Windows Treating Internal Hard Disk/SSD as External/Removable: How to Fix

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Do you want to know how to fix windows is treating internal SATA disk drives as removable or external? Go through this article to know the details.

Suddenly, You may discover that one or more of your internal hard disks or SSDs appear as removable storage. Windows popped up the option so you can safely remove them. But, If you try, you can’t remove them. This is not a very uncommon problem that Windows users may face. Especially, If you have multiple SSD or hard disks and none of them are divided into multiple drives, it may appear. But, How you can get rid of it? Don’t worry. It is not a big deal.

Internal Hard Disk/SSD Showing Up as Removeable Disk in Windows 11

How to Fix Windows Treating Internal Hard Disk/SSD as External/Removable

If your internal SSD or hard disk is showing up as a removable device on Windows 11 or 10, follow these steps to fix this problem.

1. Update Windows

If a specific version of Windows has a known problem with your device, a windows update can fix it. So, I suggest you update Windows before trying other methods.

Update Windows 11
  • At first, Go to the settings of Windows and navigate to Windows Update.
  • Now, Click on Check for Updates.
  • If it finds any update, download and install it.
  • At last, Restart your PC.

It may help to fix internal hard disks or SSDs showing up as removable disks.

2. Update Drivers

This problem is often related to the SATA/ATA Controller drivers. If these are not up to date, Windows may encounter difficulties to maintain certain things. As a result, an internal hard disk or SSD may appear as removable storage. So, Updating these drivers have been an amazing solution to fix this type of problem. To update drivers, there are mainly two ways. One is manual method and another one is automatic method. The most convenient way to update drivers is the automatic way. For this, use Driver Booster or any of these tools to update SATA/ATA drivers on Windows 11 or 10.

driver booster updating drivers

If you want to update these drivers manually, follow these steps.

  • At first, Press Win+R/open start menu, type devmgmt.msc and hit enter. It will open the Windows Device Manager.
  • Now, Find the SATA/ATA drivers, right-click on any of them and choose update driver.
update sata controller driver windows
  • Then, Follow on screen instructions and go forward to update the driver.
  • Do it for all the related drivers one by one.
  • Then, Restart your PC.

It should fix the problem if the outdated driver is the reason.

3. Disable Hot Plug

Some motherboard has a feature called Hot Plug. Is it enabled on your motherboard’s BIOS/UEFI? If yes, it is the reason windows is treating internal SATA hard disks or SSDs as removable or external drives. So, To fix the internal disk appearing as removable storage, you must disable the Hot Plug. To do this, follow these steps.

disable SATA Port Hot Plug from BIOS/UEFI
  • At first, Go to your motherboard’s BIOS/UEFI window. Usually, Pressing Del/F2 button when your PC shows motherboard logo during power on will lead you to BIOS/UEFI dashboard.
  • There, try to find the SATA Hot Plug or similar options from Chpset/Advanced tab.
  • Then, Disable it and save the settings and restart your computer.

From now, you will no longer encounter the Windows treating internal HDDs/SSDs as removable drives.

Note: For better understanding, I suggest you visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website.

4. Enable Write Caching

Windows may treat it as a removable storage device if the write caching policy is not active for specific hard drives. So, You should make sure the write caching policy is active for the internal hard disks or SSDs. Otherwise, it may appear as external or removable drives. To do this, follow these steps.

Enable Write Caching Policy in Windows
  • At first, Open the device manager like method 2.
  • Now, Expand Disk Drives and right-click on the disk which is appearing as removable and go to its properties.
  • In properties, Go to Policies tab.
  • Then, Tick on “Enable Write Caching on the Device” and save the settings.
  • At last, Restart Windows 11 and see if it has fixed the problem or not.

5. Modify Registry

If you are still having the same problem after trying previous methods, don’t worry. There is another way to fix internal disks appearing as removable disks on Windows. You can modify an entry in the registry. Before that, I suggest you back up the windows registry in the right way. Then follow these steps.

  • At first, Go to the Device Manager, Expand Disk Drive and go to the problematic disk propeties.
  • Look at the BUS number and remember it.
  • Now, Open start menu, type regedit and hit enter to open Windows Registry Editor.
Detect BUS Number for Disk Drives in Windows
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services\storahci > Parameters > Device.
modifying treat as internal port windows registry editor
  • Now, Double-click on TreatAsInternalPort and add the values of the disk BUS number that you want as internal disk.
  • At last, Save it and restart your computer.

6. Update Motherboard BIOS/UEFI

At this stage, you should not encounter this problem. But, If, by any chance, Windows is still treating the internal SATA disk drives as external, I suggest you update motherboard BIOS/UEFI. If the problem is related to the outdated motherboard firmware version, it will indeed help to get rid of this problem.

These are the ways to solve Internal SSDs/Hard Disks showing up as removable storage on Windows 11 or 10. If you know any other effective way to get rid of this problem, you can add it in the comment box.

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