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HP Notebook PCs - "Non-System Disk Error" or "Disk Error" Appears on Black Screen (Windows 7 and Vista)

This document is for HP notebook computers with Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Understanding Non-System Disk Errors or Disk Errors

The Non-System Disk Error or Disk Error message might appear when the computer BIOS cannot find a bootable operating system on any of the storage devices included in the notebook computer's boot path.
During startup, a notebook checks several devices for an operating system in a pre-determined order. You can change the order of the search by changing the Boot order in the system BIOS.
If you receive either of the error messages and are instructed to test the hard drive by pressing F2, see HP Notebook PCs - Boot Device Not Found Error or Hard Drive Not Detected for additional instructions. However, if the F2 option is not presented, then continue with the instructions in this document.
Use one or more of the following methods to resolve a boot error or black screen non-system disc error. Different models and different BIOS might present different methods for accessing the hard drive diagnostic tests.
  • For most models, press the F10 key during startup to access the BIOS setup environment, then select a hard drive diagnostic test.
  • For some models, you are prompted to press the F2 key while the error message is displayed. In this case, the F2 key opens the BIOS environment and allows you to run a diagnostic test on the hard drive without attempting to restart the computer.
  • For some 2008 models and later with the UEFI pre-boot environment, you are prompted to press the F2 key. You then have access to the HP PC Hardware Diagnostic tests.

Remove the non-system disk from the computer

Because the boot order can be changed, the computer might be accessing a non-operating system disc in the CD/DVD optical drive. Use the steps below to remove all non-system disks and reboot the computer.
  1. Disconnect any USB or 1394 (Firewire) devices that are attached to the computer.
  2. Remove any CD and DVD discs from the drives.
  3. Press and hold the Power button for 15 seconds to turn off the computer.
  4. Press and release the Power button to turn on the computer.
If the computer boots properly after the non-system disc was removed, reset the default boot order in the BIOS as shown in the next method.

Reset the boot sequence

For most models, press the F10 key during startup to access System Configuration, select Boot Options, then select Boot Order to view the boot sequence. To change the sequence to the default settings, press F9 then press Yes to load Setup Defaults.

Test the hard drive

Many computer startup problems are caused by minor errors in the software that control the storage of files on the hard drive. The hard drive test will detect and repair these errors but will not produce a detailed report of all the actions taken. For the test to run, there must be good physical connection between the hard drive and the computer. If the computer is dropped or jarred, the hard drive might have moved and disrupted the connection and that will cause the test to fail or prevent the test from starting.

Remove and Reinstall the Hard Drive

If the computer was dropped or jarred, you might have to remove and reinstall the hard drive before running the hard drive tests.
To prevent damage to your computer, remove the battery before removing the hard drive.

This video shows how to reseat the hard drive in your notebook

  • Use the following steps to remove the battery.
    1. Slide the battery release latch to the release position.
    2. Slide and hold the battery locking latch to the unlocked position.
    3. Slide the battery out of the battery bay.
  • Use the following steps to remove the hard disk drive.
    1. Loosen the captive Phillips-head screws that secure the hard disk drive cover to the bottom of the notebook.
    2. Use your finger or a flat-bladed tool to lift the outside edge of the disk drive cover and remove it.
    3. Loosen the captive spring-loaded Phillips-head screw that secures the drive.
    4. Grasp the Mylar tab and pull the disk drive toward the outside edge of the base enclosure to disconnect it from the system board connector.
    5. Lift the disk drive out of the bay.
  • Use the following steps to reinstall the hard disk drive.
    1. Place the hard disk drive into the hard disk drive bay.
    2. Push the hard disk drive toward the inside of the base enclosure until you make sure the connector is seated properly.
    3. Tighten the captive spring-loaded Phillips-head screw that secures the hard disk drive.
    4. Toe the hard disk drive cover into the enclosure.
    5. Tighten the captive Phillips-head screws.
  • Reinstall the battery.
    Slide the battery into the battery bay until it is properly seated and the locking latch clicks.
After the hard drive is reconnected and the computer is reassembled, try to start the computer normally.
If the computer starts normally and the error message does not display, you are done. If the error message displays, go to the next step.

Reinstall Windows

If none of the above actions resolved the error condition, back up your personal data, then perform an HP System Recovery on the notebook using one of the following methods.
  • Use HP Recovery Manager to recover the operating system from the recovery partition on the drive.
  • Use the recovery discs you created when you set up your notebook.
See the following document for instructions:

Schedule a Repair

If the preceding methods do not resolve the Non-System Disk Error or Disk Error message, contact HP to schedule a repair.






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