|Summary: A hard drive also known as a hard disk is a non-volatile data storage device. It is electromechanical with a motor and a platter run by a controller circuit. Data can be stored in a hard drive even when the device is switched off (unlike RAM). Older ATA and more modern SATA drives are highly efficient. But a lingering problem is hard drive not detected in BIOS. We show step-by-step solutions. |
BIOS or Basic Input/Output System is a computer program stored on an EEPROM chip found in the motherboard and powered by a tiny battery. When you press the power button of an inactive desktop or laptop, the BIOS turns on and initiates the hard drive and CPU from a dead state. The OS jumps to life and pulls the system files from the hard drive into RAM and starts the computer. The process is known as booting.
Modern BIOS is known as UEFI (a Microsoft standard). Unless a BIOS recognizes the hard drive the PC won’t run since BIOS is the starting point in every computer session (power up to power down).
You can identify and resolve minor technical problems. We discuss a few common reasons for ATA/SATA hard drives not being detected in BIOS/UEFI.
Table of Content
How Will You Fix a Hard Drive Not Detected in BIOS Error
First of all, the diagnosis of the problem is essential. Some of the reasons for ATA/SATA hard drive not being detected in BIOS are:
- Faulty or unplugged data cable
- Disabled drive in the BIOS
- Improper installation of ATA/SATA drivers
- Faulty/damaged hard drive
If your hard drive has any of the above problems except the last, you can adopt the following measures to troubleshoot and resolve them.
Note – What we call ATA (old standard) is actually PATA or Parallel ATA.
- Check for faulty or unplugged power supply
A hard drive has two cables, one for power and one that connects it to the motherboard.
Power supply failure or SMPS failure is very common especially in devices that are used for gaming (besides work). SMPS fails due to age and overload. It causes ATA/SATA hard drives not be detected in BIOS.
- Use another power supply unit. A normal PC requires a 300-watt power supply and a gaming PC about 500 watt.
- If step 1 is not enough, use a new data cable to connect the hard drive to the motherboard.
- If step 1 and 2 both do not work, use a different ATA or SATA port. Older motherboards (pre-2006) have at least 2 ATA ports and motherboards made from 2006 have at least 4 SATA ports.
- Open BIOS and enable device
- Enter BIOS by pressing F2, F10, F12, Del (depending on motherboard manufacturer) at boot.
- Enable ATA and SATA devices.
- If you do not know how or if the motherboard is so old that advice is not available from the manufacturer, go to the last available option of BIOS (usually on the right most side) and select “Load Optimal Defaults”, save and exit.
- BIOS might have become corrupted. In case the BIOS is a very old version (pre-2010) the hard disk might have to be attached to an ATA to SATA converter cable and the data copied to a newer drive.
Modern SATA Port
- If your PC is legacy hardware (pre-2006) and has an ATA hard drive it would be difficult to find a SMPS that matches it. The only recourse is to use an ATA to SATA converter cable to withdraw the data to a newer drive.
- Reboot the PC after removing all DVD and CD drives and USB storage media. This should solve the ATA/SATA hard drive not detected in BIOS problem.
Note: “Load Optimal Defaults” should load the perfect conditions for an OS which means all hard drives are auto-enabled in future sessions.
- Fix improper installation of ATA/SATA drivers
There are three ways in which you can update drivers:
- Contact manufacturer for updating driver
- Download the updated driver from the manufacturer’s website
- Follow the below-mentioned manual process to update drivers
- Go to ‘Control Panel’
- Select ‘Device Manager’
- Choose and click on the hard drive to expand categories
- Right-click on the name of the hard drive and choose “Update Driver”
If the above method fails, re-install drivers with the help of the following measures:
- Open ‘Device Manager’
- Right-click on the hard drive and ‘Uninstall.’
- After that, restart PC and Windows will automatically reinstall the drivers
- Click on the Apple in the upper left corner of the screen
- Select ‘Software Update’
- Update and reboot
- Faulty/Damaged Hard Drive
In most cases, you would be able to resolve minor ATA/SATA hard drive detection problems with the help of the methods mentioned above.
If you can’t locate why the error ATA/SATA hard drive not detected in BIOS is happening, there are chances of physical fault/damage in the hard drive.
Maybe the PCB is burned out and the hard drive actually appears as “dead” to the BIOS. This would lead to ATA/SATA hard drive not detected in BIOS error.
In such cases, you must immediately seek assistance from data recovery professionals. Fiddling with the drive on your own can cause permanent damage and loss of data.
Additional Reading – How to Fix Boot Device Not Found 3F0 Error?
Stellar Data Recovery – Unmatched Track Record
Professionals from Stellar have developed solutions to recover data from damaged hard drives, from hard drives which are not detected in BIOS.
We, at Stellar, understand the importance of your data and hence recommend that the hard drive must be examined in our Class 100 Clean Lab.
1. Is it normal for a hard drive to not show in BIOS?
It is very normal. A hard drive is susceptible to failure, much more so than many other components. The BIOS cannot recognize a “dead” hard drive or one to which no power is supplied leading to ATA/SATA hard drive not detected in BIOS error.
2. What is ATA and SATA?
ATA and SATA are interfaces between the computer and the hard drive. SATA is almost exclusively used since 2006. Rare legacy machines run ATA. What we know as ATA is actually PATA or Parallel ATA.
3. Can you transfer data from PATA to a SATA drive?
Certainly we can. Technicians use connectors known as ATA to SATA cables and transfer data to a new hard drive (or solid-state drive if you wish).
4. Do I have to pay even if no data is recovered?
Not at all. You pay only if the hard drive recovery project is successful. Before you send us the drive we shall have a detailed discussion with you about what is possible in our lab.
5. I have an old PC with a PATA drive. Should I replace it?
Many enthusiasts continue to run older machines. But PATA cannot support the transfer speeds needed for Windows 11 or MacOS 12 Monterrey. Modern computing also needs enormous space that a 40 GB PATA drive cannot offer. If your drive is working, back it all up to a USB drive or cloud and replace the drive.
Hard drive is a sensitive component and deserves extreme caution and care while handling. If the hard drive contains essential data, then one must immediately take help from Stellar Data Recovery Experts for hard drive recovery.
Whether there is a fault in the hard drive or you have damaged it accidentally, data recovery should be your priority if BIOS is unable to detect the hard drive. Any further damage could make the data loss permanent.
With more than 100 R&D experts and leading-edge proprietary software and techniques, we have been able to recover up to 100% of data for 3 million+ customers.