WD Passport external drive is not recognized in BIOS

External hard drives have become an indispensable tool for data storage and transfer, and Western Digital's Passport series has earned its place as a reliable choice.

This article delves into the possible reasons behind this issue and suggests some solutions to help you resolve it.

Potential Causes

Faulty USB Cable or Port: A common culprit is a faulty USB cable or port. Ensure that you're using a high-quality USB cable and try connecting the drive to a different USB port.

Driver Issues: Outdated or incompatible drivers could lead to recognition problems. Visit the Western Digital website to download the latest drivers for your specific drive model.

Power Supply: Insufficient power supply might prevent the drive from spinning up properly. Use a dedicated power source or try using a Y-cable to connect to two USB ports for additional power.

BIOS Settings: Sometimes, BIOS settings may need adjustment to allow the external drive to be recognized. Check if the drive is enabled in the BIOS and consider updating the BIOS firmware.

Drive Letter Conflict: If the drive letter assigned to the WD Passport is already in use, it might not appear. You can reassign drive letters in the Disk Management tool.


Check Physical Connections: Ensure that the USB cable is securely connected to both the drive and the computer's USB port. Try a different cable or port if necessary.

Driver Update: Visit Western Digital's official website, locate the drivers section, and download the latest drivers for your specific drive model. Install the drivers and restart your computer.

Power Source: If your drive requires external power, connect it to a stable power source. For USB-powered drives, use a Y-cable or a powered USB hub to enhance power delivery.

BIOS Adjustment: Access your computer's BIOS settings during startup and verify that the USB ports are enabled. Also, ensure that the boot order is not set to prioritize other devices over USB.

Drive Letter Reassignment: Right-click on "This PC" (or "My Computer" on older Windows versions) and select "Manage." In the Disk Management section, right-click on the WD Passport drive, choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths," and assign an available drive letter.

A WD Passport external drive not appearing in the BIOS can be a perplexing situation, but it's important to approach the issue systematically. By checking physical connections, updating drivers, ensuring adequate power supply, adjusting BIOS settings, and managing drive letters, you increase the likelihood of resolving the problem. If the issue persists despite these efforts, it might be indicative of a hardware malfunction, warranting professional assistance or a warranty claim. Always remember to back up your data regularly to safeguard against unexpected drive-related issues.



Further reading

Increase the lifespan of a hard drive

Portable hard drive power supply issues

Windows 11 security features