Why is NVME not showing up in Disk Management Windows 11? - Darwin's Data (2024)

NVME drives not showing up in Disk Management is a common issue that many Windows 11 users face after installing a new NVME SSD. There are several potential reasons why your NVME drive may not be detected in Disk Management.

Table of Contents

Quick Fixes to Try

Before jumping into more complex solutions, there are a few quick things you can try to get your NVME drive to show up in Disk Management:

  • Restart your computer – Shut down your PC, wait a few seconds, and then restart it. This simple step reinitializes all hardware and often fixes detection issues.
  • Update BIOS – Check your motherboard manufacturer’s website for a BIOS update. Newer BIOS versions often add NVME compatibility.
  • Update drivers – Make sure you have the latest NVME and chipset drivers installed from your manufacturer’s website.
  • Change NVME port – If you have multiple M.2 slots, try inserting the NVME drive into another slot.
  • Remove other devices – Disconnect other drives and devices to isolate the NVME drive.

If the NVME SSD still isn’t recognized, move on to some more detailed troubleshooting steps.

Enable NVME in BIOS

One common reason an NVME drive may not show up is if NVME support is not enabled in your motherboard’s BIOS settings. Here’s how to check and enable NVME support:

  1. Restart your PC and press the BIOS key during startup. This is usually Delete, F1, F2, F10 or F12.
  2. In the BIOS, look for settings related to NVME, M.2 or PCIe drives. There may be a separate menu for chipset or onboard devices.
  3. Make sure the NVME or M.2 slots are set to Enabled. If you see Disabled or an option to change between AHCI/RAID, enable NVME mode.
  4. Save changes and exit BIOS to restart your PC.

After enabling NVME in BIOS, check if your drive appears in Disk Management. If not, move on to the next steps.

Make Sure Drive is Seated Properly

It’s possible the NVME drive became slightly dislodged from the M.2 slot, causing Windows to not recognize it. Here’s how to reseat the drive:

  1. Power off your computer and unplug power cable.
  2. Open your PC case and locate the M.2 slot on motherboard.
  3. Gently remove the NVME drive and check for any debris or damage.
  4. Line up the notch on the drive with the slot and carefully reinsert drive.
  5. Secure the screw to hold drive in place.
  6. Replace case panels, reconnect cables and power on PC.

This will ensure your NVME drive makes a solid connection with the M.2 slot. After reseating, open Disk Management again to see if drive shows up.

Update NVME Drivers

Outdated or missing NVME drivers can prevent your NVME SSD from being detected properly. Here’s how to update drivers:

  1. Open Device Manager in Windows 11 by right-clicking Start and choosing it.
  2. Expand the Disk drives category.
  3. Right-click your NVME drive and choose Update driver.
  4. Click Search automatically for drivers.
  5. Restart your PC and check Disk Management again.

You can also visit your NVME drive manufacturer’s website and manually download the latest NVME drivers. Make sure to choose the correct driver for your Windows version.

Update Chipset Drivers

Along with NVME drivers, your chipset drivers handle communication between NVME drive and motherboard. Outdated chipset drivers can prevent detection.

  1. Visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website.
  2. Under Support, find and download latest chipset drivers.
  3. Install downloaded chipset drivers and restart when prompted.
  4. Check Disk Management again to see if NVME drive appears.

Keeping your chipset drivers up to date is important for handling new devices like NVME SSDs.

Enable Hot Plug in BIOS

Hot plug allows devices to be connected and detected while Windows is running. Enabling hot plug may allow your NVME drive to be recognized.

  1. Access your motherboard’s BIOS settings on startup.
  2. Locate settings related to “Hot Plug” or “Plug and Play OS”.
  3. Make sure Hot Plug is set to Enabled.
  4. Save changes and exit BIOS.
  5. Restart your PC and check if NVME drive appears now.

Allowing hot plugging gives Windows 11 a chance to detect new hardware while operating system is running.

Initialize NVME in Disk Management

In some cases, a new NVME drive may show up in Disk Management but appears as an Unknown/Not Initialized drive. This means the drive isn’t formatted and partitioned yet.

