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Non-system disk Press any Key...

On start up, a black screen saying "Non-system disk. Press any key..." shows up. It happened after dell recommended me to download an update for my HDD... I contacted them and they said this happened because I downloaded an incompatible file and now I must reformat. I will lose my files, though. Is there any other way to fix this? I don't want to lose 100's of gigabytes of files.... please help. Thanks.
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  1. I don't see how you could have downloaded the wrong file considering once you enter your service tag# on their support site, it brings up a list of downloads for that computer. I think Dell doesn't want to admit their mistake.

    Of course, any time you flash a drives firmware or alter the drive in any way, you should make sure to have a backup before updating.

    What problem were you having and what update did they recommend?
  2. If you've got a usb memory key connected make sure to remove it then try rebooting.
  3. Best answer
    The simplest solution is that your system is booting from the wring drive. Press F8 at the first BIOS screen and you should get a boot menu; select the correct drive and see if it boots. If the problem was as simple as having the wrong boot order, you fix boot order in the BIOS and all is well.

    For any solution after this, use another computer to make a copy of the drive first!

    If you have real OS installation dvds (what version are you running), you can boot from the installation disc and choose a Repair installation. This will frequently fix a damaged OS install.

    Worst case: Buy a new drive (or take one out of a drawer), make it the only drive connected to said machine, re-install the OS, and copy the files that you need from the drive that no longer boots.

    Let us know what you try and how it goes.
  4. WyomingKnott said:
    The simplest solution is that your system is booting from the wring drive. Press F8 at the first BIOS screen and you should get a boot menu; select the correct drive and see if it boots. If the problem was as simple as having the wrong boot order, you fix boot order in the BIOS and all is well.

    For any solution after this, use another computer to make a copy of the drive first!

    If you have real OS installation dvds (what version are you running), you can boot from the installation disc and choose a Repair installation. This will frequently fix a damaged OS install.

    Worst case: Buy a new drive (or take one out of a drawer), make it the only drive connected to said machine, re-install the OS, and copy the files that you need from the drive that no longer boots.

    Let us know what you try and how it goes.

    Sorry for replying so late... I was really busy receiving all my boxing day orders :P. I contacted dell for them to send me a windows 7 cd to try what they told me to do. They said before they send it, they wanna try fix the problem. They told me to do a NUMBER of things. They finally told me to press f2 on start up and select diagnostics... that fixed the problem. Thanks for your help.
  5. Best answer selected by bigo_19.
  6. Huh. Now I know that Dell ships with diagnostics available on F2. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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