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Hard Drive Not Recognized


When my wife turns on her Dell laptop (Inspiron 5567), she gets the following message in the top left corner: "Initializing storage box." Then the screen flashes "hard drive not installed" and a "continue" button aoppears. When she clicks on "continue" it takes her to a "play" button to run system scan but whether she clicks on it or not the laptop just shuts down.

We would like to be able to retrieve the data on her hard drive as she had just downloaded all her pictures from her cell phone two days earlier and then, unfortunately, cleared everything on her phone.

So this computer and drive were working fine just 2 days ago? And was she using it after copying those files over?

What OS is on this machine?

If you boot into the BIOS Setup Menu (typically, on Dells, by pressing F2 during boot), is the drive seen in there? If not, then it does sound like the drive has failed.

If that is the case, what you might do is remove the drive and install it in an enclosure, then attach it to another computer and [hopefully - fingers and toes crossed] be able to copy the files over to that computer.

Her laptop was working fine before and after the download. She started having the hard disk problem a couple of days later. Her laptop is relatively new; we bought it just over two years ago and it's operating system is Windows 10.

She has attempted booting using the F2 key trying both the Legacy and UEFI reboots in the boot sequence menu option but to no avail. It is still blind to the hard drive.

Then assuming the drive's connections are firmly seated, it sounds like the drive has failed. :( Again, I would try to remove the drive and connect it to another computer - either in an enclosure, or with an adapter. Then, maybe, could use a file recovery program. I would not get my hopes up, however.

There are data recovery services - but it should be noted they can be very expensive - easily into the $100s and even $1000s, depending how big the drive and the damage. And even then, there's no guarantee of success. :(

That said, I would also check the warranty on the laptop. That won't help with the missing files, but may get you a new drive.

And of course, hindsight is 20/20 - it is critical to always maintain multiple copies of files we don't want to lose on multiple devices - including at least one copy maintained "off-site".

Sorry I don't have more helpful advice.


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