How to solve the “Disk Unknown not Initialized” problem in Windows 10?

  • The “Uninitialized Unknown Hard Disk Drive” problem in Windows 10 usually occurs unexpectedly in all versions of Windows, including Windows 10, 8, and 7.
  • In this case, the external hard drive may display “unallocated space” or nothing about the capacity of the hard drive in Disk Management, so you can’t open and access the data on the drive.
Updated March 2024This tool will stop these errors and fix common problems: Get it at this link
  1. Download and install the software.
  2. It will scan your computer to find problems.
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The Disk Image Isn’t Initialized

Follow Steps 1 – 3 to resolve disk not initialized and unallocated issues. Steps 4 – 6 will solve disk is not initialized and shows no capacity information.

Is there ever a situation in which you plug an external hard drive into your computer and it says it is installed successfully but does not appear on “This PC”?

If you are concerned about losing your data you should ask yourself: “How can I fix unknown disk 1 uninitialized?” Also, “What should I do when it appears in Windows Disk Management that my drive is unknown, uninitialized, or unallocated?”

Windows 10 Initialize Disk

Windows 10 offers Disk Management as an option for initializing disks: type “disk management” into the search box on the taskbar, select Disk Management, click “Run as administrator,” and confirm. Click “Initialize Disk” from the right-click menu of the disk you need to initialize in Disk Management.

If you are having trouble accessing your uninitialized external hard drive, follow our step-by-step guide and find out what is causing it to happen.

Hard Drive Won T Initialize

You may want to start by initializing a hard drive that has not yet been initialized when it does not have an initialization. To run the partition management tool, press the keys “Win + R” and enter “compmgmt.msc”. You can also right-click “My computer” and select “Manage”.


What does it mean to initialize a hard drive?

What does it mean to initialize a hard drive?

In the case of a drive that has never been used before, initializing it (similar to formatting) erases all data on the device and returns it to a working state.

By dividing initialization into two steps, external hard drives can be prepared for data storage.

Partitioning begins with:
The following functions are available when you create a partition on a disk:

  • This program creates partition tables in the MBR and GPT formats in a specified location on the hard drive.
  • During initialization, a MBR partition can be divided into up to four distinct parts.
  • After the partitions have been created, they must be formatted.

The following steps can be taken with this step:

  1. Organize your disk by assigning it a new letter.
  2. A new support file system should be created for each newly created partition.
  3. Irrelevant data should be deleted.

If there is no valid partition table on the hard drive, Windows will generate a boot prompt. Windows may also generate a boot prompt if there is no valid partition table on the hard drive.


What causes the “Uninitialized Unknown Disk” problem in Windows 10

What causes the "Uninitialized Unknown Disk" problem in Windows 10

Many Windows users are concerned about the “Uninitialized Unknown Disk” problem, which happens unexpectedly in Windows 10, 8, and 7. As a result, the external hard drive may appear in Disk Management as “unallocated space” or without any information about its capacity, which makes it impossible to access the data.

It is important to note that the drives in these two cases display “Unknown, Uninitialized”, indicating that the causes of the problem are different.

External Hard Drive Not Initialized

The disk 1 unknown should be disconnected from your computer if it does not initialize and has no available space in Disk Management.

Initializing A Disk

You can reach the Disk Management option by right-clicking This PC on the desktop.

Initialize Disk Windows 10

Windows offers two methods for initializing a hard disk. The graphical interface is more friendly for users with less computing experience.

The MBR may have been damaged if you see “Unknown, Uninitialized Disk” and then “Unallocated”. On MBR and GPT hard disks, the MBR is the first sector. The MBR provides information that is needed to boot Windows and partition the hard disk. You can encounter problems if it becomes damaged, such as an “uninitialized” message.

Unless a physical problem has occurred to the hard disk drive, Hard Disk 1, 2 will display an “Uninitialized” display without any hard disk memory information. This may be the result of a connectivity problem, a driver problem, or a physical problem with the hard disk.


How to solve the “Uninitialized Unknown Hard Disk Drive” problem in Windows 10

Updated: March 2024

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How to solve the "Uninitialized Unknown Hard Disk Drive" problem in Windows 10

Initialize the hard drive

A partition management tool is available by selecting the “Win + R” keys and typing “compmgmt.msc” to open the program. If the hard drive is uninitialized, you should first initialize it. You can do this by right-clicking the My Computer icon and selecting “Manage”.

