What to do if your BIOS can’t find ATA or SATA hard drive

Why Is SATA Hard Drive Not Detected in BIOS Or Setup?

bios not detecting hdd

Your SATA hard drive should be detected in the BIOS or Setup, but sometimes it is not. There are a few things you can try to get it working properly.

One of the most common problems with SATA hard drives is that they are not detected by the BIOS or Setup. This can be caused by a number of things, such as a bad cable, incorrect jumper settings, or a faulty motherboard.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common causes of sata hard drive not detected in bios or setup and offer some solutions that you can try.

1. Check the BIOS to see if the hard drive is disabled

Having checked if the hard drive is deactivated in the BIOS might also be a smart idea to address the issue of the hard drive not being detected by the BIOS; if the pc BIOS cannot not recognise the hard drive, there is a good chance that the disk drives option is disabled with in BIOS. Typically, this feature is always set by default, and the user must toggle it on in order to effectively connect the disk drive to the BIOS. To determine the current configuration of your hard disk in the BIOS, press the assigned BIOS button that corresponds to your laptop’s model during booting to enter BIOS mode and check the hard drive’s condition.

2. Updating The BIOS To The Newest Version

Your laptop’s bios is the software that controls the motherboard and all of the hardware that is installed to the motherboard. If you are struggling to connect your SATA hard drive cable, your BIOS may be outdated or incompatible with your SATA hard drive cable. You may need to update your BIOS to the latest version.

3. Check if Any Sata Cables Are Broken or Not Plugged In

The SATA cable is a lengthy and rigid connector which is normally located at the back of your laptop’s motherboard. It has a flexible metal connector and two prongs which extend to the desktop and laptop’s motherboard. The SATA cable should be plugged in to a motherboard port with the prongs connecting to the SATA port on the motherboard. If your SATA cable is not plugged in properly or if it is damaged, you should get it replaced.

4. Take the Hard Drive out And Put It Back In

If your hard drive is detected in BIOS yet not detected in the set-up of your PC, then you could try a different hard drive. If you’re still having the same problem, you may need to physically disconnect the hard drive and then reconnect it to your laptop, this should enable your BIOS to detect the hard drive and set-up the SATA hard drive. If that does not work, then you can re-install the hard drive into its drive bay.

5. To Check the Disk’s Health, Use a Bootable Diagnostic Tool

Hiren’s BootCD is a versatile bootable diagnostic tool that could be used to check the status of your hard drive and the BIOS. Although it is a tool that you can install on a live CD or a floppy disk, it can also be used on a hard disk installation of Windows.

6. Check if The Drive Is Spinning or Not

Drive Spins Up

If bios not detecting hard drive, then turn off the laptop and open the pc casing in order to disconnect the cable connection from the disk drive.
Reinstall the drive’s data cord and restart the computer;
Verify that the drive is actually spinning;
If not, detach and reconnect the computer and hard drive’s power cord until the hard drive spins up.
If the problem persists, repeat these instructions on a different PC
Alternatively, try connecting the hard drive to a SATA-USB enclosure or similar device
Alternatively, you can request a warranty replacement from the hard disc manufacturer to test its functionality.

7. Load the Default Settings from The Bios

Default Settings from The Bios

If enabling the boot option for the hard drive fails, you will have to restore the BIOS default settings. To do this, load the default BIOS settings for your laptop. On some laptops, you can press the F2 key on the keyboard to bring up the BIOS screen, and press the F10 key to select the boot menu. On others, you will have to press the F8 key, or the Esc key. Then you will have to navigate to the boot menu and press the F10 key to select the default boot option. On some other laptops, you can also use the F12 key to navigate to the boot menu. Please refer to your laptop manufacturer’s manual for your specific laptop to know the key combination to access the BIOS.

8. Connect a SATA Hdd to A Different Cable Port

Your SATA cable may be disconnected or faulty. Further, check the laptop’s hardware for any possible damage to the SATA cable. If you have another port on your computer, you can try connecting the hard disk drive with that port.

