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Dell XPS Hard Drive Not Installed (Explained)

Dell XPS Hard Drive Not Installed (Explained)

This FAQ focuses on the hard drive of a Dell XPS. The items detailed concern error messages related to the hard drive not being installed and how to add a new one.

It also examines the reason why the laptop doesn’t detect a hard drive and how to make the necessary repairs. 


Dell XPS Hard Drive Not Installed

The hard drive (HD) is the storage component of Dell XPS desktops and laptops. It collects the information you save on the device and allows you to retrieve it.

This is normally done by opening files in directories or folders.

Today’s hard drives are made of solid-state materials.

Furthermore, they hold increasingly more data than when first introduced in personal computers (PCs). Dell XPS models feature drives that hold as much as four terabytes (TB).

An examination of the component to ensure it’s working occurs during the power-on self-test (POST). This happens once the power button is pressed.

Should it be in working order then the boot process continues and calls upon operating system (OS) files within the hard drive.

Conversely, when the POST detects an issue, you may see an alert that states the hard drive isn’t installed.


Dell XPS Hard Drive

Desktops and laptops under the Dell XPS line come standard with solid-state drives (SSD). These are far smaller than in older models.

They’re placed in a bay on the desktop and directly integrated into the motherboard of a laptop. 

The model of SSD used in desktop models measures about 2.5 inches. It fits into a designated bay. The laptop version of the SSD is called an M.2.

It’s the size of a stick of gum and fully connected to the motherboard. In other words, the SSD is screwed into its circuitry.


How Do I Install Dell XPS Hard Drive?

How you install a Dell XPS Hard Drive depends on the type of computer.

The desktop is far easier as the component is separate from the motherboard.

You remove the computer’s casing and locate the drive.

Next, unplug the cable that connects it to the motherboard. Remove the drive, slide in the new one, and connect it back to the motherboard.

Before closing the case run a power-up test to ensure the POST detects the new drive and runs the necessary tests to move forward.

Replacing the motherboard-based SSD on the Dell XPS laptop is different. First, unscrew its bottom panel. Next, lift the flap with the XPS logo and unscrew the single piece of hardware. 

The SSD is a 2mm by 2mm rectangle above the battery. To get to it you need to unhook and remove this power supply. Unscrew the SSD and replace it. Power the system up and run a check to ensure it detects the drive. 


How Do I Fix My Internal Hard Drive Not Being Detected?

The first thing to do when the hard drive isn’t detected is to check connections.

For a Dell XPS desktop, this means ensuring the cable that attaches the SSD to the motherboard is firmly set. It’s best to press down on both ends until you hear a click.

This means a proper connection has been made.

On the laptop, you remove the back panel to ensure the SSD isn’t loose. You can tighten the screws that attach the drive to the motherboard. 

If these options don’t correct the error message, then the next step is to perform a diagnostic. This is done via the basic input/output system (BIOS) menu.

This is accessed by pressing the F2 key when the Dell logo screen appears on powerup. s


Why Is My Laptop Not Detecting My Hard Drive?

Common reasons why your laptop doesn’t detect the hard drive are issues with the connection, driver problems, or incorrect BIOS settings.

As the SSD is integrated into the laptop’s motherboard there aren’t any cables involved. So, the problem could be down to the driver of the BIOS.


Does Dell XPS 13 Have Hard Drive?

The Dell XPS 13 series of laptops have a hard drive. It’s an SSD M.2 model that’s integrated into the motherboard.


Final Thoughts

The message that the hard drive isn’t installed means the startup sequence couldn’t identify its presence on a Dell XPS desktop or laptop.

To troubleshoot on the latter you check to see if the cable for the SSD is firmly set into the motherboard. For the former, you ensure the small SSD is firmly attached to the motherboard.

If these are fine, then you should run a BIOS diagnostic. Generally, all Dell XPS 13 laptops feature an M.2 SSD.