Disk Management or Diskpart Freezes when Initializing SSD or HDD

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

When you add a new Solid State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to your Windows 11/10 computer, you should be able to get it up and running fast by choosing a partition style—Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT). You’d use Disk Management or the diskpart utility in Windows, and it’s usually quick, like a few seconds to a minute quick.

But sometimes, Disk Management might just keep loading forever, or even worse, freeze up or crash on you. This can mess up setting up your new storage device. Some folks might also see an error saying “The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error” after it freezes for a long time. We’re here to look into why this happens, mainly thinking it might be a problem with the SSD or HDD, and how to fix it.

Disk Management Freezes when initializing SSD or HDD

Possible causes of disk management crashes when initializing a hard drive or SSD

Before we dive into fixes, let’s understand why Disk Management or diskpart might stop working when you’re setting up a new SSD or HDD. Here are a few reasons:

  1. A new drive that’s not working right out of the box or has manufacturing issues might not initialize properly.
  2. If cables are not connected properly or there’s not enough power supply, that could be the problem.
  3. Sometimes, the issue is with the Disk Management or diskpart software itself.
  4. Old or wrong drivers for your disk or motherboard can also cause trouble.
  5. And sometimes, if your system files are corrupted, that could mess things up too.

Knowing these reasons helps us figure out how to solve the problem, as each fix will target one or more of these issues.

Related concern: Hard Drives Makes Clicking, Humming, or Screeching Sound

Solution 1: Try the alternative utility for initialization

If Disk Management isn’t working for you, try using diskpart in Windows, or the other way around. You’ll need to pick between MBR and GPT partition styles during this process.

Steps for using diskpart:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator: Press Windows + X, and choose “Windows Terminal (Admin)” or “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
  2. Type diskpart and press Enter.
  3. Type list disk and press Enter to see all the disks.
  4. Choose the disk by typing select disk 1 (for example) and press Enter.
  5. (Optional) If the disk was used before, typing clean wipes it clean.
  6. To initialize, type convert mbr or convert gpt, and press Enter.Diskpart convert gpt mbr freezes and hangs Windows CMD

Steps for using Disk Management:

  1. Open Disk Management by pressing Windows + X and selecting it from the menu.
  2. If the initialization wizard pops up, follow it. If not, find the drive that needs initialization and follow the prompts to complete it.Disk Management initialize disk crashes Windows 11 10

Switching utilities might help if there’s a software glitch causing the issue, letting you successfully set up your new drive.

Also see: How to Format New SSD Drive in Windows 11/10

Solution 2: Check hardware issues and connections

Sometimes the problem is with the physical connections. Loose or bad cables can cause Disk Management or diskpart to freeze or crash.

Steps for checking hardware connections:

  1. Turn off your computer and unplug it to be safe.
  2. Open the computer case by unscrewing and removing the side panel.
  3. Make sure the data cable connecting the drive to the motherboard is plugged in tightly at both ends.
  4. Check the power cable too, making sure it’s securely connected.Unplug HDD SSD Computer
  5. If you have extra cables, try swapping them to see if that fixes the issue.Replace HDD sata cable
  6. Make sure the drive is properly placed in its slot or bay.SSD with Windows 11 installed
  7. After checking and securing all connections, close your computer case, power up, and try initializing the disk again.

Doing these steps can help you fix any connection problems that might be stopping the drive from initializing properly.

Linked issue: HDD Not Detected After Installing M.2 SSD in Windows 11/10

Solution 3: Try initializing your SSD or HDD on another computer

If the above solutions didn’t work, you could try setting up the disk on a different computer. This helps figure out if the problem is with the disk or your computer.