You should be able to initialize this external hard drive without losing data if it has no important files on it. Locate the external hard drive connected to THIS computer. Typically, this problem is fixed by initializing the disk to MBR or GPT in Windows 10.

Tip: What happens when I initialize a hard drive? Initializing a disk can erase all data and lose it. Therefore, if you have a large amount of data stored on an external hard disk, this initialization is not recommended.

Data loss makes it not always a good solution due to this reason.

Recover MBR

Infection by malware, accidental power failure, and malfunctions can all cause the Master Boot Record (MBR) to be corrupted, which is the first sector to be read by the operating system.

Those who have damaged the MBR will have trouble accessing the data on the hard disk and will experience the error “Unknown external hard drive 1 not initialized”.

Virtual Disk Manager Incorrect Function

Attempt to initialize the hard drive again if the hard drive connection cable is incorrect.

If the external hard drive is not initialized in Windows 10, then you can view it using AOMEI Partition Assistant by downloading, installing, and launching it.

This PC – > Manage – > Disk Management. Open Windows Disk Management. You will see a number of basic situations, similar to the scenario shown above. Just right click on disk 1, and click Initialize Disk. You will be able to choose whether to initialize the disk with an MBR or GPT partition style in a window that will pop up.

Here is another solution you can try if this one does not resolve the Western Digital Uninitialized Unknown Disk 1 problem.

Rebuild the partition

The “uninitialized unknown disk” problem cannot always be completely resolved with MBR recovery. You should try rebuilding the partition if you notice unallocated space showing in Disk Management.

Note: Do not create a new partition on an unallocated disk, otherwise it will be very difficult to recover the partition.

Recovering data from an unknown disk

If Partition Recovery cannot restore partitions on a hard disk with large amounts of important data, what should be done?

It’s okay if you don’t think your external hard drive was initially configured. You can recover your data using an external hard drive data recovery program.

In the case of a hard disk that cannot be displayed in Disk Management, the hard disk may not be initialized and operations may be halted.

Turn off the computer and remove the battery

A PC system board problem can cause the “Uninitialized Unknown Disk Not Size” error. To fix the problem, remove the battery:

  1. The computer should be turned off.
  2. The problem drive should be disconnected from its power and data cables.
  3. Ten more seconds will be needed to remove the CMOS battery.
  4. The CMOS battery needs to be reinstalled.
  5. The computer should be turned on now.
  6. The computer should be turned off.
  7. The drive that has problems should be reconnected to the power and data cables.
  8. The computer should be turned on now.

You might find the following method helpful if this doesn’t work.

Replace the defective external hard drive

If you connect an unknown or uninitialized drive to another computer, the drive’s manual will not be able to retrieve data or capacity.

If the external hard drive has a physical defect, you should send it to a specialist for inspection, and if the defect is present, you will have to discard it and replace it with a new one.

The following two articles might be helpful if you are experiencing issues with hard drive management, such as not being able to recognize the hard drive or not having enough space on the hard drive.



In this blog, we have discussed what you can do if there is a “Disk Unknown Not Initialized” error on your system or external drive. Applying the above-mentioned methods can help fix the error. However, methods such as the Diskpart utility or unallocated space recovery will force you to format the disk, which will erase the data stored on it. To avoid losing data on the disk, you can use third-party data recovery software. Third-party software can effectively decompress lost files, folders, documents, photos, etc.


RECOMMENATION: Click here for help with Windows errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Simply right-click on "My Computer" -> "Manage" to start Disk Management.
  2. Here, right-click on the disk and then click on "Initialize Disk".
  3. In the dialog box, select the disk(s) you want to initialize and select the MBR or GPT partition style. After initializing the hard drive, you can now recover data from the hard drive.

  1. Make sure that the hard drive is connected to the network. Right-click on the Start button and select Disk Management.
  2. Run a test on the hard drive. If the hard drive is still not initialized, you need to run a disk test.
  3. Try to repair the drive.
  4. Initialize the drive.

Start the program, select the uninitialized drive, and then click "Scan". The next screen displays all the files that can be recovered from the drive. Select the files that you want to recover and click the Recover button.

The "Uninitialized Unknown Disk" error can occur because a hard drive partition has been lost or deleted. If there is no space on the unknown external uninitialized hard disk, you can check if the hard disk has damaged sectors that could cause the error.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.