9. Update the HDD drivers

Update the HDD drivers

To fix this, update the hard drive drivers to the latest version. To do this, download and install a third-party hard drive software and run the program to update the drivers.

10. Turn On And Enable Sata Hard Drive In BIOS

The BIOS is the basic setup utility that is responsible for configuring your system’s motherboard. You can try to enable the SATA hard drive in your BIOS by selecting the appropriate entry under the Advanced tab, and then clicking the Apply button. This process is necessary to enable your laptop’s SATA hard drive in its BIOS.

11. Check the Integrity of Your SATA Hard Drive.

Check the SATA hard drive for physical damage, an open or shorted drive, or a loose or bent SATA cable. Most SATA drives are made with hard drives that use the “smart” technology. Some of them have a metal cage with a plastic cover over it. If your SATA drive has a metal cage, check for an open, loose, damaged, or bent metal cage.

12. Check for Incompatible Hard Drives & Motherboard

Sometimes, hard drives could be incompatible with the motherboard and with other drives. If the hard drive does not connect to the motherboard when you connect it to the BIOS set-up, and you have checked all the other possibilities, then it’s a good idea to check if the hard drive is compatible with your laptop’s motherboard.


Why Is My SATA Drive Not Detected?

SATA hard drives are usually detected when the hard drive data cable is plugged in. If this is not the case for you, there are a few things to try and fix this problem first. Below are some common reasons why your SATA hard drive is not detected.

Data Cable Is Too Small
If your SATA hard drive data cable is too small, it would not fit into the connector. This may cause the computer to not detect your hard drive. It is a good idea to replace your SATA hard drive data cable with a larger one.

How Do I Enable HDD In BIOS?

If your PC doesn’t detect your hard drive, turn on “AHCI” and then restart your PC. If it doesn’t work, restart your PC and check “Legacy AHCI” in the BIOS setup. If that doesn’t work, reboot your PC and then press the F2 key or the BIOS setup to enter into the BIOS mode, then select the advanced tab and check the “Enable AHCI” option. Then reboot your PC and check whether it works. If it doesn’t work, try to update your hard drive drivers.

How Do I Enable SATA In BIOS?

You have to go to your BIOS setup and enable the SATA port. The SATA port can be enabled by pressing the F2 or DEL key as you start up your PC. If you are not sure if the SATA port is enabled or disabled, open the BIOS and look at the settings under SATA settings and SATA controller. If the SATA port is not enabled, you will have to enable it to allow your PC to see your SATA hard drive.

What if My SATA Hard Drive Is Not Displayed in Bios?

You can initialize the hard drive using a third-party partition manager to make sure your SATA is being detected by your PC.

Should SATA Mode Be AHCI Or IDE?

The AHCI is a type of hardware in your PC that can be used to access the SATA drives connected to it. It is a type of software for storage devices with the help of which you can access and control SATA hard drives. For a better performance, you can install AHCI mode on your SATA hard drive. However, the IDE is a software that is used to control the storage devices including SATA hard drives that are connected to your PC. You can install the IDE mode on your SATA hard drive if you are facing any problem in accessing your SATA hard drive due to the SATA hard drive installation.

What Is SATA AHCI Mode BIOS Setting?

The SATA mode is a newer and more advanced storage feature than the IDE (Integrated Development Environment), even though the two are older technologies that are mostly not common among PC users. The IDE provides more compatibility for older hardware but may perform below par if used with a hard drive in IDE mode. While both are older technologies, the AHCI (Advanced Host Control Interface) SATA mode is a better choice for data transfer between the system memory and SATA storage.

Where Is SATA Mode In BIOS?

The SATA mode is accessed in the BIOS using the Setup feature. This feature is available in all BIOS versions since the 2004 version of the BIOS. The SATA setting is accessed by pressing the F2 or DEL key after you have booted your computer. Sometimes it varies on some computers.


There are many other reasons why your bios not detecting hdd. If you suspect a problem with the hard drive, you should contact the manufacturer for assistance.

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