The BIOS does not detect or recognize the Solid State Drive

Tips and tricks for troubleshooting an internal SSD that is not detected in the BIOS.

There are four main reasons why a system BIOS will not detect the presence of an internal Solid State Drive. The following are not in any particular order, but you can follow these steps one by one to troubleshoot this problem:

  1. Drive not enabled in the BIOS

  2. Serial ATA drivers are not properly installed

  3. Faulty or unplugged data cable

  4. Faulty SSD

After verifying that your SATA port is set to Auto-Detect or is enabled, if you find that your SSD is not being detected (auto-detected) by the system BIOS, try the following steps to try and isolate/troubleshoot the problem.

  1. Drive not enabled in the BIOS
    Most personal computers display a brief message about entering System Setup soon after the power is turned on. System Setup is also called the "system BIOS" or sometimes the "CMOS Setup" - each is a name for the same thing.
    For example, on Dell systems you will see "F2=Setup" in the upper right corner during the computer boot-up. This means to press the F2 key to enter Setup (the BIOS). Different computer manufactures have different methods to enter Setup, so please check your system documentation for specifics.

    System setup is where the date and time are stored and where startup preferences like NumLock or Passwords are defined. In addition, many hardware settings are defined in System Setup.
    If your drive is not detected it may be because it is turned OFF in System Setup.

  2. The Serial ATA motherboard drivers are not properly loaded
When you install older versions of Windows on a drive that will be the boot drive (ie, the C: drive), when it comes time to install Windows, the drive may not be detected.  You might need to update the driver for your computer storage controller.
Windows 2000 and XP required additional drivers to be loaded.
Note: These drivers do not come from Seagate; they come from the motherboard manufacturer.
  1. Faulty or Unplugged Data Cable
    • Always inspect the motherboard and SSD connections for bent or misaligned pins. Folding, crimping, pinching, or creasing data cables can cause the wires to break inside the insulation, leaving the exterior of the cable looking normal. When in doubt of data cable condition, replace it.
    • For SATA cables, Seagate recommends using cables shorter than 39.37 inches (1 meter). For further information, please see Document ID: 182453.

      Here are some images of Serial ATA cables. Click to expand.

    • The BIOS will not detect a SSD if the data cable is damaged or the connection is incorrect.
      Serial ATA cables, in particular, can sometimes fall out of their connection. Be sure to check your SATA cables are tightly connected to the SATA port connection.
    • The easiest way to test a cable is to replace it with another cable. If the problem persists, then the cable was not the cause of the problem.
  2. Faulty Hard Drive
If you have completed the above checks and procedures and the drive is still not properly detected, please attempt to use SeaTools for DOS (see the tutorial here) to test the drive. If SeaTools does not detect the drive after the steps followed above, or an error code that signifies drive failure displays, please proceed to the our Warranty Services page to begin a warranty replacement order.