Here is how I fixed my new SSD hard drive not showing in the my computer area of Windows.  When I attached it using a USB cable and external SATA connection it did install something (usb drivers), but it would not show up in My Computer on Windows, so I could not move data to it.

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This problem is because the drive is not formatted, and does not have a drive letter.  I used Windows XP to do this, but you can also format the drive using Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.  It is also possible to format a new hard drive using Mac OS if you search your computer for the Disk Utility program.

To fix this, go to Control panel -> Administrative tools -> Computer management.  Under Storage choose Disk management.  Now you have to format the new drive, and assign it a drive letter.  This will make it show under my computer.

My new drive was attached using an external caddy/drive box with SATA built in when I did this.  It cost me like $10 from Ebay.

Warning, this administrative tools and computer management in particular is a dangerous area of Windows to be in.  If you do not know what you are doing do not do this and get the family IT expert to help.  Disk management can very quickly destroy your data if you make a mistake.  If you do know what you are doing, go ahead and format the new drive to your preferred file system (NTFS or exfat is good) and assign a drive letter when asked.

That’s it, you’re done!  Your new hard drive or SSD should now be recognised by the system and you can safely install internally.  I used this method to update and upgrade the firmware on my new Samsung 840 SSD before installing.  I got the samsung 840 SSD for $120 on a special sale.

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