9 Ways to Fix Non System Disk or Disk Error on Laptops/PC

Jean updated on Oct 12, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

How do you fix a non-system disk or disk error on HP, Dell, Compaq, Acer, Lenovo PCs or laptops? Besides some basic troubleshooting methods, this page focuses on how to use third-party bootable media data recovery software and bootable media partition manager software to solve the non-system disk or disk error without losing data.

change boot order

If the “Non system disk or disk error” error message is showing up because your Hard Disk Drive's boot files have become damaged or corrupt, removing all the non-bootable storage devices, checking on your HDD's IDE or SATA cable or setting the right boot priority in BIOS/UEFI should fix the issue.

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Don't worry if you are having a "Non-System Disk or Disk" error on HP, Dell, Compaq, Acer, Lenovo, etc. laptops and computers. In the following, you will find 9 fixes for general troubleshooting and advanced troubleshooting this issue. Pick up the best solution to remove this error and make your computer work again.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
4 General Troubleshooting Fixes

Fix 1. Remove non-bootable storage devices...Full steps

Fix 2. Check HDD IDE and SATA cable...Full steps

Fix 3. Set the right boot priority in BIOS/UEFI...Full steps

Fix 4. Remove and reinstall the hard drive...Full steps

5 Advanced Troubleshooting Fixes

Fix 5. Recover data from hard drive without OS...Full steps

Fix 6. Rebuild MBR to fix non-system disk error...Full steps

Fix 7. Run a surface test on the hard drive...Full steps

Fix 8. Check and repair bad sector on hard drive...Full steps

Fix 9. Replace the hard drive by disk clone...Full steps

About non-system disk or disk error

"What does it mean when your computer says non-system disk or disk error? It's an HP Compaq 6000 that runs trouble when I start it, a message comes up displaying as Non-system disk error or disks error, replace and strike any key when ready."

non system disk or disk error

For your information, the non-system disk or disk error message might appear when the computer BIOS cannot find a bootable operating system on any of the storage devices included in its boot path, or it fails to locate the boot disk. Similar error messages include boot device not found, operating system not found or missing operating system...

General troubleshooting for non-system disk or disk error

According to HP's help page, a very detailed guide is offered for HP notebook PCs to work out the "Non-system disk error" as well as "disk error" that appears on a black screen in Windows 10, 7 and Vista. In fact, the given suggestions are also applicable to other desktops and laptops, such as Dell, Compaq, Acer, Lenovo, etc.

In conclusion, you can try at first the four basic approaches, which usually helps fix the setup and stop error during Windows installation or startup.

Fix 1. Remove all the non-bootable storage devices

What storage drives are currently connected to your computer? Check and try to remove all the non-bootable storage devices, namely non-system drives, that make the computer have trouble to boot from, including a floppy disk or CD/DVD disc. After the safe ejection, try to turn off and on the computer and see if the error persists on.

Fix 2. Check on your HDD's IDE or SATA cable

Check on your HDD's IDE or SATA cable and make sure that the cable connecting the HDD to the motherboard is fastened securely and restart your computer.

Fix 3. Set the right boot priority in BIOS/UEFI

Access to your computer's BIOS/UEFI environment and make sure that the hard disk drive you're trying to boot from is in the right boot order settings, which should be at the very top of the boot order list. To change the boot order, you can do it like this:

  • Press the key required to enter the BIOS or UEFI setup screen (Usually Esc, F2, F8, F10) while computer restarting.
  • In BIOS, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select the Boot tab and give the system drive the boot priority, which should be placed on the top.
  • In UEFI, you can use the mouse pointer to specify the boot sequence.
  • Save and exit the BIOS/UEFI setup utility. The computer will restart with the changed settings.

change boot order to fix non system disk or disk error

Fix 4. Remove and reinstall the hard drive

A bad connection between the hard drive and the computer would also expose such unbootable issues, and most of the time it's because the hard drive was once dropped or jarred. To fix the connection problem, you must do it in a safe way by following the standard process offered here.