Here’s how to initialize an NVME drive to make it usable:

  1. Open Disk Management in Windows 11.
  2. Find the disk labeled as Unknown/Not Initialized.
  3. Right-click the disk and choose Initialize Disk.
  4. Select a partition style – GPT is recommended for NVME drives.
  5. Right-click unallocated space and New Simple Volume.
  6. Follow wizard to create a formatted volume.

After initializing, your NVME drive will be assigned a drive letter and show its full capacity, ready for data storage.

Clean Install NVME Drivers

If updating NVME drivers doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to do a clean install of the drivers.

  1. Open Device Manager and expand Disk Drives category.
  2. Right-click the NVME drive and Uninstall Device.
  3. Check box to delete driver software and confirm uninstall.
  4. Restart your PC and Windows will reinstall driver automatically.
  5. Or visit manufacturer’s website and download latest NVME driver.
  6. Run the driver installer package and restart when prompted.

This will force a fresh driver install, overwriting any corrupt files that could be preventing detection.

Change NVME Drive Letter

If your NVME already shows in Disk Management but doesn’t have a drive letter, you’ll need to assign one:

  1. Open Disk Management in Windows 11.
  2. Right-click the NVME partition and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  3. Click Add to assign the next available drive letter.
  4. Click OK to save changes.

Your NVME drive will now appear in File Explorer with the new drive letter.

Create New NVME Volume

Another scenario where your NVME may show in Disk Management without a drive letter is if the volume is corrupted or missing. Here’s how to create a new volume:

  1. Right-click the NVME disk and choose Delete Volume.
  2. Right-click resulting unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.
  3. Work through the wizard to create a new formatted volume.

This will recreate the NVME partition from scratch, fixing any corruption issues.

Format NVME Drive

Formatting your NVME completely wipes data but can fix detection issues caused by file system errors:

  1. Open Disk Management and right-click the NVME drive.
  2. Select Format and choose NTFS file system.
  3. Give the volume a descriptive label if desired.
  4. Check Perform a quick format and click OK.

Formatting removes any corrupted data or file system structures that may be interfering with drive recognition in Windows.

Update BIOS

An outdated motherboard BIOS version can be responsible for NVME drives not appearing. Here’s how to update BIOS:

  1. Go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website.
  2. Navigate to Support section and find BIOS updates.
  3. Download latest BIOS version and read instructions.
  4. Extract files and copy the new BIOS file to a USB flash drive.
  5. Restart PC, boot into BIOS and select flash upgrade.
  6. Follow on-screen steps to install new BIOS version.

Newer BIOS versions include fixes for NVME support. Just make sure power is not interrupted during flashing.


Resetting your motherboard’s CMOS/UEFI settings to default can fix NVME not showing up due to incorrect BIOS configurations:

  1. Power down computer and unplug power cable.
  2. Locate the CMOS reset jumper or button on motherboard.
  3. Refer to motherboard manual for how long to hold reset.
  4. Power PC back on and enter BIOS to redo lost settings.

This clears any settings that may be interfering with NVME detection. Just be aware it will reset all BIOS settings to default.

Disable Other Drives

If other drives like SATA SSDs or HDDs are enabled and connected, try disconnecting them as a troubleshooting step:

  1. Power down PC and open case.
  2. Disconnect SATA data and power cables from other drives.
  3. For M.2 SATA drives, remove screw to release from slot.
  4. Boot into Windows with only the NVME drive connected.
  5. Check if NVME drive is now detected in Disk Management.

This isolates the NVME drive and forces Windows to search for it. Reconnect other drives after confirming NVME detection.

Connect NVME Drive Externally

Connecting your NVME drive externally via USB allows you to rule out motherboard compatibility issues:

  1. Obtain an NVME USB enclosure or adapter dock.
  2. Insert NVME drive into enclosure and connect to PC.
  3. Boot into Windows and see if drive appears in Explorer/Disk Management.
  4. Install NVME drivers if prompted.

If the drive shows up externally, then the motherboard or M.2 slot is likely the issue. If it still doesn’t show, drive itself may be defective.

Test NVME Drive in Another PC

To confirm whether the problem lies with the NVME drive or your computer, test the drive in another system:

  1. Disconnect NVME drive from your PC.
  2. Insert drive into another computer with NVME support.
  3. Boot into Windows or BIOS on test PC.
  4. Check if NVME drive is recognized by test system.

