Network hard disk not working in Windows 10: How to solve

I have a network hard drive connected to the home router, which allows me to access it from all the devices connected to the Wi-Fi network. Very convenient solution, because I do not have to connect the external drive to the computer every time I want to access the files stored in it. Instead, with this solution it is sufficient to access the memory device that I find among the devices connected to the network. I use a Western Digital hard disk set up for this feature. You can get the same result by connecting a simple hard disk to the router that are usually provided on loan for use by telephone companies. If you also own one and use a PC with Windows 10, you will have inevitably noticed that the PC no longer shows the hard disk among the available network devices.

I have encountered this problem on two PCs with the same operating system. After performing a Windows 10 system update, the disk was no longer shown on any of the computers. When it happened, I do not deny being panicked, because the first thought is that the hard disk had some serious problem. This meant the inability to access the files stored on it. This is why it is always required to have at least two places to store files. Returning to the problem, I did some research on the internet and I read the Microsoft documentation on the latest system updates, noting that some functions were disabled that allowed the PC to talk with the network disks. These features have been disabled for security reasons.

Fortunately, Microsoft has released a patch to fix these vulnerabilities, but the function for sharing network disks has not been activated by default in the operating system. So, to solve the problem it is necessary to enable file sharing on the samba protocol, which is the protocol used by the network hard disk to communicate with the PC. Even if your PC with Windows 10 no longer sees the network hard disk, there is no need to worry anymore, because in this article I will show you how to solve the problem and return to see your network hard disk on the PC.

My Windows 10 PC does not see network hard drives

How to enable samba protocol support

The method to solve the problem, is to activate the function temporarily deleted by Microsoft and no longer reactivated by default. Manually enabling the samba protocol to allow the PC with Windows 10 to access the network hard drive is very simple. Here are the steps to follow.

  • In the Windows 10 search bar at the bottom left, look for “Control Panel” and open it.
  • Click on the “Programs” item.
  • In the new screen that will open select “Programs and features“.
  • Select the “Activate or deactivate Windows features” option in the left sidebar.
  • It will open a new window. Scroll down until you find the “Support for SMB 1.0/CIFS file sharing” entry. At this point you only have to activate it by clicking in the box corresponding to the item concerned.
  • The main entry has a sub-list of functions that may vary between 2 and 3. To allow the network hard drive to work properly, enable everything.
  • Click on OK to confirm.

Wait for the system to complete the installation of the missing functions on the PC. At the end of the installation it is necessary to reboot the system, then click on “Restart now”. When the operating system has completely booted up, go to the File Explorer and verify that your hard drive appears under the heading Network. If your disk is not yet present, then proceed to read this article.

Activate NetBIOS over TCP/IP

This second solution is to be implemented only if the procedure presented previously had no effect.

  • In the Windows 10 search field in the lower toolbar, look for “Control Panel” and open it.
  • Click on the “Network and Internet” entry.
  • In the new screen that will open select “Network and Sharing Center“.
  • Now select your connection. A new window will appear.
  • Click on the Properties item at the bottom left.
  • Click on Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4) and select the Properties button.
  • In Advanced, on the WINS tab, open the NetBIOS Setup section and select Defaults.

Confirm everything and check if the network hard disk is now visible in File Explorer. If all went well, you will have to see the hard disk among the available network devices.


The problem of Windows 10 that does not allow access to network hard drives is widespread. The problem was introduced by one of the latest operating system updates. Following the indications that I proposed to you I managed to solve the problem. Have you also solved with these solutions? Let us know in the comments of this article.