Steps for trying on another computer:

  1. Shut down your computer and carefully remove the SSD or HDD.
  2. Put the drive into another computer, making sure to connect it properly.
  3. Try initializing the drive using Disk Management or diskpart.Windows 11 Disk Management Initialize disk not working


  • If the disk works fine on another computer, the issue might be with your original computer’s setup. You can then use the drive as usual in your original computer.
  • If the disk also doesn’t work on the second computer, it’s likely that the SSD or HDD is faulty and might need replacing.Faulty Hard Disk Drive or SSD

This method is great for figuring out if the problem is with the drive or your computer.

Useful guide: How to Format HDD After Cloning Windows 11/10 to SSD

Solution 4: Verify disk health using SMART data

Another thing to check is the health of your SSD or HDD. Bad sectors or hardware issues could cause Disk Management or diskpart to freeze or crash. You can check the drive’s health using SMART data, which gives you info like “Reallocated Sectors Count,” “Read Error Rate,” and “Drive Life Remaining,” even if the disk isn’t initialized yet.

Steps to check SMART data:

  1. Download a SMART monitoring tool like CrystalDiskInfo, Hard Disk Sentinel, or SSD Life.
  2. Install and run the tool to check your drive’s health.

Interpreting SMART data:

  • If everything looks good, your drive’s health might not be the issue.Good health HDD or SSD SMART data
  • If you see warning signs, it might be time to replace the drive.Hard Drive Bad Health Status SMART data

If the SMART data shows your drive might be failing, back up your data and think about getting a new drive. This could be why you’re having issues with Disk Management or diskpart.

Suggested read: Does Faulty RAM Cause Freezes or Crashes on PC?

Solution 5: Update your storage controller drivers

Even though SSDs and HDDs don’t usually need their own drivers to work, the drivers for your storage controllers are crucial. Sometimes, old or wrong drivers can cause issues with Disk Management or diskpart.

Why focus on storage controller drivers?

Storage controllers help your computer talk to all the connected drives, so a problem here can affect your SSD or HDD.

Steps to update storage controller drivers through Device Manager:

  1. Press Win + X and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the “Storage controllers” section.
  3. Right-click your storage controller and choose Update driver.Update Storage Controller Drivers in Windows 11
  4. Follow the prompts to update the driver.

If updating through Windows doesn’t find a new driver, check the manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers and install them manually.

After updating your storage controller drivers, try initializing the drive again. This can often fix any driver-related issues.

Solution 6: Check for software conflicts

Software conflicts, like third-party disk management tools, might also cause Disk Management or diskpart to freeze or crash.

Steps to identify and resolve software conflicts:

  1. Use Task Manager to find and close any third-party disk management tools.Check for Software Conflicts in Windows 11
  2. If closing the tool helps, stop it from starting up with your computer by disabling it in the Startup tab of Task Manager.Disable Startup Programs in Windows 11
  3. If a specific software keeps causing problems, consider uninstalling it.

After doing this, try initializing your drive again. If software conflicts were the cause, this should fix it.

Solution 7: Use built-in system checks to repair corrupted files

Corrupted system files might also be why Disk Management or diskpart isn’t working right. Windows has tools like the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Imaging Service and Management Tool (DISM) to fix these files.

Steps to run the SFC (System File Checker):

  1. Open Command Prompt as an admin and type sfc /scannow.
  2. Wait for the scan to finish and follow any instructions to fix files.SFC scannow successful repair Windows 11

Steps to run DISM (Deployment Imaging Service and Management Tool):

  1. In the admin Command Prompt, type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter.
  2. Wait for it to finish and follow any prompts.Run DISM Windows 11

After running these checks, try setting up your SSD or HDD again. Fixing corrupted files might solve the problem.

Ending notes

Most of the time, if Disk Management or diskpart freezes or crashes during the setup of a new SSD or HDD, it’s likely because of the drive itself. A faulty or failing drive might not respond correctly, causing these tools to hang or crash. Other issues like software bugs, outdated drivers, or bad connections can also play a part, but often, it’s the drive’s health that’s the main concern. Make sure to check your SSD or HDD carefully to see if you need a replacement.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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