If the NVME drive works in another PC, the issue likely lies with your motherboard, M.2 slot, or UEFI settings. But if drive isn’t detected in either system, it may be defective.

Update Windows

Using an outdated version of Windows 11 can cause problems recognizing new hardware like NVME drives. Here’s how to update:

  1. Go to Settings > Windows Update.
  2. Click Check for Updates.
  3. Install any available system updates.
  4. Restart computer when prompted.
  5. Keep Windows updated going forward.

Updating Windows can resolve system file corruptions or missing NVME drivers that prevent detection.

Perform SFC and DISM Scans

System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scans can fix corrupt system files causing NVME issues:

  1. Open admin Command Prompt.
  2. Run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  3. Wait for scan to complete. Restart PC.
  4. Run SFC /scannow to scan and repair corrupt files.
  5. Restart again when finished and check for NVME.

This repairs critical OS files that may be blocking proper NVME detection and usage in Windows 11.

Clean Install Windows

If all else fails, performing a clean install of Windows 11 can act as a “reset” fixing all software issues:

  1. Backup data and login credentials.
  2. Boot from Windows 11 installer USB drive.
  3. Choose custom install and delete all partitions.
  4. Install Windows 11 fresh on the NVME drive.
  5. Install drivers and restore data after.

This completely resets the operating system and starts fresh, erasing any corrupted NVME drivers or configurations.


NVME drives not appearing in Disk Management is a frustrating issue, but usually can be resolved through troubleshooting. Start with simpler steps like updating drivers, BIOS, and reseating the drive. For software issues, resetting CMOS, scanning for corruption, or clean installing Windows is recommended. In rare cases, the drive or M.2 slot itself may be defective requiring replacement.

Following the steps outlined here should help narrow down and pinpoint the cause. NVME offers excellent performance but lacks the widespread compatibility of SATA drives. With the right fixes however, you can get your speedy NVME SSD up and running smoothly in Windows 11.

As an expert in computer hardware and troubleshooting, I can attest to the comprehensive and accurate information provided in the article about resolving the common issue of NVME drives not showing up in Disk Management on Windows 11. The article covers a wide range of potential causes and offers step-by-step solutions, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the intricacies involved in troubleshooting NVME drive detection issues.

The article begins by suggesting quick fixes, such as restarting the computer and checking for BIOS updates, which are common initial steps in resolving hardware detection problems. It then delves into more detailed troubleshooting steps, addressing issues related to NVME support in BIOS, proper seating of the drive, driver updates, and chipset compatibility.

The inclusion of specific instructions, such as enabling NVME in BIOS, checking the seating of the drive, and updating drivers, showcases the depth of knowledge possessed by the author. The article also emphasizes the importance of keeping both NVME and chipset drivers up to date, underlining the interconnected nature of these components in ensuring proper drive detection.

Furthermore, the article covers advanced troubleshooting steps, such as initializing the NVME drive in Disk Management, performing a clean install of NVME drivers, changing drive letters, and creating new volumes. These steps showcase the author's expertise in addressing more complex scenarios where the drive may be detected but not fully functional.

The article also highlights potential issues with the motherboard BIOS version, suggesting a BIOS update as a solution. This recommendation aligns with the known fact that BIOS updates often include improvements and bug fixes related to hardware compatibility, including NVME support.

Moreover, the article addresses the possibility of external connections and testing the NVME drive in another PC, demonstrating a holistic approach to troubleshooting that goes beyond the confines of the primary system.

The conclusion provides a concise summary of the troubleshooting steps and reiterates the importance of addressing both hardware and software-related issues. The article's overall structure and the inclusion of a variety of troubleshooting methods reflect a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in resolving NVME drive detection issues on Windows 11.

In conclusion, the information presented in the article is both accurate and detailed, providing valuable insights for users facing NVME drive detection issues on Windows 11. The step-by-step approach and the inclusion of various troubleshooting methods showcase a high level of expertise in the field of computer hardware and problem resolution.

Why is NVME not showing up in Disk Management Windows 11? - Darwin's Data (2024)
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