If you encounter the error “hard drive – not installed” when booting your Windows 10 Dell computer, this post can help you. MiniTool Solution lists the possible reasons for the issue as well as some useful solutions. Just try them and you can easily get rid of the situation.

Dell SupportAssist Hard Drive Not Installed

Computer issues always happen unexpectedly, for example, blue screen, black screen, random restarting, freezing, etc. Besides, you may run into another common problem. When starting your computer, the computer says hard drive not installed.

Usually, this can happen on a Dell computer. Windows shows an error in the BIOS setting like “Hard Drive – Not installed”, as shown below.

hard drive not installed Dell

Tip: In addition, the issue of no hard drive can also happen on a Lenovo or HP computer. If you are using an HP computer, the computer says “no hard drive installed” or “not installed”. Sometimes, you get another boot error – boot device not found.

Why do you encounter the issue? It may result from a loose cable, incorrect BIOS setting, bad Windows installation, broken hard drive, corrupt hard drive registry, and more. Well then, how can you fix Dell SupportAssist hard drive not installed in Windows 10?

Go to the next part and some helpful methods are listed. Try them and you can easily fix the error.

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Troubleshooting Tips for Hard Drive Not Installed

Continuously Press the F1 Key

On a Dell computer, “Hard Drive – Not installed” is a BIOS error message and you can press the F1 key to continue. It is a contingency strategy and the machine may boot to Windows after pressing F1.

Check BIOS Settings

BIOS (basic input/output system) is the built-in core processor software that is responsible for starting the PC system after it is turned on. If BIOS is not set correctly, you may get the error of Dell SupportAssist hard drive not installed. To fix this issue, you need to check BIOS settings.

#1. Check Date and Time

1. Power off your Dell computer and continuously press the F2 key to enter the BIOS settings interface.

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2. Under the General tab, click Date/Time.

3. Check if the date and time are correct. If not, click each one to change.

#2. Check the Boot Mode

After that, the second thing you should do is to check the boot mode. This is very important.

The Dell manufacturer offers two types of boot modes in the Windows operating system including UEFI and Legacy. On recent Dell laptops, UEFI boot mode is enabled by default. If you install the OS in UEFI, but the boot mode is set to Legacy, you will encounter the error of hard drive not installed. In this case, check the boot mode and change it to the correct one.

After pressing F2 to enter the BIOS settings interface, go to General > Boot Sequence. Then, you can see the boot mode that your computer uses. If it is set to Legacy, then change it to UEFI. Also, make sure Secure Boot is enabled and Legacy ROM is disabled. Restart the computer and see if the error is removed.

check boot mode in Dell computer

If the operating system is installed on Legacy mode, change the boot mode to Legacy. Make sure Secure Boot is disabled. This is because Legacy boot mode is not allowed when Secure Boot is enabled. Besides, Legacy Option ROMs need to be enabled for Legacy boot mode.

Tip: Additionally, you should also check SATA Operation. Under the System Configuration tab, you can find this option. If the system has a RAID card or RAID is configured on the system, choose RAID On. If not, use AHCI for your Dell PC.

Run Hardware Diagnostics

Another important method is performing hardware diagnostics to confirm the problem. You should know, Dell computers come with a built-in tool for hardware diagnostic. This utility can be used to check if the PC hardware can function properly.

Restart your Dell computer and then continuously press the F12 key. Then, choose Diagnostic in the BIOS menu and press Enter. Follow the prompts on the screen and then respond appropriately to finish the diagnostics. The process will take some time.

Dell Diagnostics

If you run into any errors during tests, write down the error code and go to check the error on the Dell website.

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Check Hard Drive Cable

Sometimes the issue of Dell hard drive not installed/no hard drive detected/hard drive not found/no hard drive is caused by loose or damaged hard drive cable. You need to check the hard disk connectivity physically.

For a Dell laptop, open the back case. Then, remove the hard drive and reconnect it. If you are using a Dell desktop, you should also check the SATA cable connection. Also, check if it is worn out. If so, replace the cable with a new one.