  • Cut off the power
  • Take out the battery (For laptops only)
  • Remove the system disk (HDD or SSD)
  • Reinstall the system disk
  • Reinstall the battery (For laptops only)
  • Power on the computer
Do You Need Specialized Services for System Boot Issues?
EaseUS also provides 1-on-1 remote assistance to fix the boot issue. If the solution above does not work for you, please contact our professionals via Email or LiveChat in this page. To ensure our professional assistance work, you are suggested to connect the unbootable system drive to a healthy computer when getting connected with us.

Advanced troubleshooting for non-system disk or disk error

Excluding the outside factors that caused the non-system disk or disk error, you have to accept the facts that something went wrong with the hard disk drive's boot files, which might become damaged or corrupted, and usually repairing the HDD's boot sector, master boot record (MBR) and boot configuration data (BCD) should take effect.

What's more, to protect data on a non-bootable computer, you're strongly suggested to take the right steps to fix the issue wisely.

First of all, download EaseUS bootable media data recovery software to access and recover hard drive data without OS.

Later, download EaseUS bootable partition manager to rebuild MBR.

Another healthy computer without boot problems and a CD/DVD disc/USB drive are required by both bootable software in order to create a bootable storage media. It's necessary to recover data from a computer or hard drive that won't boot, and manage partitions such as partition, format or wipe partition without OS as well as fix hard drive corruption, bad sectors and rebuild MBR.

Fix 5. Access hard drive and recover data from the hard disk without OS

1. Create a WinPE Bootable Disk

First, download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition on a working computer. Then, create a WinPE bootable disk of EaseUS data recovery software, which will help you access your hard drive data without booting into Windows.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS bootable data recovery software on a working computer.

Step 2. Select CD/DVD or USB drive and click "Proceed" to create a bootable disk. 

select a location and click scan

2. Recover data from crashed OS

Connect the WinPE bootable disk you have made to the PC with the corrupted Windows system, then, restart the computer and go to BIOS to change the boot sequence. Press F2 when you start your PC. It will allow you to run EaseUS data recovery software and recover data without Windows.

Step 1. Select the disk where you want to recover data and click the "Scan" button.

select the disk

Step 2. Let the software scan the selected disk to find all the files and folders.

scan the disk

Step 3. Preview and choose the files you want. Click the "Recover" button to save them to a safe place. You'd better choose a different drive to avoid data overwriting.

recover data from the disk

Fix 6. Fix non-system disk or disk error by rebuilding MBR

Download and install EaseUS Partition Master Professional on a normal computer.

Step 1. Create a WinPE bootable disk.

  • Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on a new PC which runs the same system as yours.
  • Click "WinPE Creator" on the toolbar. And select to create the bootable disk on a USB drive. If your computer has a CD/DVD drive, you can also create the bootable disk to CD/DVD.
  • Click "Proceed" to finish the process.
create a bootable disk

Step 2. Rebuild MBR.

  • Connect the bootable USB or CD/DVD to your PC.
  • Press "Del" when you are restarting the computer. Boot your computer from "Removable Devices" or "CD-ROM Drive". And then EaseUS Partition Master will run automatically.
  • Right-click the disk whose MBR is damaged. Choose "Rebuild MBR" to continue.
rebuild MBR
  • Select the type of MBR with the current operating system. Then, click "OK".
rebuild MBR
  • Click the "Execute 1 Operation" button at the top-left corner and click "Apply" to build the MBR. After that, your computer can boot normally again.
rebuild MBR

By rebuilding the corrupted or damaged MBR of the system hard drive, if by chance the error still occurs after booting up the computer, continue with the other doable methods to get rid of the error, including to run diagnostics on your hard drive, check bad sectors and repair if found any, and replace the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

All those complementary solutions reply on the same essential tool EaseUS Partition Master. The detailed tutorial on how to use the mentioned functions in it are given on the linked pages.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.