think that you MIGHT be able to experiment with, depending on your system and BIOS settings, would be the Intel Rapid Storage driver, but I've never heard of it causing the drive to not be shown at all in Device Manager.  Still, if you want to experiment with it, you can get the latest driver version directly from Intel here: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/55005/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-

0 Kudos
Marcob19
Bronze

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

I have already tried with the Intel rapid storage driver few times.

I have tried to use the latest driver from website, to auto-update driver with alienware update and with old driver too (2017 driver) but nothing, the problem persist.

I don't know what could be anymore.

0 Kudos
jphughan
Diamond

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

Do you have another hard drive you can install in the system temporarily, just to see if you observe the same behavior with a different drive?

0 Kudos
Marcob19
Bronze

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

The system is install on the SSD, the hdd is only a data container.

Or do you mean try to install the system on the hdd (or another hdd) and don't use SSD? how this can effect with the problem?

0 Kudos
jphughan
Diamond

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

@Marcob19 wrote:

The system is install on the SSD, the hdd is only a data container.

Or do you mean try to install the system on the hdd (or another hdd) and don't use SSD? how this can effect with the problem?


No, I meant that if your HDD only has data and that's the drive where you're observing the problem, then try temporarily removing that HDD and installing some other HDD instead, just to see if the same problem occurs with that new HDD.  If it's a driver issue, I would expect another HDD to behave the same way.  But if you find that another HDD works fine, then that would further indicate that this is some problem with the specific HDD you've been using rather than the system or some sort of driver.

0 Kudos
Marcob19
Bronze

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

I have done this test with two different hdd. The first one was a seagate 1 tb hdd at 5.4 rpm and now i'm testing a seagate 1 tb hdd at 7.2k rpm. The problem show up with both hdd.

If you think the problem is specific for seagate hdd (caused by their driver) i'm going to test an old hgst hdd 1 tb 5.4 rpm that I have, and I'll update you.

0 Kudos
jphughan
Diamond

Re: Win 10 not see second drive (driver problem?)

Jump to solution

@Marcob19 wrote:

I have done this test with two different hdd. The first one was a seagate 1 tb hdd at 5.4 rpm and now i'm testing a seagate 1 tb hdd at 7.2k rpm. The problem show up with both hdd.

If you think the problem is specific for seagate hdd (caused by their driver) i'm going to test an old hgst hdd 1 tb 5.4 rpm that I have, and I'll update you.


No, if the problem occurs with multiple HDDs then I'm not sure what to suggest.  There isn't a special Seagate driver.  There's sometimes an Intel Rapid Storage driver, but other than that Windows just has a basic AHCI driver for any SATA HDDs or SSDs, so using a different brand of hard drive wouldn't make a difference.  At this point based on all of the tests you've conducted, I'm really not sure what to suggest next.  Now it really does sound like some sort of hardware issue with the system, such as the SATA connector or motherboard, but if you truly NEVER see this behavior when checking the BIOS, diagnostics, or Linux Live, then I can't explain how that would be the case.  As far as I can tell, your descriptions eliminate all possible causes of this problem, so either I'm not thinking of something despite having worked in IT for 15 years, or something about the behavior description thus far isn't quite accurate, and I don't have a way to know which one it is.  Sorry!

0 Kudos