Question Hard Drive disappeared (Windows 10, laptop)

Jan 6, 2021
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As per the title, my hard drive has disappeared. I assume it is just broken but am still clinging on to the dwindling hope that a) it is not; and/or b) that I might be able to recover the data/replace it.

Here is the background: I have a Dell G3 laptop (it's about two years old). The other day I was getting a lot of 'unexpected store exception' blue screen errors so I googled around and tried to sort it out by running checkdisk, running the windows virus scan, running Dell's diagnostic tools, and trying to install all Windows updates. I didn't find any viruses; it kept blue-screening before I could download all updates; the Dell tool was unable to install recommended driver updates, and the checkdisk scan just stopped halfway through scanning my data disk (d:). Then I read somewhere to disable fast startup so I did that and the problems seemed to go away - no more blue screens.
But then the next day, my d: drive was completely missing from file manager. It just lists my c: drive with 128GB capacity. In device manager it lists a single hard disk - SanDisk X600 M.2 2280 SATA 128GB. The disk management utility lists four unnamed disks (EFI system partition and three recovery partitions) of 650mb, 990mb, 11.33gb, and 1.14gb sizes; then the OS disck (c:) with 120GB of capacity.
When I run the UEFI tool the device information lists the Primary HDD as 1000 GB WL1FWWSG; then M.2 SATA as 128 GB 182003A01215.
(I restored fast startup and the disk is still not visible.)

As per advice on the internet, I tried running sfc /scannow and Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth, and then I updated Windows successfully using Windows update assistant.
Now, whenever I start my computer I get a 'fixing (d:) stage 1...' screen, but the disk still doesn't show up, but now I am getting messages from Intel Rapid Storage Technology saying 'SATA available disk: Removed'.
I have not since used my computer in case starting it up will make it more likely to corrupt the hard drive or anything.

Does anybody know of any other steps I can do to fix this, or is it a lost cause? (I have yet to unscrew the laptop to check connections etc. because I wanted to leave that as a last resort).

Any advice gratefully received!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

You will need a donor system in order to download drivers and BIOS versions from Dell's support which will need to be stored onto a pen drive. Following that, you will need to check and see what BOS version you're on at the moment and the version for your OS. If you have a number of BIOS updates pending, gradually work your way up to the latest, taking note of any MEI or chipset drivers that will need updating in between BIOS updates.

We're currently on version 20H2 for Windows 10. If you can still access the laptop's OS, backup any and/or all critical data and then proceed to reinstall your OS. You will need to fabricate a bootable USB installer for the installer, using Windows Media Creation Tools.
 
Reactions: Dave_Taurus
Jan 6, 2021
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Thank you! So by a donor system you mean to use another computer to download the latest drivers?
And do you mean I should open up my computer, and then update all drivers and BIOS?
And then backup critical data? I guess there is no way of backing up critical data on the disk that disappeared right?

(Apologies for my questions - I'm not much of a technical genius!)
 

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