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

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This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Understanding Non-System Disk Errors or Disk Errors

The Non-System Disk Error or Disk Error error message may appear when the computer BIOS cannot find a bootable operating system on any of the storage devices included in the notebook PC'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.
NOTE:If you receive either of the error messages and are instructed to test the hard drive by pressing F2, please see HP Notebook PCs - Boot Device not Found 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 BIOSs may present different methods for accessing the hard drive diagnostic tests.
  • For most models, you can press the F10 key during startup to access the BIOS setup environment, and 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 and 2009 models with the new EFI pre-boot environment, you are prompted to press the F2 key and then you have access to several menu options for a variety of hardware and software diagnostic actions.

Remove the non-system disk from the computer

Because the boot order can be changed, it is possible that the computer is accessing a non-operating system disc in the CD/DVD optical drive. Use the steps below to remove all non-system disks and reboot a notebook PC.
  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 PC.
  4. Press and release the Power button to turn on the PC.
If the computer boots properly after the non-system disc was removed, you should reset the default boot order in the BIOS as shown in the next method.

Resetting the boot sequence

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

Test the hard drive

Many PC startup problems are caused by minor errors in the software that controls the storage of files on the hard drive. The HP Hard Drive Self 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 may have moved and disrupted the connection, and that will cause the test to fail or may even prevent the test from starting.
You may want to try running the HP Hard Drive Self Test, but if it fails, see the section on Removing and Reinstall the Hard Drive, and then repeat the Self Test.
Use the steps below to test the hard drive for errors by using the HP Hard Drive Self Test.
  1. Plug the AC Adapter into the Notebook PC.
  2. If the PC is on, press and hold the Power button for 15 seconds to turn off the PC.
  3. Press and release the Power button to turn on the PC, and immediately press the F10 key repeatedly to open the BIOS setup window.
  4. Use the Right Arrow key to select the Tools or Diagnostics menu.
    NOTE:Your BIOS version may use slightly different names for menu items.
  5. Select Hard Drive Self Test.
  6. Press the Enter key to start the test.
The self test process may include both a Quick test and a Comprehensive test. It also provides an Estimated test time.
  • If all of the tests pass, the hard drive is not damaged.
  • If any test fails, contact HP service and support for instructions.
After the Hard Drive Self Test is complete, restart the PC to verify that the problem is repaired.

UEFI Hard Drive Test

You can also test your hard drive with the UEFI. There are six hard drive tests which can be performed with the UEFI. If you think there is a problem with the hard drive, first try the Quick Test (about ten minutes). If the Quick Test does not find a problem, run the Extensive Test (2 hours or more).
Open the UEFI menu, then follow these steps to run the Quick Test:
  1. Click Hard Drive on the Main Menu.
    Figure 1: Hard Drive Tests
    Hard Drive Tests
  2. Click Quick Test, and then select Run Once.
    Figure 2: Hard Drive Quick Test
    Hard Drive Quick Test
    The Hard Drive Quick Test begins. If the computer has more than one hard drive, you are asked to select a hard drive. To test all the hard drives at once, select Test All Hard Drives.
  3. When the test is complete the results are displayed on the screen. Test results can also be found in the Test Logs on the Main Menu.
    Figure 3: Hard Drive Quick Test results
    Hard Drive Quick Test results
    If the hard drive passes the Quick Test, but there is still a problem with the hard drive, run the Extensive Test. This test includes the SMART Check, Short DST, Optimized DST, and Long DST.
    NOTE:The Hard Drive Extensive Tests can be run individually by clicking a test in the Hard Drive Tests menu, and then clicking Run once.
Follow these steps to run the Extensive Test:
  1. Click Main Menu, and then select Component Test.
  2. Click Hard Drive, and then click Extensive Test.
  3. Click Run Once.
    Figure 4: Run the Extensive Test
    Run the Extensive Test
    If the computer has more than one hard drive, you are asked to select a hard drive. To test all the hard drives at once, select Test All Hard Drives. The Extensive Test runs all the tests listed on the screen for the drive selected. The Estimated Time Remaining is also shown.
    Figure 5: Hard Drive Extensive Test - in progress
    Hard Drive Extensive Test - in progress
  4. When the Extensive Test is complete the results are displayed on the screen.
If the hard drive fails one of the tests, write down the information so you have it available when you contact HP Support. The information is also available in the Test Logs on the Diagnostics UEFI Main Menu.

Removing and Reinstalling the Hard Drive

If the computer was dropped or jarred, you may have to remove and reinstall the hard drive before running the HP Hard Drive Self Test.
CAUTION:To prevent damage to you computer, it is necessary to remove the battery prior to removing the hard drive.
  • Removing 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.
  • Removing 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 hard disk drive cover and remove it.
    3. Loosen the captive spring-loaded Phillips-head screw that secures the hard disk drive.
    4. Grasp the Mylar tab and pull the hard disk drive toward the outside edge of the base enclosure to disconnect the hard disk drive from the system board connector.
    5. Lift the hard disk drive out of the bay and remove.
  • 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.
  • Reinstalling the battery.
    1. Slide the battery into the battery bay until it is properly seated and the locking latch clicks.

Reinstalling the Windows operating system on the hard drive

If removing non-system disks and performing an HP Hard Drive Self Test does not resolve the boot errors or black screen error, it may be necessary to reinstall the Windows operating system (OS). You can reinstall the operating system by either:
  • Use the HP Recovery Manager to recover the OS from the recovery partition on the drive
  • Use the recovery discs you created when you setup your notebook
For more information, see See also .

Scheduling a Repair

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

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