Perform PC Hard Reset

A hard reset is helpful to erase all the information in the memory of your computer and clear & rebuild the software connections between the hardware and BIOS. Perhaps it can restore functionality and fix Dell laptop hard drive not installed.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Power off your computer.
  2. Disconnect all external devices and disconnect the AC adapter.
  3. Remove the battery from the battery compartment and press & hold the power button for 15 seconds in order to drain any residual electrical charge.
  4. Put the battery back in and plug the AC adapter into your laptop. Don’t connect any peripheral device.
  5. Turn on your Dell laptop. If you see the start menu, choose Start Windows Normally and press Enter.

Run Windows Repair

If there is a bad Windows installation, some errors may appear and stop Windows from loading properly. Dell SupportAssist hard drive not installed is not an exception. To get rid of the trouble, running a repair is necessary.

In Windows 10, you can download an ISO file, create a bootable USB flash drive (Related article: How to Create Bootable USB from ISO Windows 10 for Clean Install), boot the Dell computer from that drive, and then click Repair your computer to enter Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

Then, under the Troubleshoot interface, click Advanced options. Then, choose Startup Repair to fix problems that prevent Windows from loading. Next, follow the on-screen prompts and Windows starts diagnosing your PC.

run Windows 10 Startup Repair

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If this cannot work, try another way. Continue reading.

Test the Hard Drive

If all of these methods cannot work for you, perhaps your hard drive is faulty or damaged. You should make a disk check to see if there are some bad sectors.

Related article: How to Check Hard Drive and Fix the Error? Solutions Are Here!

Tip: When you get the error “Hard Drive – Not Installed”, your Dell computer cannot boot. So, you can remove the hard drive from your PC and connect it to another PC. Then, start the following tasks.

To perform the disk test task, you can use a professional partition manager. MiniTool Partition Wizard is worth recommending. It allows you to partition your disk, check the hard drive, migrate OS, clone disk, perform disk benchmark, and so on. Download this software by clicking the following button for the surface test.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to its main interface.

Step 2: Right-click your disk and choose Surface Test.

Step 3: Click Start Now to begin the disk check. If there are bad sectors, this program can mark the blocks red.

check hard drive with MiniTool Partition Wizard

When bad sectors are found, you need to take action at once – shield bad sectors or replace the faulty hard drive.

# 1. Shield Bad Sectors

If MiniTool Partition Wizard finds few bad blocks, the hard drive can still be used. Firstly you should mark the bad sectors as unusable so that Windows skips the blocks next time it meets them. To do this work, run Command Prompt as administrator and use the command: chkdsk /r

Tip: If you find your data is lost due to bad sectors, you can get them back. MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you. Its Data Recovery feature can easily recover lost files under multiple situations.

If too many bad sectors are found on your hard drive, things become worse. The hard drive may completely get failing sooner or later. Thus, what you should do is to replace the bad hard drive.

Related article: This post may be helpful to you if there are some bad sectors – What to Do If I Find Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7?

#2. Clone Hard Drive and Replace It

You can choose to clone the hard drive to a new one to save all your important files and then replace the bad disk to solve the issue of Dell hard drive not installed.

Disk cloning is not an easy way but if you use a professional PC cloning software, things become simple. Here, MiniTool ShadowMaker can be your good assistant. It offers you a dedicated feature called Clone Disk. With it, you are allowed to transfer all the data including Windows settings, registries, system files, apps, personal files, and more to another hard drive.

After cloning, the target disk can be used to boot your Dell computer and won’t need to reinstall the operating system. Now, get MiniTool ShadowMaker for a free disk cloning task.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Connect another hard drive to a working PC and then run MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 2: Under the Tools interface, click Clone Disk.

Step 3: In the pop-up window, choose the bad hard drive as the source disk and the new disk as the target disk. Then, click OK to continue.

Tip: Make sure that there is no important data saved to your new disk. Otherwise, the cloning process will erase all the data on it.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone disk

Step 4: Then, the cloning process begins. The process will take some time. After it finishes, disconnect the target disk from the computer and then put it to your Dell computer. Then, boot Windows from it and you won’t encounter the error of Dell SupportAssist hard drive not installed.

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Bottom Line

Here comes the end of this post. Hard drive not installed is a common issue for Dell computers including laptops and desktops. Fortunately, you can try many simple ways to easily get rid of it if you also meet that error when starting the computer.

If you run into any problems when using our software or have any suggestions, tell us in the following comment section or send an email to [email protected]. We will reply to you as soon as possible. Thanks.

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