You Must Initialize A Disk Before Logical Disk Manager Can Access It (Solved)

Agree or not but data is certainly one of our most valuable assets. From pictures to videos to our important documents, almost everything is stored in a digital format. And to store our precious data, we tend to use various storage mediums like hard drives, portable disks, USB sticks, and even cloud storage facilities as they offer high ease of accessibility. But yes, out of all these storage media, a hard drive offers us a concrete platform to store our stuff. Don’t you agree?

Moving on to our point of interest, did you just encounter the “You must initialize a disk before a logical disk manager can access it” alert on Windows? (Refer to below snapshot)

initialize a disk

Well, we’re sure most of you must be thinking that what does it mean to initialize a disk. Right? So, the notification says that you need to initialize the disk by picking either of the two options viz MBR or GPT. Wondering what to do next? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

In this post, we have covered a few solutions that will allow you to resolve this warning alert so that you can initialize the disk and make it reusable again.

Let’s get started.

What Is Disk Initialization?

Disk Initialization is a process where a certain hard drive is formatted and initialized to become usable by the Windows OS. Once a hard disk is successfully initialized, Windows can use it and you can start storing your data on the drive. The two most commonly used partition formats used in disk initialization are GPT (GUID Partition Table) and MBR (Master Boot Record). If you’re trying to initialize a hard drive of larger volumes (more than 2 TB), then go for GPT as it is more robust comparatively.

Disk Initialization
Image source: Blocks and Files

If you’re trying to initialize a new disk or external hard drive, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. But yes, just keep in mind, if you’re trying to initialize a disk that already has some amount of data stored then all the contents will be deleted after initializing the disk.

Also read: Solutions to Fix “Disk Unknown Not Initialized” Issue on Windows 10

Initialize Disk – You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it

Stuck with the “You must initialize a disk before a logical disk manager can access it”? Want to initialize the disk quickly and easily? Here’s what you need to do.

Head on to your Windows desktop, right-click on the “This PC” icon and select “Manage”.


Windows will now open the Disk Management window. Right-click on the disk title that is labeled as “Not Initialized” and then select the “Initialize Disk” option from the context menu.

Pick any of the options, either MBR or GPT, and then hit the OK button to initialize the selected disk. Specify or assign a new drive letter to the initialized disk. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait until the disk initialization process is completed.

Also read: 10 Best Disk Management Software for Windows 10, 8, 7

How to Fix “You must initialize a disk” Error without Losing Data

If you performed the disk initialization process on an existing drive, then there’s a sure shot possibility of losing data. Wondering how to recover accidentally deleted data on Windows hard drive?

Advanced Disk Recovery is an ultimate data recovery solution that allows you to recover lost data, accidentally deleted data from your hard drive, USB sticks, memory card, and other storage media.

So, if you just lost your data including pictures, videos, audio, documents, or any other files, then you can use the Advanced Disk Recovery tool to restore lost data. Follow these quick steps:

Download Advanced Disk Recovery tool on Windows.

Launch Advanced Disk Recovery, select the drive whose data needs to be recovered.

Pick a scanning type: Quick Scan or Deep scan and then tap the “Start Scan” button.

Let the tool get to the job and within a few minutes it will list down all the recovered data on the screen. Select all the files that you need to recover and that’s it!

Just within a few clicks, you can easily recover your lost pictures, videos, audio, documents, and everything that’s stored on the disk drive.

Also read: The Best Hard Drive Health Check Software For Windows

How to Update the Device Driver

Are you still facing the “You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it” issue on Windows 10 even after initializing the hard drive? In our next workaround, we will be trying to update the device drivers to see if it resolves the issue. Follow these quick steps:

Press the Windows + R key combination, type “Devmgmt.msc” in the textbox, hit Enter.

device manager

In the Device Manager window, expand the “Disk Drives” option and then right-click on the respective hard drive that has issues and select “Properties”.


Tap the “Update Driver” button and hit OK.

Follow the on-screen instructions listed on the wizard to successfully update the hard drive drivers of your system.


Should I initialize Disk as MBR or GPT?

As we initially mentioned, there are two common partition types offered in the disk initialization process, MBR and GPT. MBR (Master Boot Record) is ideal for older devices and disks whereas GPT (GUID Partition Table) is more robust in comparison and even works well on large-sized hard drives.

Can you initialize a disk without losing data?

Well, it’s kind of tricky to answer this. If you initialize a disk, then it is completely formatted and in the process, all the stored data is erased. Although, to use any disk, initializing it is a must. If you accidentally lose your data then you can always take the help of a disk recovery tool to restore lost data without any hassle.

Also read: How To Initialize Disk Without Losing Data On Windows 10

Is Windows 10 GPT or MBR?

Yes, almost all versions of Windows including Windows 10, 7, and 8 are capable of supporting the GPT (GUID Partition Table) format.


This wraps up our guide on how to resolve the “You must initialize a disk before a logical disk manager can access it” issue on Windows. Even if you mistakenly lose your important files or data while initializing the disk, download the Advanced Disk Recovery tool to retrieve lost data.

Good luck!

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