Fixed: Dell Alerts Hard Drive Not Found

When you boot Dell computer, you may encounter the 'Internal hard disk drive not found" issue. Here we will tell why Dell alert hard drive not found, as well as how to fix it.


By Cherry / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Dell alert hard drive not found

“I have a Dell laptop installed Windows 10. It was working fine this morning. Then, I went out leaving my computer on, and when I came back, I got a Dell alert hard drive not found with a message like the following list:

'Internal hard disk drive not found

To resolve this issue, try to reseat the drive.

No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility

Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics.'

I tried pressing F1 and it gave me:

'No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility

Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics.'

Internal Hard Disk Drive Not Found

How do I solve this problem?”

Reasons for Hard drive not found in Dell computer

Actually, hard drive not found issue occurs not only in Dell, but HP, Kingston, Samsung, etc. When a computer starts up with a message like hard drive not detected, no boot device found, no boot partition found, missing operating system, hard disk drive failure, etc. It means the computer is unable to find the default hard drive it uses when it loads. There are several reasons why your Dell reports no hard drive detected or missing operating system error on start up:

♦Bad BIOS setting;

♦A loose cable;

♦A corrupted hard drive registry;

♦A bad Windows installation;

♦A boot sector virus;

♦A broken hard drive.

Solutions to Dell alerting hard drive not found

When there is no hard drive detected in Dell, you should work around to resolve the problem. Here are some ways for you to resolve it.

1. Press F1

When the Dell alert you hard drive not found, press F1 to continue, it is a BIOS error message. And you should press F1 to continue. Because pressing F1 is a contingency procedure that can work around an error, and the computer may load into Windows correctly after pressing F1.

2. Correct bad BIOS settings

BIOS handles the basic setup and boot process for the computer and prepares it to load the operating system. Hard drives are usually connected to onboard a SATA or IDE port. If the port that hard drive is connected is disabled, hard drive will not be detected by the computer and you will get a message “hard drive not found”. Thus, when you meet the problem, you need to check BIOS setup.

Another question you need pay attention to is the hard drive that contains Windows should appear first on the list. If it didn’t appear first on the list, you can enter the computer’s BIOS setup and change the boot device priority.

Change Boot Order

3. Check hard drive cable

Dell hard drive not found may also happen if the computer isn’t physically connected to the hard drive. So you can check the hard drive cable to ensure whether it has a loose cable connection or the SATA cable and power cable may have worn out. If it is, you can reconnect the cables from both the hard drive and the motherboard, or replace the cable with a new one.

4. Perform a hard drive reseat

A hard or forced reseat erases all information in the computer memory and might restore functionality. Reseatting your computer forces the system to clear and reestablish the software connections between the BIOS and the hardware. To perform a hard reseat, you should do as following steps:

1. Turn off the computer. Remove the computer from any port replicator or docking station.

2. Disconnect all external devices from your computer, unplug the AC adapter from the computer.

3. Remove the battery from the battery compartment.

4. Press and hold down the Power button for about 15 seconds to drain any residual electrical charge from the capacitors that protect the memory.

5. Insert the battery, and plug the AC adapter back into the computer, but do not connect any of the peripheral devices such as USB storage devices, external displays, printers, etc.

6. Turn on the computer. If a start menu opens, select Start Windows Normally with arrow keys and press Enter.

5. Test Hard Drive

If the ways above cannot settle your problem, then you need to test whether it is a physical damaged hard drive.

Remove the hard drive from the computer and connect it to another computer to see whether it still works. if it doesn’t, you should replace hard drive with a new one. If it does, you can test the hard drive to see if it has bad sectors. For this job, here we highly recommend you to use a third party software AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which can help you check your hard drive easily. It can work under Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

Step 1. Connect your hard drive from Dell to a Windows PC.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Free download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install, and launch it. You can see the hard drives on the main interface. To test hard drive, here you can select the hard drive. Then click the Test button on the top side and select Disk Surface Test.


Step 3. Then, tick the option of Quick Check, click Start, and it will test the hard drive immediately.

Disk Surface Test

If there is any error on the hard drive, you can fix errors with AOMEI Partition Assistant in a few simple steps.

 6. Windows Repair Install

A bad Windows installation may cause errors and prevent Windows from loading. Thus, the Dell may alert hard drive not found when booting. If Windows sees the hard drive when running a refresh or repair install, the drive is probably not broken. And you can running a repair or refresh installation to fix it. If it doesn’t work, the drive may be infected with a boot sector virus, which you need to fix by hard drive formatting.

That’s all about how to fix "Dell alert hard drive not found" issue. Hope this article can solve your problem.

Cherry · Staff Editor
Cherry is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, cooking, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.