Troubleshooting Guide to Fix “Disk Not Initialized” Error

Summary: The Disk not initialized error is a common issue encountered by Windows users. This error message indicates that a disk has not been initialized, resulting in its inaccessibility. This guide will provide you with troubleshooting steps to address the Disk not initialized error. We will cover the potential causes of the error, methods to resolve it, and preventive measures to avoid its recurrence. By following this guide, you will be able to resolve the Disk not initialized error and regain access to your disk.

Table of Content:

What is Disk Not Initialized Error?

Disk not initialized error is an error message that comes up when a new hard drive or USB flash drive is connected to a Windows system. This occurs when the disk has not initialized, therefore, cannot be accessed. Initialization is a process where the disk is set up for use by setting up the necessary data structures. Without initialization, the computer cannot recognize the disk and access the stored data, but it can repair with some simple steps.

Why is the Disk showing not initialized?

Some of the most common reasons why a disk may show as not initialized on a Windows computer are:

  • New Device: If you have connected a new device to your system, it may show as Not Initialized because it has not been set up.
  • Partition table Corruption: The partition table is a data structure that identifies the partitions on a disk. If the partition table gets corrupted, the disk can show not initialized.
  • Bad sectors: If the disk has bad sectors, it may not be able to initialize and show not initialized.
  • Connection issues: If the disk is not connected properly, it is not initialized.
  • Outdated or incompatible drivers: If the disk drivers are outdated or incompatible with the operating system, the disk may not recognize and show as not Initialized.

How to Fix Disk Not Initialized?

The “disk not initialized” error message indicates that your computer is unable to recognize the disk. It is crucial to address this issue promptly to avoid data loss and potential hardware damage. If you encounter this error, we have provided several methods below that you can try to resolve the “disk not initialized” error and restore proper function to your disk.

1. Check the Connecting Cables

The first thing to check is the cable connecting the hard drive and computer. Make sure that the cables connecting the hard drive are properly connected and secure. If the cables are damaged, please replace them tend to help. If the connection is not the issue, you can move on to try other troubleshooting methods below.

2. Update Device Drive

Updating the device driver for the hard drive can sometimes resolve the disk not initialized issue. You can follow these steps to update the driver:

Device Manager to Update Drivers

  • Press the Windows key + X and select Device Manager.
  • Locate the driver from the list and right-click on it.
  • Select Update driver from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the instructions to complete the process.

If a new driver is available, it will download and installed automatically. When completed, you can restart to check if the issue has been resolved.

3. Initialize the Disk

Initializing the disk using Disk Management is a simple solution to fix the disk not initialized issue. Initialize the disk by following the steps below:

Disk Manager to Initialize Disk


  • Press the Windows key + X and select Disk Management.
  • Locate the uninitialized disk. It is the label Not Initialized.
  • Right-click on the disk and select Initialize Disk.
  • Choose the partition style (MBR or GPT) and click OK.

Note: The disk will appear with a blue bar on the left side when it is initialized.

  • Right-click on the unallocated space on the disk and select New Simple Volume.
  • Follow the instructions to create a new partition and format the disk.

When formatting is completed, you can access the disk and use it.

4. Run CHKDSK Command

Running the CHKDSK (Check Disk) command can help to fix disk errors that may be causing the disk not initialized issue. You can follow these steps and run CHKDSK:

CHKDSK Command in Command Prompt

  • Press the Windows key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • In the Command Prompt window, type “chkdsk /f X:” and press Enter.

Note: Replace X with the drive letter of the disk.

If CHKDSK finds and fixes errors on the disk. When the scan is complete, check if the disk not initialized issue has been resolved.

5. Rebuild MBR

MBR stands for Master Boot Record, which is located at the beginning of a storage device. The MBR contains essential information about the disk partition layout and how the disk boots. The MBR is important for the proper functioning of the device in the computer. Hence if damaged or corrupted, it leads to various issues, such as disk not initialized error. In those cases, rebuilding the MBR may help to resolve the issue. You can follow the below steps to rebuild the MBR:

  • Press the Windows key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • In the Command Prompt window, type bootrec.exe /fixmbr and press Enter.
  • Then type bootrec.exe /fixboot and press Enter.
  • Then type bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd and press Enter.

Follow the instructions to complete the rebuild process. When the rebuild is completed, restart your computer and check if the disk not initialized issue has been resolved.

How to Recover Data from Disk Not Initialized Error?

When a disk is not initialized, the operating system cannot read it, and all data on the disk becomes inaccessible. If none of the above methods help you, then with the right tool, you can still recover your data. One tool we recommend using to recover data is SFWare Data Recovery software. A tool designed to recover data from various data loss scenarios.

Steps to Recover Data using SFWare Data Recovery Software

Download and Install SFWare Data Recovery software on your system to start the recovery process.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Step 1: Launch the tool and click Recover Drives/Partition on the main screen.

SFWare Data Recovery Software - Home Screen

Step 2: On the next screen, you should click on Drive/Partition Recovery, which will show you storage devices.

SFWare Data Recovery Software - Recovery Option Screen

Step 3: Select the device from which you want to recover and click Next.

SFWare Data Recovery Software - Select Device

Note: Wait for the scan to complete and show all the partitions available.

Step 4: Select the partition you want to recover and click Next.

SFWare Data Recovery Software - Select Partition

Note: This scans the partition for recoverable data. When the scan is completed, it displays the data in a window with a Data view and File type view.

SFWare Data Recovery Software - Preview Screen

Step 5: You can double-click on the data to preview the data. If you are satisfied, you can complete the process by saving the data to your desired location.

Note: Don’t choose the exact location to save, which will corrupt the data.


The Disk not initialized error is frustrating but can be solved with simple methods. We have discussed some of them here, along with a data recovery tool, which can be useful when all other methods fail. Hope you this helps you with your issue. Let us know what you think in the comment box below.

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